Urban Sketching & Travelogue
Two friends spent two months in Morocco while on mat leave with their 8 month old. They invited me to join them for part of the trip, spending most of our time in Tangier and Marrakech. These sketches explore life on the streets of Morocco, busy skylines, and colourful fruit stands and beautiful mosques. Like other series, there is a focus on the real, the everyday things that make up a city. Long form travelogue writing about this trip and sketching in Morocco can be found at: www.Patreon.com/ColinWhite
In the spring of 2017 I was given notice by my landlord to vacate my apartment as he required the building for personal use. Thinking I had to leave my home — and possibly the neighbourhood — I began sketching the storefronts at the end of my street as a way of saying goodbye. Over the summer I completed over 25 storefronts along Somerset. My landlord eventually changed his mind, allowing me to stay in my home and ultimately continue the study of Chinatown in 2018.
As with much of my work, these sketches are about capturing meaning through time and place. Change in cities seems inevitable, and sketching, for me, is a way to both observe the familiar, and preserve a moment in time. […]
Local stores that bring life to the street
There is something special about the abundance of Fruit & Flower Shops in Toronto. They are a blend of a local corner store and a small supermarket. The amount of life that one of these stores brings to a street is palpable. The fruit and veg add colour and intrigue to a sidewalk. Even the handwritten price signs can offer a visual break from the bold and glossy advertisements that plague city streets.
For the month of November in 2016, I house sat in rural Spain, in a remote farmhouse almost 3 hours East of Granada. Surrounded only by cats and cave houses, I spent much of my time making sketches in the nearby village of Orce and Galera, as well as in the hills surrounding the house where I was staying. Read about these house sitting adventures at: www.Patreon.com/ColinWhite
An ongoing exploration of decay in the capital city
This is an ongoing study of abandoned / vacant / dilapidated buildings around Ottawa. Within a fifteen minute walk in any direction from the Parliament Buildings and City Hall there are dozens of vacant buildings, usually homes or small apartment buildings. They are boarded up, rotting, overgrown and — presumably — awaiting to be sold to a developer. Most of them are also fine buildings... or, at least, they were. These buildings represent the true veneer of Ottawa: full of neglect and waste. (2015-ongoing)
Exploring Alleyways in Ottawa
Over the summer of 2015, a group of artists have been touring various alleyways in central Ottawa, and creating art on location.Alleyways in Ottawa are overlooked spaces. They serve as unloading zones, garbage pickup and discrete areas for wait staff to smoke cigarettes. More interestingly, they serve as rudimentary pedestrian zones.There is a strange beauty in the aesthetic: because they are not being officially presented to the public, they are often decayed and decrepit. They are Forgotten Spaces. (2015)
Documenting the process of creation + destruction
"As much as possible, my illustrations of buildings are done in front of the building. In the process, much information about it’s surrounding is gathered. Phocess return the viewer to the place where the drawings were made, by creating non-permanent stencils, intended to fade, like the buildings themselves." (2014)
The disappearing aesthetic of the neighbourhood corner store
"There are lots of archival methods now, from smartphones to street view. When sketching something, time is spent really observing and noticing details. This ties into the community element. By sketching on location, one can get a sense of the neighbourhood, and a deeper understanding of people's feelings toward a building." (2011-ongoing)
Comix & sketches from the streets of Ottawa
"They are big on charm, revealing the little things that make or break people's days... Recognizing the settings around Ottawa... gives the comic an especially relatable quality" - Travis Boisvenue, The Fulcrum, (2007)
A short film co-produced with Jackpine
"A police precinct filled with loose cannon renegade mavericks who play by their own rules attempts to tackle a drug epidemic while also enforcing the town’s ban on tobogganing. They'd be up to the task, if only their best detective would fall in line."
A short film co-produced with Jackpine
"It's election season and between the horse poop in the water, the frequent bandit attacks, the removal of the welcome sign and war hero Joe Van Yukon's faulty wooden leg, it seems as though the Governor has a lot to answer for at the ballot box...if only the people of the town could find it."
A field guide to gigafauna in the urban environment
"I am very fond of cities — specifically downtown urban cores. Densely packed cities are perhaps the best way to minimize our impact on ecosystems. I do not fantasize about the collapse of civilization and the Earth reclaiming our cities. I do not want skyscrapers to fall over. However, I do feel that humanity has taken it's habitat for granted, at a perilous cost. These images are a reflection of that peril." (2010)
A beathead's blunted bus trip through Ottawa's record stores
In 2014, technology-based art collective, Artengine, commissioned Ottawa musicians to craft soundtracks for a few major bus routes in the city. Memetic got the #2, and he began traveling the route doing audio recordings and digging at the plethora of record stores along the way. The project turned from a smartphone app, to a collaborative video, vinyl release and more. (2015)
Select commissions of house drawings
Moving or renovating your house? Consider archiving it in a timeless fashion. Colin is available for commissions during warmer weather.
Illustrations of urban landscapes + architecture for magazines
A selection of posters for films, musical and cultural events.
Selection of single page illustrated pictoral narrative, depicting a variety of subjects: short stories, retirement, travel, economics, health care and more.