Improv and a mark

arctic landscape collage
Something for a coldish day

It was a small thing at the time. Or so it seemed. But watching the after-show improv set at Second City, and doing some time with London’s small Theatre Sports group prompted a kind of license. I learned that it was okay to say, “Yes”, to trust that someone could catch the thrown idea and improve it, to not possess it, to not control it, to not own it.


As to making art, then, it was perfectly allowable to just make a mark and trust the process, without control, accept the next thought that came along, or not, and make a drawing.

“David what’s the most important thing about improv?” Someone else asked.

“The where. You see…” He pointed to someone across the circle. “You’re feet are placed on of each other rather curiously – what does that mean?”

So, I was looking for an image to put up here, and stumbled on this older collage, made from cut out scraps of previous failed paintings but with some unintended, but wonderful marks, becoming suggestive of other things in a different context, and a few slaps of fresh paint.


Somewhere beside the road

Big blue mug at Fireroasted

Fireflies and stars.

Water jug in Zen brush app

Maybe a little overdone. 

Deck chair

Yes, lots of you have been here before: drawing with Apple Pencil on an iPad Pro. Well, this is day two. And if you believe, if you’ve read somewhere, that the 10.5 iPad Pro somehow isn’t worth it, you’re not the right audience. Get out. 

Traded the iPad Air 2. And this fits in my bag. And it couldn’t be more perfectly suited to this narrow vertical market of people who want to make drawings. 

While ‘yer waitin’ fer the train… 

Miss High Haughty, Queen of all Tuxedos


Miss fuzzy cat. Every once in a while I look out for a new way to render her magnificent shagginess.

Spinpadgrip arrives.

Took about a week from the time I ordered it online. Remarkably light. And the perfect solution to holding the iPad in one hand while you are drawing with the other and no more two-thumbed typing mistakes because I can hold the iPad in my left hand and type with my right.

Instructions on the back. Straightforward.

Stick it on and yer good to go. It felt comfortable and right. Feels very secure.

I love it so far And this is not a commercial, and this is not an affiliate link, and here is the web site:

Update June 22 2017. I am so terribly deeply dissappointed. The sticky pad has completely lost it’s grip. No tack. Doesn’t stick to ANYTHING anymore. Beautiful effective useful product wont even work as a doorstop. :-(

A retro-future BRT solution cartoon


Man, that one took a while. The idea was percolating since the abandonment of the tunnel option from city council. Back burner and simmer, and an image will arrive from somewhere. A picture of the OddFellows Hall, demolished long ago prompted the retro-future imagery. Then some strange old images of old vehicles and imagined transportation showed up.

Waiting is sometimes the solution. And even if the solution we’re getting is the solution we should have had decades ago, it will be a while before we get around to actually doing anything, so meanwhile The Arctic melts, the lakes fill up, The Thames overflows, and there you go.

Now really, you don’t have to spend two weeks drawing a cartoon. I have the time to waste. You don’t. So draw a cartoon about London Ont, and submit it to LondOntLife

Merle Tingley. 1922-2017

Teapot at the rest stop. 

It’s bike theft season. Tricks and tips.

Warning: It’s bike theft season. I just watched a guy ride up to the fence where most of the bikes from our building are locked. He scouted the bikes, took cell snaps of the expensive bikes and did a text. This is how a made to order bike theft ring works. When he saw me watching he turned his back and quickly rode away. Nothing works 100% to stop a determined thief but start with good locks. I say locks plural. A couple of summers ago several bikes were stolen from this same fence. Most only had a cable lock or one very cheap u-lock. Thieves are in hurry, the harder you make it to steal, the more likely they will skip your bike. Locks can be expensive but weigh that against the cost of your bike.

PS: One day I looked up to see a guy loading two bikes into the trunk a cab. Just as I realized he did not live here, he jumped in and the cab drove away with 2 stolen bikes dangling from the trunk. Broad daylight. Called a cab.

PS: One day I looked up and saw a strange car parked in one of the tenant designated spaces. The car door was open and I saw a guy working on a bike. It took second to realize that he was stealing the back wheel with an expensive gear system. I banged on the window and grabbed my camera. He ran for the car and they sped away, leaving the bike half-disassembled.

PS: I was out for bike ride. I stopped at a corner store to buy a drink. I u-locked my bike to a pole. I stepped inside placed a drink on the counter and handed the clerk exact change. I stepped outside. My bike was still there but my u-lock was twisted. All the plastic on the stub end was broken. While I was in the store for less than 2 minutes, some one stuck a pipe over my lock and tried to break it. Just dumb luck they didn’t succeed.

From a Facebook friend, Neil Muscott’s post. Facebook makes it so damned difficult to get out of the garden, even to tweet a simple link to something worthwile. Like that would ever happen. But sometimes it does, so London, this is for you.

Hello! Yes! Proceed! Oh, I don’t know. Goodnight.

I too could run the world if you would let me.

Trying to invent the future when the past was perfectly good.

Folk continually delve into our past, now at , attempt to understand what went wrong, what went right, why and where and how. This post YOU WON’T BELIEVE THESE 10 BUILDINGS LONDON’S TORN DOWN! records a few remarkable buildings we’ve lost. 

And in an inarticulate cloud of thoughts, I wonder… a couple of times in our cities renovation history, multiple story, high density downtown buildings have fallen under plans for a rebuild of the entire block. Which fails. Dundas/Talbot and Ridout has yielded a monolithic dead street courthouse and an arena. Dundas/Wellington has given us parking lots and conventional office towers, once again with ghost sidewalks and streets of people and cars going somewhere else.

Why, what, in our civic psyche drives this impulse?