In fact I love winter, I just hope there isn't flooding with snow turning into rain and if it freezes again I hope the wheels of our car don't get frozen stuck in several inches of solid ice like they did last Sunday.
My hand warmer which looks like a large, oversize tea bag was still warm as I ate my dinner tonight and then clambered up the stairs to look at the internet.
This pastel is from earlier in the afternoon not far from Crooks Hollow Rd, where I planted myself as firmly as I could on a deep snowy embankment with partial sun and particles of blowing snow.
The descent from the road was short but fairly steep and at one point laden down with stuff, I misjudged the depth of the snow, lost my balance and fell forward. Shirley said that at least I had something soft to fall into.
But she had an equally unsettling experience - I thought the wind sent her easel flying, but she said no, it broke.
Crooks hollow unfinished pastel on toned paper approximately 10"X10"
In spite of the warming trend I only half dressed and instead of rushing
outside to glory in the warming trend, I propped a drawing I had worked on last
Sunday against a piece of furniture in my dining room and worked on it for over
an hour. The challenge alwaysis
that the model is absent and so is the combination of muted natural light and
artificial light of the3rd
floor studio – in place of which I have the mid day light of my south facing
dining room. Not that I mind but I do nevertheless have to be cognizant of that
difference. Not that I wish to burden anyone with that trifling detail, it’s enough that I burden myself. Now I hardly sound sincere and that poses
a different kind of problem – a peculiarity of character that I’ve had years of
practice at. You know what they say – practice, practice, practice.
Not as cold as they said it would be, especially when the sun came out. Also I had a pair
of hand warmers and although the expiry date read July of last year, lo and
behold they still worked like a charm. Mind you I did bring back up warmers that were current.
I borrowed my husband’s camera to take a few photos but he forgot to put in the battery,so that ended that idea. Now that there’s a warming trend I’ll try to get back there tomorrow or Thursday.
December 29, 2013
This was the last drawing I worked on at our open life
studio before the end of last year.The paper was very gritty,
indestructible – not the best to
my liking – but I prepared it myself. Of course it comes in handy to blame the
paper. The truth is I'm still fiddling. As my grandmother might have said, so nu?
Seated figure, pastel on gessoed watercolor paper 19"x24"
We said good-bye. A few minutes later in the background I heard the
gunningof a motor, but paid no
attention. When it persisted and got more desperate, I went to the window. It was our
car. There he was with our neighbour, two shovels, a bag of salt, a few grunts and a
push and eventually he left.
That’s the thing – there
was snow over ice from yesterday’s topping. Quick sketch.
My friend Gershon once said, (actually more than once)that because he hadn't painted that day he really shouldn't eat. I said somewhat alarmed, “Oh!”. I was very young.
This was said while we were already eating – both of us cabbage borscht and gefilte fish with
horse radish. Really good menu at this restaurant, The Bagel, they generally
drew a large crowd (they made
their own bagelsdaily – huge), near his studio on Spadina.
The owner of The Bagel, Benny, was short, bald
head, white shirt and apron, wonderful man - a character. So was Gershon. Both were Polish. Gershon had a number on his forearm if you get the idea – but not Benny.
Every once in awhile Benny would fly off the handle –
seldom really - but noticeable when he did. And his wife behind the counter would
say quietly, “Benny, please.”I
commented about this, his anger. Gershon said that maybe he had a reason to be
angry i.e. there was a cause - and how could I judge if I didn’t know. I waited
for an explanation but there wasn’t any.
But back to Gershon and his painting/eating thing – what
made him say that? Was it guilt? Maybe he was just addicted to painting through
the night and the bottle of vodka that went with it. I was much too young to
know about things like being, driven etc – still don’t
Last Sunday morning was like a skating rink again. When you stepped outside the ground was covered with a treacherous sheet of ice – sidewalks, roads, parking lots. Old people as they walked to church to sing hymns, pray, worship - took their time with
cautious, mincing carefully measured steps – to slip and break
something on their way to worship would be like a bad joke, worse – it wouldn’t do – for one, it would almost certainly disappoint
their priest or rector, much more than missing a carefully crafted sermon – upsetting all around.
Watch yourself my husband cautioned. I was on my way religiously to James North where I attend the life drawing sanctuary once a week – I’ve
taken a vow to go as regularly as possible. But naturally once in a while I miss, like most of us, I slip up now and then.
I have a rhythm section in my left ear, a percussive
tapping that fades in and out.
Right now it’s at rest. Sometimes it feels as
though I have a front row seat at a gig with Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich who I enjoy, find exciting. Or maybe a flamenco dancer with a persistent duende like stamping while
I’m trying to sleep. At first this unsolicited drumming entertained me but after awhile its prolonged hunger for attention wore me out, dismayed me. Now after
a few weeks of it I’ve become mildly detached and accepting as
though a neighbor has just dropped by uninvited or unexpectedly for a visit and
I’m too polite to say, “please not now, I’m busy” and eventually the visitor
gets the idea and leaves.
Two years ago, the name of Man Ray re-crossedmy radar. How that came about - I had
recently watched a fascinating film based on the
novel, The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera. There was a memorable scene for me where the doctor’s mistress, an artist, is showing the doctor’s most recent
mistress (who has recently developed a relationship with her camera) some
photographs from a book on Man Ray, or was it on Man Ray’s wife? There’s quite
possibly some misinformation here. I should rewatch that film when I have a chance. Then I too decided to leaf
through some of Man Ray's extraordinary photographs.
oil on canvas paper 9"x12" based loosely on a black and white photo by Man Ray (not shown)
This blog is dedicated primarily to the endeavor of list making - an inventory of sorts of various things I've done both in the recent and distant past and recent present - some drawing, sculpture, painting.
My interest in working as an artist has been predominantly figurative and I'm indebted to figurative sculptor John Fillion who I studied with at the U of Guelph.
All material on this blog is under copyright.