April 25, 2016



I was lucky enough to have a conversation with Thelonius Monk around 1974 or thereabouts [he was playing at the Colonial Tavern on Yonge Street in Toronto]. We were in his room at the Royal York Hotel and his wife shuffled in and out of the room in her blue slippers as we talked. I wrote our conversation down and just came across it during my Spring Cleaning. Enjoy! If necessary click on it to enlarge. 

March 19, 2016

Near the end ...
Most of my life has been lived alone except for a couple of great dogs. Dogs are wonderful friends, companions and housemates. Josie was my last dog. She died 4 months ago I miss her every day. In fact I think I write these words to fill the big space she left in my life. She was an approximately 20 pound Cocapoo with a lot more Poodle than Cocker Spaniel. Three months over 14 years old when the vet's assistant gave her a needle and she lay her achingly beautiful little head on his table and we said goodbye to each other. Josie told me she was tired of living as plainly as one person can tell another person. She started to tell me around six months before the end. It was a gradual falling apart both mentally and physically until one day, as she lay in her little bed in front of the sliding doors, with the sun on her back, she told me she wanted to go. She had a diaper on one end and an Elizabethan collar on the other end.
If you ever have to put a dog down I have a piece of advice for you. After it is done get in your car and go for a long drive. Standing by the side of a lake or in the middle of a forest might be better butwasn't available to me. The car worked well. My vet was a half hour highway drive away. The windows were closed and there was little traffic. I cried and cursed the gods who "would take a sweet innocent dog like Josie who never, in her whole life hurt a soul, who gave nothing but pleasure and at least a laugh a day" away from me and away from the world. You are one mean son of a bitch God!

March 08, 2016

How do you like my 9 year old great grandson's Giraffe? The photo doesn't do justice to his colours which are much brighter. I love it!

February 29, 2016

I am once again working on my 4 x 6' canvas. Sketching the Barrie Polar Bear Swimmers 2014 and that is a little drawing of Josie and I sitting in the park. I may have to remove us but the nice thing about charcoal is that it is easy to erase.
Hey folks - I month until April - what a great winter it has been in Barrie.

February 18, 2016

This may or may not be the beginning of what I am calling My Words


Robbie Burns said "if only the gift the gods would gie us to see ourselves as others see us ...".              

I will be 82 years old in less than 2 months. They call me elderly! A month or so ago I was on one of the new Toronto streetcars. These streetcars seem to run remotely with the operator having nothing to drive. They sit in a little cubicle at the front of the car -  looking at computer screens. I asked a young man sitting across from me how I could get a transfer. He knocked on the cubicle window and said to the attendant "excuse me sir but this elderly woman wants to know how to get a transfer". Elderly woman!? Me? I don't have a walker, I don't even carry a cane. How did that young man reach the conclusion I was elderly? What did he see that I don't see? I look in my mirror and I find my self rather attractive - especially if I keep my eyes away from my neck! I do NOT see old - even when I look in my full length mirror I do NOT see old.  I have to admit my body and my mind don't work quite as well as they once did - my step is not as firm as it was even 5 years ago and my short term memory is an unnerving disgrace. The surprising thing about old age is this - our feelings don't change when we get old. Which leads to "there is no fool like an old fool". Quite true. Yes, we know we are old but we don't feel old. Keep that in mind when you are talking to us please. Hardly anyone does. Those who do are a real treat - they stand out in the crowd. They talk to me as they would if I wasn't old. I notice and appreciate even if I say nothing. Trust me - I notice. We notice.

February 13, 2016


Friday BAC portrait session - More work with the ipadpro and Apple Pencil - 2 artists volunteered to sit for 20 or so minutes each. I am just trying to get used to all the things this magic pencil can do! I love the convenience of it. Click to enlarge. 

February 07, 2016




More fairly quick Procreate sketches at the Barrie Art Club - click for more detail. Fun!

February 06, 2016

Portrait of Sandy - iPad painting at the Barrie Art Club 

January 31, 2016

2nd drawing - on top of the first gesture drawing 
First Gesture Drawing 



third drawing

Wow! I bought myself an ipadpro a couple of weeks ago [$1049.00 or so!] and ordered the apple pencil [another $145.00 or so]. They are wonderful. I did the first gesture drawing in my iPad at a Life drawing session. I hate gestures but this one actually didn't turn out too badly so I took my ipadpro [a 12" x 9" iPad] to bed last night and played with the drawings [one on top of the other] until I got this rather interesting result. If you know anyone who is wheelchair ridden and has an interest in art they would love the ipadpro. I love it! Click on the images for close up looks. 

January 27, 2016


I finally get back to making some marks on this huge 4' x 6' canvas! Scroll down to see where I started and what I started from. It has been such a long time because I am also trying to write my memoirs! A BIG challenge even if they do seem to be almost writing themselves. I get up early in the morning and usually do about 2 hours and 1000 words per day. 

January 15, 2016

YES! YES! YES! 

I will be able to plan my own death in my own time and my own way!!!

I own my own Life - to do with as I will.  

It will be a party folks - dying is only topped by being born!! I am in no hurry but I hope I will be as kind to me as I was to my little dog.

Thank you Canada - thank you Supreme Court - thank all those who worked and fought and died for this right!

January 05, 2016

I built this girl years ago - from foil paper wrapped in plaster bandages material [not sure what to call it]. She has been laying around with a broken leg an the plaster has turned yellow. Time for a redo!

I hope she looks and feels better! Happy 2016 to anyone reading this... the same to ME!

January 03, 2016

More work on this one - fumbling around to find a theme!

January 02, 2016

My oldest granddaughter and her husband. They own a rock climbing school in Thailand.  Tar is Thai and Shannon met him while on vacation. They have been married for over 2 years and it thrills me to see them looking so happy. They own and operate Krabi Rock Climbing which is on Trip Advisor with only rave reviews.

December 29, 2015

            FINALLY getting back to painting  - "Josie and I" Oil on a 14" x 11" Canvas Board -
                                                    I always give myself just a few years!!

December 10, 2015

This canvas is 4' x 6' and it has been waiting in the wings for a long time. Not sure what I am going to do with it. I started with the Polar Bear swimmers but have also started drawing Josie and I in Heritage Park this spring. Hope to get back at it too!

December 07, 2015

Last weeks excellent Life Drawing class last week. Our model Barb is the best model I have ever seen. She never moves a muscle and can make her 5' look like 6'! I sketched this with my favourite 3B pencil in a 5 x 8" sketchbook. 

December 06, 2015

I go to a Portrait group most Friday mornings. No instruction. We take turns drawing or painting each other. I did this one on my iPad using Procreate [a $6.99 app]

November 27, 2015

Finished The Beagle - 10" x 13" Pastel on Paper.  I am very happy with him or her. Worth framing. Liked working with pastels and will try using them to make Christmas cards with a pastel painting of My Josie.

November 23, 2015

One more 2 hour class although he/she looks pretty finished to me? - pastels are very forgiving - just be sure to start with the light colours.

November 20, 2015

Elvera on my iPad - drawn in the Procreate App at the BAC 
on Friday, Nov. 20/15. Fun and a great learning experience. I love doing art in my iPad - no muss, no fuss!
Elvira in my sketchbook on Friday, Nov. 20/15 - using a 3B Pencil - the chair should be much larger!

November 16, 2015



My little jungle in my studio - when I was a kid I had an aunt - Aunt May, she looked like a Dresden Doll - I loved going to her home because she had "stuff" everywhere.  Eyecandy for me! I just loved it and I am sure it is why I love having lots of "stuff" in my house. This is a mixture of real and artifical stuff. 

November 13, 2015

Getting there! 2 more 2 hour classes .... 

November 07, 2015

The beginning of a beautiful beagle! I am in a Pastel Class at the Barrie Art Club - it is fun and  pastel seems very forgiving. 

October 31, 2015

Are these not the most beautiful flowers you have ever seen? 30% off $5.99 - you figure it out. I could be persuaded to sell these - make me an offer! My friend says they are hyacinths but I say they are daffodils.

October 29, 2015

And this terrific cat for all of $4.99 less 30%. Since I don't really understand cats this is exactly the right cat for me! at the right price too! 

October 28, 2015

A Great Find! - hand painted on tin with a solid hanger on the back. I bought it yesterday at Value Village $6.99  less 30% because Tuesday is seniors day. Love it!

October 25, 2015

I guess I should have combed my hair!


Having a last bath in the kitchen sink.


She was born on August 8, 2009. She died last Thursday - October 22, 2015 after 14 years and 46 days of living. We lived together for all but 62 of those days. I thought we had a deal to die on the same day but at the end she got tired and cranky and couldn't wait. I feel she clearly told me she wanted out - I clearly heard her.
She never lost her sweetness. She knew I didn't like her lick/kissing my face so she only did it when she knew I was in distress - like the last day of her life before we headed out to the vet. 
She climbed onto the table willingly, whimpered a bit when they inserted the catheter [if I had to do it over again ai would ask they simply search for a vein and only use the catheter as a last resort - it is painful]. I massaged her little brain as I had done most every night for most of her life - she got a "full body massage" but the brain was her sweet spot. Almost immediately she lay her little head on the table. Her ears were perfectly placed, her left eye [the only one I could see] was open. She was SO beautiful - I wish I had taken a picture although I know I will never forget how lovely and perfect she looked. 
Josie was a Joy. My Joy. She gave me a laugh a day most every day of her life. Such a sweet, smart, sensitive,funny dog you can't even imagine! Unless, of course, you have been in love with your own dog. Then you will understand. 

I am posting this because I have friends and family who also loved Josie and right now I can't talk about her without crying and yet I know they would want to know she doesn't live with me anymore and never will again. 
I am so glad and grateful we knew and loved each other.

October 24, 2015

"My" dog to be was in a cage with 4 adorable looking velvety black little pinchers. "Mine" was an off white Cocapoo with a red/blond Spaniel streak down her back a very poodley face. I watched her for a long time. She became mine when the attendant came to feed the dogs. All 5 dogs scrambled and begged to get out but only one made it as far as the woman's shoulder - hey! thats MY dog!! I asked if I could hold her. Certainly. She rested her head on my left shoulder gazed up at my face and never moved as we walked around the store listening to other customers say "look at that dog - they are made for each other etc.!!  You know I bought her, bought the cage, bought the food and anything else we needed. We headed for the subway and a fairly long ride home. She stayed on my shoulder the whole way. I suppose some would say we bonded! I would say we fell in love. Eventually I named her Josie. We lived together until the day before yesterday. 


More tomorrow or the next day ..... 

October 23, 2015

A Little Story about A Little Dog 
It was October 11. 2001. Exactly a month after I had watched the planes crash into the Towers in New York City. A Canadian friend was walking down 5th Avenue and saw it happen. She told me how brave the New Yorkers were - continuing in their work with tears in their eyes. 
New York was on my mind as I walked East along Queen Street past St. Micheal's Hospital where the good looking intelligent looking man who often slept on the grate at the corner. One day he spoke to me - "nice rack" he said. I didn't even know what a rack was! 
October 11/2009 was a beautiful fall day and I had time on my hands. I decided I would go to Yorkdale. They had a large PJ Pet Store I had been avoiding for some time. I needed a dog and now that the towers had fallen I had the perfect excuse! A couple of months before I bought a loft condo on Queen Street East. Pets were allowed. No further rationalization was needed! I knew I should buy from a breeder but when you live in the city, don't have a car or know what kind of dog you want that was rather impossible. 


More tomorrow................... or the next day