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"Benny" (sold)
(2018, Acrylic 24" x 30")
This painting was done for a realtor in Squamish BC. She has an amazing Bengal cat, and it was an exciting project. I painted "Benny" directly from a photo, changing little. I altered the wall color to turquoise because I thought it would contrast nicely with Benny's coat. His fur proved to be a fun challenge. Once again, it was a painting in layer upon layer... I added a little heart in the fur (look closely) as a little token of my connection to Benny (even though I've never met him).


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"Sir Winston" (NFS, gifted)
(2018, Acrylic 20" x 24")
This painting was done for an historian and friend. He deeply loves and is very knowledgable about WWI and WWII history and Sir Winston Churchill. For a surprise, I thought I'd paint it, and then send it to him at work. This one was tricky. I left the hardest part to near the end (the eyes). It's been said that if you get the eyes right, your viewer will forgive a lot. I spent about 3 hours on the eyes until I felt I nailed it! My friend loved it!


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"Monty" (NFS, gifted)
(2017, Acrylic 20" x 24")
This painting was done for a neighbor couple who have the sweetest pit bull I've ever met! They rescued him, and have given him a great life! He's blind, has two teeth, and has had a lot of infections in the past (note left side of Monty's face). I began by adjusting the composition by taking out Joel's arm off the back of the lounge chair. I loved painting his pink belly. Once again, it was a lot of thin layers to get it right. I find that in order to make skin look translucent, it has to be thin, watery layers... dried... then more thin watery layers. I added the beer bottle because Monty LOVES my homemade beer. It's become a bit of an in-joke. They loved it and hung it in their sitting room!


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"VAG Tiles"
(2017, Acrylic 20" x 24")
About 10 years ago, we lived near the Vancouver Art Gallery. I used to go a lot! One day, I took a photo of myself stepping onto their amazing tile floor. Ten years later, I painted it. I think there's about 600 tiles there... I love how I painted the signature. Fun!


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"One Day"
(2016, Acrylic 20" x 24")
This painting was done because I needed a bit of a painting boost. A year earlier, I painted "All Star" (see below) and I wanted to paint my Converse shoes again because I had so much fun painting "All Star". At the time, I was fixated on painting clouds (besides being fixated on shoes!). I combined the two passions and came with this. Because I wanted a floating feeling, I decided to leave some of it undone; making a translucent feeling to it all. The "One Day" refers to the day when we would move to the Gulf Island and retire... It gave me hope and a goal.


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"Pikey Zzzz"
(2016, Acrylic 20" x 24")
After having our first cat for 21 years, we never thought we'd get another cat... Well, one day ha came to us. He chose us after being in the wild for a while. At this time I was still into my "clouds" period and made that the background (rather than the living room). My favorite part of the painting is his nose.


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"Don't Grow Up"
(2015, Acrylic 20" x 24") NFS
We were on the beach in Waikiki sitting in our favorite spot. Back them, in one 12 month period we had gone there 5 or 6 times. I was wearing one of my favorite T-shirts at the time and was walking back to our blanket when my picture was snapped! I decided to paint it. I hung it up in my school office, mostly because when I looked at it, it was a bit of an escape. We love Waikiki and the T-shirt grounded me. Almost every kid who looked at the painting in my office would ask, "How did you paint that city?" I always told them, "With a very small brush". I don't think they ever got that... they just couldn't get how it could be done.


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"All Star"
(2015, Acrylic 24" x 24")
One day we were watching the bathtub races from the shore on Gabriola. I looked down and took a picture of my feet and decided to paint them. I had sooooo much fun painting my Converse shoes! The detail kept me focused for hours! The skin was tough until I remembered what an artist friend told me "Dark in the back, light on top". Always... Originally, the painting was titled,"All Starr" (with two "r"s as in Ringo "Starr"), but I changed my mind at the last minute.


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"Harley, Downtown Disney"
(2014, Acrylic 24" x 30") NFS, Gifted
Another love I have is Disney! I studied Disney-style classical animation back in the early 80s. We poured over a lot of movies frame by frame. Great times... We were in Downtown Disney back in 2013 and it poured buckets of rain. We ducked into a Harley Davidson shop. Lesley tried on a suede cap, cloth hoodie and a leather jacket. On the spot I said that I was going to paint that pic one day! Everything about this painting was a wonderful challenge: painting suede, leather, cloth, hair, skin, embroidery, and reflections. This is one of my favorite paintings. I remember what my high school art teacher said to me once about bottom lips... "Just a mere shadow...". It works!



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"Luna"
(2014, Acrylic 12" x 12") NFS, Gifted
My first painting of a cat. I found the fur challenging. I just kept working at it until I got it. It was for a co-worker who had Luna... About a year later I asked her about Luna and she told me that she went out one day and never came back.




SOLD - 48" x 36" Dark Poppies
I was commissioned by a co-worker for this painting back in 2004. I had so much fun painting this for her. It was a huge painting! My apologies to Georgia O'Keefe.



SOLD - 48" x 36" Where Are You Winston?
I was commissioned by a Master's classmate back in 2002. I had so much fun painting this! Another huge painting! It was an abstract background with John Lennon's selfie cartoon in white. The couple I painted this for had a room painted in white, with a white grand piano, and the words and music to "Imagine" painted on all 4 walls. Incredible...


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"Yeti Dreams Of..." (48" x 36")
I painted this in honour of the cat we had for 21 years. I painted this about 4 years before he passed away. He would often sit beside me as I painted it. For the last 10 years, it's been hanging in the Yaletown Pet Hospital by BC Place in Vancouver BC. It was in the front window facing Beatty St for quite awhile and then moved to Exam Room 3. I visited it about 6 months after Yeti passed away. I was looking at the painting in the exam room, standing with the head Doctor who owned the Vet Clinic. I started crying... He was so cool. He just keep staring at the painting, then turned and gave me an empathic glance...


Educational Resource Samples:

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MINECRAFT MATH!
Written by Ray Appel
Click here!
VECTOR MAGAZINE

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MATH AGAIN?
Written by Ray Appel
Click here!
CANADIAN TEACHER MAGAZINE

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CANADIAN MURDER MYSTERY!
Written by Ray Appel
Click here!
Series: WINNER of the
Pierre Berton Award!

Thoughts on Saving Time in the Classroom


Estimation and Calculation




The Born Numeracy




"I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think." Socrates