It's been proved beyond a doubt. You bring up the movie Tim's Vermeer ( did the Vermeer use a Camera Obscura ...) whilst innocently scribbling away in a Life Drawing workshop, and the friction generated will be more than enough to keep the model warm. 
... Did they , the OLD Masters,  use optics to nail those hyper realistic images? I watched the PBS version of Tim's Vermeer, and I've read David Hockney's book " Secret Knowledge ". Hockney's book, besides being beautiful to look at, gives the more compelling argument. But really, what does it matter?....

Painting of rocks that lie off what the locals in Westport call "Pete's Beach ".
I've visited it almost daily for the past 5 years. The original is in a private collection but I have prints in my Etsy shop, Outlaw Mermaid.

I have  30 plus years of original cartoons. What a pain.  Sheets of inky,
 flattened tree pulp, topped off with touches of  "Bleed-proof White-Out "
( I should have bought stock in that stuff.) Now I am once again packing up for a move and the plastic bins of  cartoons make me wonder.... would they make a good mulch?...
Until then, if you would like to purchase an original piece of hand drawn  art  from my comic horde, please wander over  to Etsy and look for my store " Outlaw Mermaid."  I'm stocking it with original " FERAL WEST",  "LYTTLE WOMEN", and  "SIX CHIX" comic art. 

smelt vs salmon 2008
PictureOn the Mendocino Headlands painting the Presbyterian Church during the 2 hour " Quick Draw" event.
This past week about 80 artists descended upon the village of Mendocino, for a marathon of Plein Air paint slinging. I'd never done one of these before and was humbled by the incredible talent that competed. But I did it, and learned a lot. Thank you to the Mendocino Art center for hosting the event.

   In 1956, fresh out of college, my parents, Jim and Joan LeMieux, took teaching jobs in a remote village on the Yukon River. No electricity or running water, accessible only by bush plane. My mother and I are compiling a collection of photos, letters and artifacts from the roughly 2 years spent in the area of Fortuna Ledge, in the then, territory of Alaska. Fortunatly, the handmade parkas, and mukluks have survived, along with my dad's rifle and snowshoes. A metal slide box has gone missing, possibly lost in estate sale in Longview, Washington in the 1990's. Hopefully it can be located as it contained a large collection of images. But in the meantime I have about dozen wonderful kodachrome slides.
My contribution to the Art Car Project. A drowsy mermaid with listing towers of the Golden Gate Bridge. Oil on Canvas.
I may never get to "Burning Man" but at least one of my painting will.
This digital painting's title " watch your step " refers to the barely readable sign on the steps of the train car. This broken shell of a train sits in back of the historic company store building in Ft. Bragg ( California )
A show of this and other new work is on display at the Mendo Bistro Restaurant inside and upstairs at The Company Store.