January 17, 2012
About the scariest thing in my younger days was our basement, which featured a gigantic coal-fed furnace complete with horrifying facial qualities. The grill was its mouth, and I went down there only to fling my soggy snowsuit over one of its tentacle arms in order to then put on a freshly-dried suit. Once done, I’d try not to peek at the flames licking at the hideous mouth as I raced back out into the snowball fight du jour.
Tied for second in the scary department was the black-and-white-filmed 1951 classic “A Christmas Carol” starring Alistair Sim, (whose facial qualities were probably borrowed by the designer of the furnace grill). It was back then a relatively new movie and always gave me recurring nightmares.
I happened to be taking a few snapshots when the older of my two Great Nephews was watching that very same 1951 “A Christmas Carol’ in 2006. Up till then he wasn’t allowed to see it (which restriction I wish my own parents had imposed on me), so this was his very first glimpse at Jacob Marley screaming his way through Scrooge’s bed chamber walls.
His Aunt and Uncle are obviously ‘Christmas Carol’ vets, regarding the shrieking spirit as ‘just an undigested bit of beef’.
This painting was juried into one of The Federation of Canadian Artists’ Open Shows a couple of years ago. The words ‘Open Show’ indicates that the show is open to all qualifying artists across Canada.
January 16, 2012
One of my great nephews, at three years old, was particularly creative. You didn’t want to be assuming anything past 5:00 a.m., when a peaceful house usually meant he was in the scrap-booking room or the pantry; and there were things going on involving lipstick and cats, or crayons and clothes dryers. This particular watercolour was done on Arches 140 lb Hot Press paper. It is intentionally given a light treatment because the day was such that the sun was near to dazzlingly intense.
Here’s a random moment between takes when he’s on the loose at his brother’s birthday party. His sapphire eyes are looking around at what might next need destroying before it’s even been unwrapped.
He’s one of the most delightful children I’ve ever known–but I was very happy to have been only the Great Uncle (and not the parent) when he was three.