June 27, 2015

My Artist Friend Dave

June 24, 2015

"My Manet" is finished. Drying until June 30 when I will take it to the Barrie Art Club. Hope it gets some laughs.

June 20, 2015

Germaniums were on sale at Canadian Tire yesterday - I love germaniums so I bought 6 hanging baskets at 5.99 each. Is that a bargain or what?

June 18, 2015

Lots of ducks and geese in the harbour today. Very unusual. I wonder if they know something I don't know? 

June 17, 2015

Can you see the little ducklings? I believe they were born today. No mom in sight! Click on the picture for a close up. 


                8 ducklings for sure - maybe 9!
Oh oh - the mother comes flying in - she came flying in and screamed at me and my iPhone! Was she away bragging about her litter [do ducks have "litters"? I doubt it. In any case most of them seem to have 5 or 6 duckings - I have never seen a mom with 8 or 9 of them before. 

She very carefully takes them for their first swim!

June 15, 2015

Undressing the men!

June 13, 2015


In case you haven’t been here before let me tell you who I am - 
I am an 81 year old reasonable healthy, reasonably happy woman. I live with my little, also old, dog who goes by “Josie”. She is a cocapoo [some spaniel, mostly poodle), almost 14 which makes her in her nineties. She doesn’t hear very well (except when the fridge door opens!) nor (according to the vet) see very well although she still runs like the wind from my apartment door to the elevator. She is having bladder problems and has to wear a diaper a good part of the time - never in public and always at night. She sleeps a lot but still finds time to draw interesting patterns with her food. Sometimes in her her bowl. Sometimes on the floor. You don’t believe me? Just wait and see!
I have 2 daughters in their sixties. Unfortunately we are estranged and I do not see them. I raised them alone and it often happens this way for mothers who raise their children (especially daughters I imagine) alone. There is no one else to blame. I also have 3 granddaughters and although we are in touch our relationships are difficult due to the break with my daughters as well as just the general neurosis embedded in all our genes. 
I hadn’t thought of keeping a journal in my blog but this morning I wrote some memories of my grandmother that I may have changed my mind. I feel obligated to post in my blog but seldom do so. If I am working on a painting it is easy to make entries but otherwise I tend to forget it. Not that it matters as only a few people read my blog anyway. I rather like it that way. In any case I think I may start entering little memories to keep you entertained. So here is the first one - for Nellie English - my Grandmother who owned Green Gables at Wasaga Beach, drove a 35 Buick with a rumble seat and wintered in Florida for as long as I knew her!

My painting of My Grandmother and I - thats me on the porch.



The last time I saw my grandmother she had a 3 to 4 inch white hair growing out of her chin. Such an insult to such a meticulous woman. Thank god she was unaware of the monstrosity. She was in a hospital bed. Covered in white everything. Asleep. I put my hand on her leg and she gave me the filthiest look I have ever seen or ever will see. She thought I was her daughter! When she realized it was me her blue blue eyes shone “Oh, its you Betty!”. I can’t remember what we said or how we said it. I only knew we knew we loved each other. 
Her daughter [my mother] sat in the corner of the room waiting for her mother to die. She was wearing her black dress - the same dress she wore to her funeral a week or so later. That particular church had a side pew for the closest relatives of the deceased so I had a good view of my mother. She sat in the pew looking sulky and put upon. I don’t remember her crying. Before the death she had been to Birks to have the jewelry appraised and arrangements had already been made to sell the house. She was worried and afraid - she had reason to believe her mother might have left her [the only child] out of her will. Good reason. Less than a month before my grandmother had asked me to come and visit her in her lovely village home. Almost as soon as I walked in the door she said “Betty, your mother is insane”!! I knew my mother was wicked but I don’t think I really knew what “insane” meant. I was an ignorant 26 or so year old. 
Grandma went on to tell me this story. She had had a heart attack while in Florida, my mother went down to bring her home and put her to bed and try to keep her in bed. I wasn't speaking to my mother at this time so knew none of the details of the month or so grandma was, as she said, “trapped there”. It was when she was trapped there that she realized her only daughter and only child was insane. She told me how mom had tried to make her take more medicine than she needed - told her she wet the bed etc etc. As grandma said “I had a heart attack, not a stroke!” Eventually my grandmother managed to walk to a nearby pay telephone and call her nephew Harold who came on the pretence of a visit to grandma but knowing he would be taking her home. My mother asked him to bring Grandma’s very nice Chaise Lounge which he did [it became my mothers, of course!]. When he took it out of the trunk of his car my Grandmother said “Oh Harold, it is too bad you couldn’t have fit my house in the trunk - Helen has a place all picked out for it - right here on the corner of her lot!”. 

She wasn’t home long when her doctor said she had to have her gall bladder removed. She called me to come and visit her a few weeks before she was to be operated on. I know now that she knew then she wouldn’t be returning home. She said she was going to change her will and what did I want? I only wanted her to be alive. On the bus going back to the city I remember wishing she had invited my kids and I to come and live with her. I didn’t think she would want us. It wouldn’t have worked and she probably knew that. Both of us were way too independent. I think she decided it was better to just go to the hospital and let herself die which is exactly what she did. While in that hospital room she got some of her own back. While I was there her daughter came to her bedside with some words. Grandma said “YOU …- you just rub my fucking leg!!!” I had never heard my grandmother say as much as “damn” in her life! My mother did rub her leg. 

She was a charmer. My grandmother. She was wealthy and I asked her how she had made her money. I guess I was about 26 and I had the mumps and she came and stayed with me for a few days. I knew her husband was a child molester but had buried the knowledge. She always supported the old bastard. He sat in his rocking chair with silver dollars in his pocket in case some vulnerable child came along and he could pay them for a feel or look at their genitals. She built him his own house - I imagine so it was plain to everyone that she didn’t sleep in the same bed as the old reprobate. 


Hey! I have written enough for today!

June 06, 2015

More Work in Progress - I am liking the water based oil paints!

June 05, 2015

Life Drawing yesterday at the Barrie Art Club


June 04, 2015

Work in Progress

June 03, 2015


Manet painted "Luncheon on the Grass" in 1862. It wasn't well accepted in Paris!

Some time ago I redrew it the way it might have been. It is on a piece of canvas 16 x 20. If it works I will somehow attach the piece of canvas to some kind of hangable backing.

This morning I started to paint it because the theme of the BAC's July show is "An Afternoon in the Park". Members get to hang their painting at the club for the month and we choose and vote on the best works. First choice hangs in the Royal Bank for the following month and second choice hangs in the Club. Not sure where third choice goes? I am painting with water based Oil Paints for the first time. More about that later but so far they seem wonderful!     



This is part of the living room wall in my new apartment. I renamed and remade the area - it is now "my studio and gallery" [gave up my rented studio] and the master bedroom has become my living room. It works! Hope I will get back to painting as I have done so little since I moved to Barrie.

June 02, 2015

Friday morning portraits at the Barrie Art Club. Dave posed for us. He was wearing a very slick leather hat which does not look anything like the flower pot I painted on his head. Something seriously wrong with his right hip too - it seems to be growing out of his side somehow. Oh well :-)

May 22, 2015

Barrie from my balcony - looking East at 5.15 this morning. The clocks are above city hall which is only a 10 [maybe 15 minute walk away].

May 15, 2015


The first ducklings Josie and I have seen this spring. Wouldn't it be great to see them being born? Where did their Dad go? I see a couple of males swimming together close by - very unusual - maybe they are discussing the responsibility?!

April 26, 2015

You may have seen this before but I think it is cute enough to see twice?!

April 25, 2015

Since I haven't been painting lately I will have to show you what Josie has been up to. As you can see she neatly arranged her "feeding station" before she went to bed on this night. Do you doubt she is an artist?

March 22, 2015

DO NOT TOUCH THIS FOOD!! Can you not see it is hidden?! Saved for a rainy day! blah blah blah. You should hear her nasty bark if I even look at this hidden cache!

March 21, 2015

Getting back to work after a month of illness - all out of proportion but better than nothing!

March 07, 2015

RE LIFE DRAWING AT A PLACE TO PAINT [Under the Edge] - I will be 81 this month. I am running out of steam and it is time for me to Retire! We had the beginning of a nice group of Barrie artists wanting to do life and/or Portrait drawing on Sunday afternoons. If someone else wants to organize the sessions we can talk about using my studio space and I will attend! In the meantime I will go to the Portrait sessions at the Barrie Art Club on Friday mornings. Hope to see you there or at my studio soon [don’t think I will get back there until March 9 or so - be careful - there are some very nasty bugs floating around!]. Many Thanks to everyone concerned - both with the Life Drawing and for helping me beat the nasty bug! I appreciate everyone more than I can say.

March 01, 2015

Re- Life Drawing at A Place to Paint [under The Edge] this Sunday, March 1/15.
Sorry but it is not possible this week - I am hoping, expecting and looking forward to next Sunday but will wait until mid week to book the model. If it is a go we will meet at The Edge Gallery at 1.15, bring $12.00 and email me to confirm although you can also just take a chance. Don't forget downtown parking is free on the weekend. 
Thanks, bettybishop@me.com

Will try and get Barb to model again but this time it will only be for 2 hours - last week she sat for almost 3 hours and only charged me for 2!

PS-I spent a couple of nights in Barrie's Royal Victoria Hospital last week. As good as an experience as being in a hospital can be! I was impressed! I have some lost strength to regain before I can get back to work. Thanks to my friends for their care and concern. MUCH appreciated!

February 16, 2015

One of my rejects - painted it at The Art Students League in New York but it never worked so it has been under my bed with a lot of other rejects.

A month or more ago I started painting over her...

and last week I gave her a plant which certainly works a lot better than that blue what ever it was. WIP. 

February 15, 2015

Ready for Sunday's Life Drawing Session - even though it is freezing cold out there!


This Canvas is 6' x 4' and ready for Gesso - The photo is the Polar Bear Swimmers [from the Barrie Examiner] which we hope to paint on the canvas?!

February 14, 2015


Drawing portraits at The Barrie Art Club - a great way to spend a morning!

February 12, 2015

Josie up to her neck at Petscool Spa
Waiting patiently for a Shave and a haircut
"Oh God Mom I am exhausted!" - thats what she said. I swear!



February 08, 2015

Angela - I don't know why you can't see it but there is a dot of red in the corner of each eye.

February 04, 2015

I thought this looked pretty good when I drew it at the Barrie Art Club - when I got home and looked at it again I realized the head is way too big and the hands [especially!] way too small!
Add caption


and I have done it again here - tiny shoulders! Grrr.


January 31, 2015

My friend Angela - Oil  on Canvas - unfinished? 18" x 14" ? it is at the studio so I am not sure of the sizes.

January 29, 2015

A friend made Josie this lovely warm faux fur lined winter coat. Sometimes the hood falls over her eyes. When that happens she can't see so she simply lays down on the floor  - doesn't move a muscle but whines, moans and groans and once I thought I heard her cry "help" - until I lift the hood and she can Live again.  If she hadn't been born a dog I swear she would have been a clown!

Anja sitting for our Sunday afternoon drawing session 



My partially finished Charcoal on newsprint drawing of Anja 

January 22, 2015

This is an old old 12 x 12 that needs to be fixed or destroyed. I forgot to take a picture of it before I began painting over it - it was a woman holding a baby and it didn't work. My goal in my new studio is to either fix a great pile of rejects or dump them. Too many paintings under my bed!

I have no idea where she is going - if anywhere. I will see what she has to say for herself tomorrow.