July 31, 2015


                                                                      Finished Anya - 20" x 16 - Oil on Canvas


                                   Working on this self portrait of Josie and I - like it so far!
My reference is this selfie of Josie and I - taken in her bathroom mirror - when grooming her she always wants a snuggle so leans into me ...

July 29, 2015

I may have given up on this one - OR maybe I will go back to it another day. There are supposed to be 2 more men on the left side of the police lineup and I only have room for 1!! The measuring stick in the middle [which was where I started this drawing] should have been further to the right. All in the learning. I did learn something good though - The original painting was done by an New York artist and drawing teacher. Her name is Michelle Zalopany. I love her work! 

This is the 4' x 6' canvas that [in my dreams!] will eventually [will I live that long?]  hold the Barrie Polar Bear Club Swimmers - New Year's Day [2014].
First sketch - once I get a decent sketch [if ever?!] I will do some small paintings before attempting the big one. 

July 27, 2015

This morning's drawing/copying exercise - I don't remember the name of the artist who did this black and white drawing but I love her work.

I keep my art books piled against the wall of my studio - a great solution when you have too many books for your bookshelves!

July 25, 2015

Up early this morning trying to sketch Mary Beth McKenzie [.com] preparing to attempt to copy her self portrait ....

and a quick sketch of Josie and Simon facing off while watching a Delecroix video and taking notes.

July 24, 2015

Early morning in my studio - where I am is where Josie is!

Later - in the den with my mac and Josie under the computer table.

July 23, 2015

A tall friend came and finished hanging most of the paintings in my den. Isn't this a delicious mess?! Click for a closer look.

July 22, 2015

My Josie [She asked me to remove her diaper before posting this picture - sorry Jos!] facing down Sly who is my friends cat. First meeting between these 2 animals!

July 19, 2015

A great workshop with Tom Campbell yesterday. What a great teacher! I have had this  8 x 10 half finished painting sitting around for over a year. I felt the Red Umbrella etc was too big but didn't know how to paint them out - Tom suggested they were ok and sure enough they were once I put some more people in the picture. I hope you can see the naked woman on her iPhone as well as the one who is fully dressed?! 

July 15, 2015

You may have seen this before. I did it some time ago but have never liked it and didn't know what was wrong with it. Last week I had lunch with this friend and realized I had painted her with a square head!

Back on the easel she goes ....

Still lots to do but at least her head isn't square now!

July 08, 2015

More Ducklings at Heritage Park

Me about 35 years ago!

July 07, 2015

Josie and I

 Food hidden under carpet - DO NOT TOUCH!

July 05, 2015

Drawing  on Newsprint with various mediums

July 04, 2015

Kempenfelt Bay in Barrie

It feels like I am living on the Riviera! So many smiling people today!

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?