July 5, 2017 0

150 Words or Less

By in ruttan's place, writing

For the Canada sesquicentennial celebration, the Atwater Library here in Montreal sponsored a contest where people could write in little stories or memories in about 150 words. I entered three.

Didn’t win anything (my pal Joanne Carnegie got a nifty framed certificate as a runner-up), but I enjoyed the challenge of trying to write to that length, and exploring some memories.

So, here are the pieces, one after the other. No titles, because those weren’t asked for.
______________________________

I think every Canadian should take a cross-country train ride at least once. It opened me up to the country. I was going back to the family in Calgary for Christmas, from my home in Montreal.

Outside the train windows, the landscape passed by. The Canadian Shield, farmland aplenty, various towns and cities. A loudspeaker voice reminded us that we were travelling on “The Canadian” and informed us of every place name and feature.

The major thing about the train, however, is people. On a train you can stretch out, move around, and talk to folk.
I did crossword puzzles. I also had an affair. The train broke down outside Winnipeg, and started getting cold. She and I huddled under my sleeping bag and cuddled. She was from Toronto. The love affair lasted as long as the free passes the company later gave us to compensate for the breakdown.
. . .

As my grandmother got older, and perhaps had a brandy or two on a special occasion, she would slip back into the past. I would become her son, my Dad, and our dog would become Timmy, her family dog. She had grown up and lived in Hardisty, a small town in Central Alberta. Late in life, she made an effort to record her early memories on paper, a document I saved and later transcribed for my web site. [link here]

She taught school in a one-room school house in the town, and rode to work on her trusty mare. She played for the local women’s hockey team. She travelled to Asia, and drove the Alaska Highway in her two-door Buick. I’ve got records of these things, and pictures, some of which are on the site. But mainly I miss visiting her, chatting, and going with her on drives in her big car.

. . .

I worked at the concrete plant for a summer. My Dad got me the job, because our next door neighbour happened to own the concrete plant and Dad had a word with him.

I helped make sewer pipe, which wasn’t as nice as doing architectural concrete, but still a well-paying job.
My main task was to show up early in the morning, and open up all the steam kilns. Shutting off the steam, and letting yesterday’s pipe cool in the morning air.

Then the forklifts would come and pick it all up, taking it into the yard. There I knocked off the metal rings which formed the lips of the pipe. Once I almost flattened the foreman with one of those rings.

In the afternoons, I’d help pour new pipe on a huge molding machine.

I wasn’t the best worker, but the job did give me great arms.

_______________________________

June 26, 2017 1

Painted Squares

By in color, paintings, sketches, watercolor, watercolour

Taped off a few big rectangles in the sketch book, and painted them with watercolours. Will try to vary the palettes a little more next time.

June 21, 2017 1

Mr. Boggedy

By in black and white, cats, pencil

June 18, 2017 1

Quick Cyclops

By in color, digital

Darn. So much more to share. I used to post everything I drew/created! Oh well, here’s this guy.

May 11, 2017 0

3D Tabby

By in Blender 3D, cats

3D tabbers and mouse. I have to work on whiskers, I’m afraid, Next comes hair, which will be spooky. This is the rug I have in my hallway.

May 2, 2017 0

Page of Draw-rings

By in color, Coloured Pencils, pencil, sketches

I used to post here once a day. Now I’m guilty of drawing many drawings, even ones I think of as good ones, and not putting them up. Forgive me!

April 26, 2017 0

Headstone

By in Blender 3D

Apologies to good cats everywhere. I was mainly trying to get the desert floor to look right, with the help of something called a “bump map.”

April 24, 2017 0

3D Space Rendezvous

By in Blender 3D

I’ve learned a bit about “UV unwrapping,” which is the art of making shapes one can decorate with graphics, and “paste” around your 3D model.

Next today is to learn about “bump mapping,” which will let me put space-shippy details on the models. Maybe also “particle fields,” which will let me create stars, perhaps a nebula or two.

I think this is very cute, though. Reminds me exactly of building such things out of plastic model kits as a kid, and then carefully painting them. No nasty chemical smells here in the digital world, however.

April 22, 2017 0

Cat Drawings

By in cats, Coloured Pencils, pencil, sketches

Coloured pencil.

April 20, 2017 0

Star Wars-ian Portraits

By in black and white, Gouache, heads, pen and ink, pencil, Portraits, sketches, women

Of characters whose names all begin with “L,” apparently.

April 17, 2017 0

Colour Schemes

By in color, digital, sketches

This morning I doodled four very tiny (one by two inch) rectangles on my computer, just trying different colours, and seeing how they go together. One nice thing about the computer is that it has an infinite colour palette.

I’m going to try this again, looking at some interesting old paintings in books, or on the web. If one of these strikes my fancy, I can enlarge it, and paint over it, using that palette.

April 8, 2017 0

Black Watercolour Pencils

By in black and white, Coloured Pencils, sketches, women

Seems like a lot of variety in “black” in coloured pencils. The face on the left was drawn with an “Ivory Black,” which is quite different from the black of another, cheaper brand.

I’m quite miffed, though, that the more expensive pencil just split in half while I was sharpening it. Maybe some crazy glue will help, but they aren’t all perfectly made objects.

April 7, 2017 0

Sketchbooky Page

By in Coloured Pencils, pencil, sketches

Page from my sketchbook. Watercolour pencils, drawn at my friend’s place.

April 6, 2017 0

Random 3D Stuff

By in Blender 3D, digital

Some silliness I made in Blender. Still a long ways to go with this program, but I’m pleased with what I can do so far. Think I’ll put in a chair next, or a spoon to stir the coffee with.

The trumpet is there because I took a tutorial on how to make a trumpet. But I’m imagining it’s used to summon the server.