he sees the glass as half empty


Last month I finished this painting for a client: a portrait of her boyfriend and his cat as a surprise birthday gift.

She sent me this charming story of how the surprise went down:

So on Saturday I left his place for my own birthday party, which he was going to miss because he was flying in at the same time from Toronto. I had hung his portrait on a suitable wall, put a big red bow on the corner of the frame, tucked the card in behind it on the other side, and gave kitty firm instructions not to swat the bow from atop the fridge.

At 8:30pm we were getting our meals, and I got a text from Justin saying his flight was early and he was on his way home. I did however get into a panic- would he like it? Would the surprise work? Did kitty pull the bow down? I had told everyone at dinner about it, and they were all waiting with baited breath.

Anyway when the text came through around 45 mins later, I was in the bathroom, and when I came back to our table everyone was silent and staring at me and a friend was holding out my phone urging me to check it.

The text read “Well played Haqqani, well played“.

He told me later it was the most romantic present he’s ever had (I’ll never understand boys’ perception of romance, but there you go)...

I am so thrilled the gift was a success. I love my job.



Another recent commission, this was a gift to Nicolas and James' parents. Nice gift idea huh?

I have a few portraits on the go right now, and am looking for another two or three for the next few months. If anyone would happen to want to commission a painting in time for Christmas, now is the time to contact me!

See some other commissioned portraits I have done here and here. Oh and here too.

And here again:


music and art


There is this band, Steel Audrey. They just released this album of six really great tracks. Trust me, they're good.

Also, the album art is kind of wonderful, if I may say so myself.


Steel Audrey's songs have bold, narrative lyrics. Our character-driven approach to the artwork has a rough-around-the-edges kind of feel, and I think well reflects the spirit of their songs. Give them a listen and let me know what you think.



Look what I got in the mail yesterday!

I can't tell you how excited I was to receive the assignment to illustrate a portrait of Harry. Not only was it an excuse to watch all the Harry Potter films in two days ("research"), but I just love painting faces. Especially faces with glasses. And Harry has such rad glasses.

My client was the United Church Observer (thanks to Caley Moore, the editor I worked with), and the article (by Lauren Bird) can be found here.