When I was growing up I we were never poor, but we never indulged in luxuries either. I would say that as prudence goes Dad was pretty prudent. So prudent that whenever the question of eating out or eating at home was posed we always defaulted to eating at home. That meant the daily rotation of meals that were a result of carefully budgeted Meal plans. Simply put, ham on Mondays, stew on Tuesdays, chicken on Wednesdays, etc etc. You get the point.
In those days there were no endless streets lined with fast food joints, all waiting to satisfy your inability to plan your own meals, and pack on the pounds, like today. Nope. There was KFC and McDonald's for that but the only other places were Ponderosa, Swiss Chalet, and big boy restaurants. That was it baby!
It seems my friends were always going out, but not us. Home we went for moms (great) home cooking. I can remember the rare days when Dad splurged for Ponderosa or big boy. I can count them on one hand.
When we got home and finished our meal there was ALWAYS a pile of dishes to do. And it was my big sis Deanna and me who did them. Oh I whined about it, tried to get out of it but spanking was allowed in those days and it was always easier to just do the dishes.
I learned to mend my own clothes, put away my clean laundry, weed the garden, shovel the driveway, etc etc etc, cause that's how life was.
It isn't that way anymore. Dishwashers, Internet socializing, and every other excuse has contributed to spoiling brat kids like never before. Every school has a Wendy's and Tim Hortons connected to the property and kids are sipping Starbucks coffees at 11 years of age.
Looking a very spoiled and un appreciative kid in the eye today I said: It will take a few months of welfare to make you appreciate the life you have.
All of this culminates after seeing a heart tugging movie called "Four Feet Up". About an impoverished family living next to wealthy families. May God forgive our greed and spoiled bratty nature's. May we somehow see beyond ourselves.
Painting on historical slate
Canoe lake in summer
approx 11"x16" oil on slate
I have had many opportunities to paint on many different surfaces. Most i turn down on account of it being a bit tacky, or very tacky. For example, I simply will not paint on a mug or plate, etc, etc.
This week I was presented a surface like non other. A contractor/client/friend working on a 110+ year old Rosedale, Toronto home, presented me with two well worn slate shingles from the old house roof. Some are in the process of being replaced. He suggested I might like to render a painting on them. I have to admit that my first reaction was to shrug it off, but the more I thought about it the more the idea appealed to me.
Here was two pieces of old Toronto from the turn of the century. From an area of the city populated with the most stately of old Toronto homes. The saying goes, "if these stones could talk, the stories they'd tell". That is the sentiment I am enjoying as I painted this first one.
1890 to 1910 is the era from which these roofing shingles come from and if my math is correct, this was about the time when the one and only Tom Thompson, and other members of the Group of seven would have been getting together at the Arts and Letters Club between trips up north by train and by canoe. So here in my hands are materials which would have been on the roof of one of the stately old homes that Tom Thompson, A.J. Casson, Lawren Harris and others very likely would have passed by on their travels up Yonge Street through the Rosedale area.
I will not have many of these shingles, perhaps four or five more. I will certainly keep a few of them, after painted, in my private collection. But some, like this one shown here are available for sale. Please contact me should you have an interest in collecting this piece of Toronto history.
Aboriginal Residential Schools,
The Artists Journey
This is my blog page and it is where I get to be the opinionated man that I really am. The views are my own.
I invite your replies and comments, on my virtual welcome mat.
This sketch above became this finished painting below
The Pine Tree Painter.
How did I become known as the Pine Tree Painter? You could say I paint a lot of Pine Trees, that would be true. I paint a lot of other things too, but Pine Trees, Spruce Trees, Birch and others seem to be a continuous string in what i do. I just like the way they stand there like a custodian of the land. or a greeter to nature. So, I continue down the path with the Pine Tree Painter name on my head, It's ok.