A matter of time

Posted by bernicky - March 30th, 2016

Thursday is the official homecoming for our daughter. Friday will be her eighteenth birthday. She starts her first job on April 5th going for training for McDonald’s. Her first year of CEGEP will end mid May and by sometime in June she should have her driver’s license.


Surrounded by artists

Posted by bernicky - March 23rd, 2016

Donna sews and has been learning to make soap. What you need to understand about Donna is that there is nothing half measure when she takes up a task. When she learned to cook she became a chef. When she learned first aid she became a nurse – well that’s over stating it, but she is a nurse. Soap may not sound like an art but anything can be an art if you approach it that way. Donna used to enjoy cake decoration and soap, if caught at the right time and at the right moisture content, can be handled in a similar fashion to fondant. I don’t know if that is true, it’s what Donna has told me, and she is very excited by the prospect of being able to create soap sculpture. Very cool.

Yesterday I found out that two people I work with paint in oils. It was an accidental discovery as I was asking about the location of the nearest Canadian Tire and when they told me I realized it was right next to Michael’s craft store. I remarked that not many men would know where Michael’s was and not realize there was a hardware store right beside it. Soon a crafting discussion took place, which revealed the love of bargain basement canvas and the fact that they both painted in oils.

Our daughter has sorted out which paint she likes the best in the world of acrylic. I don’t like acrylic, but understand why people use it. It is fast drying, opaque, forgiving and vibrant. It also deteriorates quicker than all other paint media. She’s young, learning and a much better artist than I will ever be so I hope that she will change to a different medium in the future. We bought a slab of modeling clay last week so I know something’s up.

Donna was also the inspiration behind a short story called “Donna’s Bear” which is a very short text for a board book. The idea was Donna’s, I wrote it and now Nikki is illustrating it. Nikki and I “met” on Facebook in the Sketchbooker’s group. Why have someone else do the illustration when I draw and paint? Because she is better than I am and her style is much better suited to the subject matter. With her art, my words and lettering and Donna’s inspiration we will put the book out on iTunes and Amazon this year. Here are some of the sketches she has already done.





Nikki and I also share a love of Bluegrass

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Less important mistakes

Posted by bernicky - March 22nd, 2016

Last night a painting went crabwise early on. The smart thing to do would have been to scrap it and start over but I’m not always smart. All learning comes from mistakes and failure, success teaches us nothing.

Last night’s pear shaped escapade evolved into a two and a half hour sketch which resulted in a brooding sunset over a moor. A very simple painting from the look of it but involving eight colours and a generous sprinkling of table salt (I’m not kidding). In the end I like this small painting though, in truth, it is simple and it says nothing yet it is that which I like about it.


Mistakes can be fixed. Failure isn’t fatal. Sometimes the mistakes cause more problems than others. Earlier this year a friend needed a MacBook Pro for work. It was a problem for him to not have one. I had a work issued older model, capable of running El Capitain, which I only used for writing not to put bread on the table. I have an old Windows laptop at home so it didn’t concern me to let him have the machine. I’ve not written a line of fiction since surrendering the MacBook Pro. So surrendering the MacBook Pro was a mistake on one level though my friend is working and using the computer daily to make his living. I’ll have to retrain myself to write on a different machine or, perhaps, return to pen and paper which used to be my favourite way to write because I hated rewriting so much that I would be more patient with what I wrote. Computers make writing easier and faster, no necessarily better. I’m going to keep telling myself that every time I walk by the Mac store.

Another sketch that I like.


Closing in

Posted by bernicky - March 7th, 2016

We’re almost there. Our daughter has been home more frequently of late and it looks like she will spend a whole week at home during the March break from school.

My own March break was a bit of a misnomer. In total I managed one day to myself and the rest of the time running around after our son or our daughter or both and spending money. So much for being frugal.

On the upside the weather broke this morning and we are into the plus side of the temperature gauge for the week according to Environment Canada. A little spring melt and a sunny run will do wonders I think. I’m foregoing my run this morning in favour of taking one at lunch time in the sun along the St. Lawrence in Verdun.

I’m still drawing/painting. Richard sprang for a tube of Winsor & Newton Indian Yellow which I have tested but not used yet. It is a very rich yellow and there’s certain to be some good light come out of it.

graphite-fishing shack0001






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