Fineliner® Drawings: WILDCAT LAKE, Muskoka, Ontario, Canada.

The following work was all done with one simple tool…a black Fineliner® pen that Pilot® company of Japan makes and sells world wide. I first saw it being used many, many years ago by my first studio partner Richard Cortés, an amazing Czech artist and illustrator who carried it everywhere to sketch and put his ideas down. So, wherever he went his sketchbook and his Fineliner came along. He’d spit and rub his final drawings to get that watercolour effect, to enhance the subject’s eyes, or to make the clouds look pregnant with rain. So I started to use it as well…and I have not stopped yet. I love the pen’s simplicity and its ability to make the drawing what I want it to be. The ink is black but with moisture it turns into this beautiful Indigo blue that is reminiscent of my favourite colour, the Windsor Newton’s® Payne’s Grey.
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About 200 kilometres from Ontario’s capital Toronto is a large area of forests, lakes, recreation properties and fresh air. It is known as Muskoka or simply as the cottage country. There is a placid clear lake called Wildcat that has a neat little house perched on a rock outcrop above the water. It’s a quintessential North Canadian cottage built by the Czech emigres that came to Canada after WWII that eventually absorbed another wave of their countrymen after the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia.
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I can’t count the times I drew our old Webber barbecue…simple and reliable with the smell of charcoal hanging about many hours after the use.
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Of course being in a snow zone the ubiquitous Snowshoes were always at hand. A must if one wanted to go outside past November.
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Over the years the cottage became a repository of all the odds and ends that were not suitable for the city living any more…like this beautiful old maple chair.

No one knew for sure who brought the rowboat up to the lake but it was always there. Now it rests all forlorn with rotting gunwales and decorated with green moss.
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The lake was always full of fish which we used to catch and release so the Swedish knife I bought for gutting was only used for “killing” mushrooms.

Few years back I built an Inukshuk* with the stone that is barely a few centimetres below the dark soil that makes up Muskoka.

*A structure of rough stones stacked in the form of a human figure, traditionally used by Inuit people as a landmark or a commemorative sign.
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None of us has the heart to get rid of the old rowboat, especially myself, who finds it an endlessly satisfying subject to draw. Rest in peace old friend.