November, 2020     Volume 4, Issue 4.

Now is the time to support small businesses online...

The gift-giving season is fast approaching, just in time for another potential lock-down.

If you're going to buy your gifts online, then why not buy them directly from one of the little guys… like me. I'm offering plenty of gift-giving ideas, from books to art (in the form of prints, frames, wearables, or greeting cards)

By the way, if you're wondering about the image in the header, here it is in full without text in front of it. The picture is the background of the canoe that I'm in the process of restoring (more on that below) with the paddle I carved and painted for my daughter Violet when she was seven.

Watercolours by Dwayne

Offering the following products and services:
Original paintings
Signed GICLEE prints
Custom framing
Greeting Cards
Gift Certificates and eGift Cards

Upcoming Shows...

I seriously don't want to talk about this. I don't even know why I'm leaving this section in this newsletter.

Those who forget the FUTURE are condemned to repeat it...

I've been heads-down writing the next book in my time-travel mystery series "The Anachronistic Code."

As I started work on Book 4 though, I was looking back at the first book in the series (some 167,000 words earlier) and realized that the first Chapter was a mess. It was way too long, and nothing really happened in it. So, I finally made the decision to fix it, even though I'd already released the first book. I gutted several thousand words, and moved things around to make it better. I think it's worth it because it greatly improves the flow and heightens the mystery.

Here's the new first page:

Unboxing the newly printed books with the new and improved logo design...

Now, if you've already bought a copy of the first book that I've just changed, and are considering burning my in effigy at the news, please accept this peace offering. I'll send you a free hardcopy of the first book in the hopes of making up for it! Just let me know that you want it and I'll do the rest.

You can order all three books individually from my website, or as a book set.

Buy my books...
My new books seem to be getting all the attention, but my son, Rowan, would like to remind everyone that I have a few humour books available. Here he is reading about how he and his brother came into the world in "Gingers & Wry", and also how they tricked me into licking "pee-water" off one of their tiny fingers.

New Product Lines...

Greeting cards

I'm offering two kinds of greeting cards, those with messages on the front (along with the art), and those with just the art. The message cards measure 5.5" by 4.25", and cost $2.50 each or $10 for five. The art cards are 5" by 7" and cost $5 each or $20 for five (enter the promo code 5for4 at checkout). All cards are printed on 61 lb matte photo paper, have a blank interior, and are shipped with an envelope.


I’m offering two types of wearable art: T-SHIRTS and ONESIES in various sizes, and only in white. If you’d like to put these designs on a different piece of clothing, then you can buy the transfers individually and iron them on to whatever you want. 

Presenting: My New Studio!

I've reached that point in my life when my kids are starting to move out! This summer, my daughter left for New Brunswick and I'm trying to balance missing her with being excited about turning her former room into a new studio. I guess it's all good until she wants to come home, eh?

I'm still in the process of setting it up, but here are some pictures. I have a great desk set-up where I do my writing, my trusty old easel where I do my painting, and a kick-ass framing desk area with custom-made shelves to organize my mat-board. There's even a fair amount of wall space for framed art!

Once it's fully set up and we're allowed to mingle again in person, I'll start offering visits.

On the Framing Desk...

Recently, I was approached by Nick Leniuk of Nick Leniuk Stone Carving about putting a floating frames around one of his stone shaped masterpieces.

I met Nick, (who also comes from Northern Ontario - he and his wife hail from Kapuskasing) a few years back at a local art show, and right from the start, I was enamoured with his sculptures. Nick takes images of things like trees or shapes that he sees in his morning coffee, and carves them into stone. Recently, he produced a couple of really big pieces, and mounted them on a plywood background that measured three feet by four feet, and asked me to put a floating frame on one of them. It was a huge pleasure having Nick's art in my studio, even though I was nervous about damaging it in some way as I framed it.

Polyptych progress!

I've been slowly playing on the next two paintings in my Canadian coin series.

Lining up both of the next two coin paintings as I play on them so that everything synchs up the way it's supposed to.

I'm painting the backgrounds and the leaf on both paintings at the same time so that I can remember how I did it and try to keep things consistent. You'd be surprised how easy it is to forget what colours you were using, or exactly how you achieved a certain effect.

Three of the coin paintings mounted on the wall in the proper configuration. Who has a wall big enough for all nine?

Adventures in Workshopping!

It's been a busy few months in the workshop! I've had a number of projects on the go, some of which will likely be continuing for the foreseeable future. 


This particular reclaimed wood project has been a long time coming. I rescued two idlers from a treadmill a few years back with the intent of using them to make a rolling jig with an adjustable height that can support long pieces of wood coming off my table saw. Here they are in action...


Warren Hennesey of Hendows Fine Food has been extraordinarily generous to me over the last couple of years by allowing my to take over the walls of his Peterborough-based restaurant with my art. He has never asked for anything in return, even though it's been a profitable venture for me. I finally found a way to give something back when he asked if I could build a wooden strong-box to store his coin collection. I made it out of solid oak repurposed from a Church pew.


Now, speaking of repurposed Church pews, Mary-Cate Garden was the person responsible for getting me those pews, so I wanted to thank her for it by reconfiguring one into a Sedilla. Here it is in her home.


Here's a restoration project that I've been putting off way too long.
This 11.5 foot beauty was stored face down on the ground in Haliburton before my father and I rescued and restored it about twenty-five years ago. We had to cut a bunch of the edges down to get to good wood. Unfortunately, we put the new gunnels on wrong and they've rotted away again and compromised some of the cedar. I want to figure out a way to add more height to the sides and ends and fix her up nice. I really miss paddling the little tadpole.

Here is my son Daniel helping me put a coat of spar varnish on the canoe.

An amuzing story...

I'm going to leave you with an excerpt from my book "amuzings." This is a little essay that I wrote about Canada's favourite past-time. To see how it ends, you'll have to read the rest of it in my book.



It’s a Hate Affair for the Ages

I really hate hockey.

There, I said it.

Now, before somebody tries to use this confession as grounds to revoke my Canadian citizenship, let me explain: it’s hockey's fault. Oh, and maybe Tarzan’s too.

My hate affair with hockey is kind of ironic actually. In truth, I should be one of the game’s biggest fans. I did, after all, grow up in Cochrane, Ontario, the birthplace of Tim Horton, arguably our nation’s most famous hockey player, thanks in large part to his posthumous consecration as this country’s most venerated peddler of highly addictive caffeinated beverages and deep-fried breakfast substitutes.

Yet, in spite of this most excellent pedigree, hockey and I never saw eye to facemask.

It’s not like I didn’t try either. When, at the tender age of nine, I joined a children’s hockey league at my father’s behest, it was ostensibly to learn how to play the game. Little did I know though that, in Canada—at least in the 1970s—you did not join a children’s hockey league at the tender age of nine to learn how to play hockey.

No! You were a Canadian boy; hockey was supposed to be in your blood! You didn’t teach a northern pike to swim or a loon to wail any more than you taught a Canadian kid to brandish a bent stick in the reckless pursuit of a ridiculously hard piece of rubber across a slab of rock-hard, frozen water.

The problem for me was that, in my childhood, I had been mostly oblivious to the Canadian hockey culture that had permeated so much of that era. Oh sure, I was aware that, sometime in my recent past, some guy named Henderson had single-handedly prolonged the cold war, and some other guy named Bobby Howe (or something) was every kid’s hero. And I also knew that a lot of boys my age liked Les Canadiens, a team from a province that, at the time, didn’t even want to be Canadien.

But that was about all I knew. That’s why I was surprised just as much as the next Guy Lafleur when, one cold Saturday morning in December, my father dragged me away from the television where I had been watching a classic Tarzan movie, and told me that I was going to play hockey. I was reluctant to go, but at least he wasn’t threatening to take me hunting again. I think we can all agree that his idea the previous autumn of getting behind the prey to flush it through the forest in the direction of a frightened kid with a loaded firearm had been a bad idea.

Yeah, the 1970s was a tough time to be a child.

Buy amuzings

About Dwayne...

Watercolour artist Dwayne James lives in the Lakefield area where he has been feverishly living a creatively-driven life for the past decade, that is when his very forgiving family allows.

Dwayne studied archaeology in University which is how he learned to write creatively. “The most important skill I accrued in University,” he says, “was the ability to pretentiously write about myself in the third person.”

With no formal art training, Dwayne has always preferred the self-guided, experimental approach. In fact, he taught himself how to illustrate archaeological artifacts while completing his Master’s degree at Trent University. Said his thesis supervisor at the time: “There might not be much in the way of coherent theoretical content in Dwayne’s thesis, but damn, it looks pretty!”

Dwayne had played with watercolours a little in his life, but it has only been relatively recently when he truly began to experiment and develop his style. An avid paddler and wilderness nut, it’s natural that most of Dwayne’s paintings should reflect this passion.

After spending close to a decade as a technical communicator at IBM, Dwayne opted to look at their January 2009 decision to downsize him as an opportunity to become a stay-at-home Dad for his newborn twins, and pursue his painting and creative writing whenever they allowed him to do so. It is a decision that continues to make him giggle with wild abandon to this very day.

A self-taught painter, Dwayne’s  highly-detailed watercolour paintings have been described as “unconventional” yet “absolutely authentic.”

Fascinated by both texture and dimension, Dwayne channels nature to create personalised images that are not easily captured with conventional photography.

Dwayne seizes a moment in his paintings that shifts every time you view them. You may have seen watercolours before but, chances are, you have never seen watercolours like Dwayne’s.

Copyright © 2020 Watercolours by Dwayne, All rights reserved.

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