Friday, 5 December 2014

Goodby Mr. Jean Béliveau

Mr. Béliveau died.

Why should anyone care.  Well no reason but in a world where all our heros seem to be failing he stood out as a real gentleman.  He did lead the Canadians to 5 straight Stanley Cups but that is not what everyone is posting about him.  He was offered to be the Governor General of Canada but turned it down.  I think what everyone remembers was he treated everyone with respect.  Up until a couple of years ago he answered each letter that was written to him by hand in detail.  My brother in law has one of his letters.  We have an autographed copy of his book.  He took the time to really write his autograph rather than scrawl it because he had pride in everything he did.

He was offered a minor-league pro baseball contract at fifteen but turned it down.  He played for Quebec city`s amateur league and had no desire to play professional but Montreal wanted him so badly they bought the league and turned it professional and called him up to play for the mighty Canadians. He then went on to win a lot of trophies.  When he retired he refused to be a senator believing you should be elected not appointed. He even had his face on a stamp - can there be any higher honour.

In all the stories everyone is telling now there is not a hint of anything but admiration. It is sad that he is gone but we all were lucky to have him as our hero.  Au revoir.


Thursday, 4 December 2014

Evil, mean teachers

I have a teacher named Suzy which is complicated because my name is Suzy.  During the class students are always calling for her which drives me crazy because I think they are calling me.  Eventually I learnt to ignore it with the problem now if someone is really talking to me I don't answer and I look like I am a snob.  Oh well  as my hairdresser used to say when I told him I want straight hair ``we have issues``.

Suzy is an evil and vicious teacher.  She takes lots of showers and in the shower she thinks of ways to torture her sweet students. Today was the same as usual - she had us painting candles - lit candles.  I thought we were going to get away with it because she forgot the matches but eventually the candles were lit and the torture began.

Flames are hard to paint  - really, really hard.  They  move.  The longer you paint, the shorter the candle.  If someone breathes they flicker and don`t ask what happens if someone walks by.  I thought it would have been fun if they set off the sprinkler system but nothing happened.


I had a lot of trouble with this one.  Who knew that the inside of a flame is dark.  You really have to observe the colours.  I really did observe - I just didn't paint them. I am satisfied by the middle candle the glow just under the lip. What I like about Suzy`s class is that everyones painting is different.  She really does bring out the best in us and she does it with patience and a smile.  She is too good to be true.    I think if you learn something the class was successful, I did learn something but I am just not going to tell Suzy. 

Friday, 28 November 2014

getting harder all time

You would think it would get easier but it doesn't seem to.  Probably the more experience you have the higher your own expectations.  I have a show coming up in our community centre.  I have a vision of 28 small dog paintings split  by 4 large ones.  I made a good start on two of the big ones. Yesterday  I was started working on the third.  Actually yesterday I worked on one version wiped it completely off.  I  just learned you can wipe it down with alcohol and it made a very nice toned surface to start again today.  Can you see the differences between the 3 paintings?  The answer is about an 2 hours.  Hard to believe eh? (that's the Canadian in me).


I am done for the day and whipped up small one.  Who doesn't love a puppy - maybe just Mr. Grinch. To all you Americans have a wonderful Thanksgiving and happy shopping

Sometimes painting is very addictive.  I said to myself put the brush down go to bed and start again tomorrow.  It never works when you paint while being tired.  Just one stroke I said.  An hour later and I can barely tell the difference.

Maybe I should listen to myself. 

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

White but not really

I love painting white dogs because you really have to paint the nuances.White forces you to observe the colour since nothing is really just white.  On the other hand, one should be  doing that with any painting  but it seems just more fun with white. Look at  Ray Kinstler's portrait of Tom Wolfe. It reads as white but of course there are a million pastel shades. I love this painting but alas only from afar - I have never seen it in real life but I am sure it is even more wonderful.


Here is my painting of a  white dog.   


I think the poor dog  needs eyes.

Please join me in my new blog ArtbytheBooks.blogspot.com where I am finally working  through my art books to improve my art skills

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Getting Better all the Time

Okay today was better - the vet said not to panic yet about the tics.  Doesn't he know me -  we were at the laundromat  boiling our sheets and the duvet cover. The heat is on - turns out you have to change your filters once in awhile - who knew? And my knee is what it is.

There is a really long traffic light in our city which we like to avoid because it is really long but we always forget.  The car parked next to us at this light had a beautiful rottie sticking his head out of the window.  The light was long enough for me to ask the other driver if I could take a picture of his dog - that brought a great smile to his face - the driver not the dog.  The dog couldn't care less - too much to smell. This is my original picture.

I didn't like where the muzzle was kissing the window and I simplified the background.  I started with a 3 value painting.  

I like the feeling that the head is pointing out of the window but something is dull.

Getting Better

Getting better, and I'm tired I'll work on it tomorrow.  I think it looks like a golden in Rotti clothing.
Sorry rotti - but nothing beats a golden.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

The no good rotten Bad Day

I used to read the book "Alexander and the no good horrible very bad day" to my kids and without giving the ending away, I'll just tell you that Alexander wanted to move to Australia.  I am having a rotten day.  My knee which was getting better had a relapse, I found 3 ticks on my dog and they were still moving, and the furnace isn't working. It is 62 Celsius which is really cold in Fahrenheit.   Of course it has been snowing which means everyone is trying to find a gas station to put on winter tires. Worst of all every store I have been in has been playing "Let it snow, Let it snow". According to Wikipedia, that song was written by Sammy Cahn during a heatwave.  No one above the 49th parallel would ever write that song unless you were a ski hill owner or a snowboarder.



Don't even like what I worked on.  

At least there is always coffee.

Maybe I'll move to Australia.


Monday, 17 November 2014

A good Dane

I love the comic Mother Goose and Grimm.  He published a cartoon of a Great Dane with the caption "you are a good Dane not a great one".  I just can't get it out of my head and I can't see a Great Dane without the caption.  So here is a good Dane:



I laugh everytime I think about it.  Good Dane -  Ha.