April 19, 2014

Drawing Sheila - the Portrait Group at the BAC - we take turns drawing each other for 2 hours on Friday mornings. I'm not very good at it but that is not the point. 0I love it!

April 18, 2014


I was born to a mother who wanted no children and a father who wanted a dozen. They married in 1933 during the  Canadian Depression.  A 26 year old Catholic city girl and a farm raised Protestant 35 year old who had gone North to help pay the mortgage on the farm. They honeymooned at the Ford Hotel in Toronto as did I 18 years later.  She jumped on the bed in glee. I think she was very glad to get away from her parents. For good reason.
They moved to Swastika which is 5 miles from Kirkland Lake where my father worked underground at the Lakeshore Mines. Rented a house from Rosie Brown. Does anyone out there remember Rosie Brown? If I have time I will tell you about her later. If you can't wait google Rosie Brown of Kirkland Lake.
I was born 9 months after they were married  and my brother Bob 11 months after me. This spoiled only child who didn't want children wasn't a good mother. I once had a lovely big dog - the breeder said "she will be a good mother". It was like that. My mother was not a good mother and she never grew into being a good mother although she enjoyed some of us more than others of us. It must have been awful for both of them despite being newly married and undoubtedly in love. My father told me he bought 24 dozen diapers "because there was never a clean diaper to change you kids!"
She didn't feed me and I had convulsions - the doctor told her her baby was starving and she claimed her milk was no good. Years later My father said "don't train you daughter the way your mother trained you. You were tied on that damn po chair when I went to work in the morning and still tied there when I came home at night!" I feel the only relief from her must have been my beautiful little brother.  I was walking and talking at 11 months old and would give Bob my thumb to suck when he cried. It makes me feel very good to think of this because it tells me I must have been a kind and good little kid. Some kids are kind and sweet and others just aren't. It's all about genetics. If I was good at heart then I must be good at heart now. At times the thought of giving Bob my thumb to suck has calmed doubts about my nature.

April 17, 2014

Looking back from 80

Hell, when you are 80 it doesn't make a lot of sense to look anywhere but back does it!
I have a rather dramatic story to tell. I haven't lived an ordinary life although I suppose few people consider their life ordinary. We all have a story to tell. I intend to tell mine! I have given a lot of thought to how, when,  where it should be told and decided to do it within and as part of my blog. The  internet and the World Wide Web is such a wonderful, inviting, interesting, comfortable, and forgiving place for an 80 year old to let it all hang out that I have decided to do just that. These words are part of my fight against becoming invisible.  I also hope they will comfort an older women and help a younger woman  learn from my mistakes as well as my gumption. As my psychiatrist said "you are a survivor". I am that. I don't pretend to be a writer.

I wasn't born into kindness and I can't say I have had an easy life. However, at age 80 I am still putting one foot in front of the other (fairly confidently) and hopefully with a smile on my  face most of the time. I have been lucky or resourceful or clever or desperate enough to buy myself financial security. I assure all women this is of the utmost importance! It is bad enough to be a lonely old  woman but you definitely don't want to be a lonely POOR old woman. Hell, if I was poor I couldn't be dictating this into my iPhone while I lay in my very comfortable bed, in my rather luxurious apartment with my sweet (but expensive) little dog at my feet. I couldn't have travelled, wouldn't have seen the Acropolis, the Coliseum or talked to that Jewish man in Germany in 1990 or so. Females - earn your own money and save for your old age!  More and more of us are going to be alone in our old age. Money won't make you happy but it will make life bearable.
Despite being financially comfortable - despite having most of my marbles, despite having good physical health some good and interesting friends and a wonderful hobby I often feel very alone and lonely at 80. I am grateful but I can tell you 80 ain't easy for me. It may have to do with the life I have lived and the decisions I have made. That is for you to decide.

April 13, 2014

Do not touch this bone!! my Sunday morning BIG laugh. Josie has "hidden" it. She is saving it for a rainy day. I guess she became disgusted when I removed it from behind the pillows on the sofa - decided she would try the bathroom. LOL!

April 12, 2014

I was late for the Friday morning BAC session - no room at the tables so I sat on a chair behind the other artists. I had less than an hour for this one of John.

And about half an hour for "Dave". This is VERY hard work but I think they are improving? My goal is just to get the whole person on the page. I did so it this one but the rest of him is so awful you wouldn't want to see it!

April 10, 2014

The Barrie Art Club has a show in the Rotunda of City Hall. This painting by Alice Burton knocked my socks off!! It says, to me,  everything there is to say. Do I need to tell you she is a Newfoundlander?

April 08, 2014

A New Yorker Cartoon.

April 07, 2014

My Josie is certainly an artist! I wish I could catch her in the act of piling the second row of food on the bottom row!

April 06, 2014


Miriam  My Friday morning workout at the Barrie Art Club    

March 23, 2014

The artist with her work! Every night Josie eats her dinner then arranges her food and dishes in various patterns. Does she do this to guarantee me a laugh a day?!

March 22, 2014

One hour sketch at the Barrie Art Club Friday morning art class.

March 13, 2014

One hour sketch of Ed Murphy at the Barrie Art Club - Portraits group on Fridays mornings.

March 08, 2014

WANTED! - Ashstone Quicksilver Jake CKC, scion of Bolo [Alias "Jake the Rake"]. Well known bagel thief. Address Unknown.  CRIMINAL CHARGE - Internet Luring and lusting after Miss Josephine Plain old Part Poodle. Miss Josephine claims the Rake is harassing her, sweet talking her and making false promises via the internet. If you have seen this animal please comment!

March 06, 2014

My mom was out from before noon until almost 4 yesterday afternoon. I ask you!! I left this tiny piece of poop in the middle of the floor for her when she got home. She didn't appreciate it -  She shamed me and made me feel as guilty as only a Part Poodle could feel. Would neither listen to my explanation nor accept my apology. God knows how long I will have to spend in the dog house this time.

February 25, 2014

I will hang this painting in the Barrie Art Club's March monthly Monthly Member's Show - I like this painting a lot and I love the frame which is an old family frame.

February 19, 2014

My friend Richard did this on his ipad using the Artrage App! I am pretty sure it was Artrage ...

February 13, 2014

This painting has been waiting on my easel for a long time - I moved almost 4 months ago and probably haven't painted for 6 months in total. I know it is a copy of a master's work - but what Master? I don't know. It is signed and dated 1994. I don't have room for all my paintings now so am going to work on old ones with the hope I can improve them.

"Face Lift #1" - 10 years later - February 12/14.

February 11, 2014

This isn't Josie although it certainly looks like her. My friend Holly Farrell sent this to me. So cute! Holly's paintings can be found at http://www.hollyfarrell.com/
You will love them.

February 10, 2014

I was the model for our Portrait group on Friday - this is me by a fellow artist.

February 06, 2014

Josie's gift of a daily laugh!

Do I see a bump in that mat?

Saved for a rainy day! What a good little housekeeper she is!

February 02, 2014

I joined the Portrait Painters at the Barrie Art Club for 2 hours on Friday morning - they take turns sitting. I like his boots but you can't see them very well.

January 29, 2014

My funny little Cocapoo!

Day One - What's so funny Mom?! You don't think I can count?

Day 2

Day 3 - "Like the 2x2x2 pattern? See that one on the mat - that is a piece of poop - just for you! because you won't take me for a walk!! I knew you would berate me if I did it on the floor so I was a good dog doing bad! I also know it is too cold to go out but I don't care - I feel abused and if I feel abused I AM abused! Go ahead laugh!"

January 27, 2014

Josie's opinion re more snow and especially more cold weather. I am going to buy her snow boots today. Hope I can find fur lined boots for dogs?!

January 25, 2014

 Life drawing workshop at the Barrie Art Club today - I am reasonably pleased with these although I can see lots wrong with them too.

January 24, 2014

Dog Days of January

Richard sent me another picture of his Jake - a good thing someone is painting because I'm certainly not! Going to a Life Drawing workshop tomorrow so I will be forced to do something - I hope!

My Josie - probably pining for her old home! We are both very sick of this freezing weather. Walks are impossible as it is simply too cold.

January 17, 2014

5 or so years ago I had a group of children come to my house for art lessons every Saturday. What a pleasure they were! You can see their work at http://thekidshanghere.blogspot.com/
Sarah is now in her last year of high school and last week she sent me her current work. Wow!

January 06, 2014

This came from the Barrie Enterprise newspaper - these are the New Years about to be swimmers. What a great and impossible painting. I have started with a sketch.

January 03, 2014

This painting [pretty sure it is a copy of a painting of Matisse's wife] has been sitting on this easel in my living room for at least a month. I painted it years ago but it doesn't work for me - too flat - even though I often like flat. It is waiting for me put some paint on my palette and get at it. Maybe this weekend?

December 31, 2013

You woke me up to say Happy New Year? Give me a break!

December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year from me and my sidekick!