1158 Shabbat, 8x10, egg tempera

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I considered calling this painting"Youth and Wisdom" but settled on Shabbat. What do you think?
It's a typical Montreal scene from the borough where I grew up.
I always put my paintings on eBay auction at a $100 start bid for the first week. It gives people a chance to buy them at an affordable price. If they don't sell I put them on "buy it now" for $200 OBO.  They do sell for that.... and I often accept a reasonable offer.
Today I listed this painting on auction but this time I am allowing people to make offers. Someone might be put off by having to wait for the auction to finish and this gives them an opportunity to buy it right away. I wonder how it will go.

1155 Winter Shadows, 24x36, Oil (Work in progress)

 I've been working on a larger piece this week. It's in oils because I "oil primed" my larger canvases this last summer and now it restricts what medium I can put on top of it. (lesson learned!) So it's rather slow going waiting days for the layers to dry in between. At this stage I think I will scoop up the colours on my pallet and store them until the layers are dry enough to glaze and scumble. And do corrections and details.




A Warm Winter Day, Le Plateau Mont Royal, 8x10 oil on board

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This is a redo of a painting I did a while back.There were just some things I didn't like about that painting. I had struggled with it and had done several compositional changes and eventually they started showing through the sky. Which was a titanium zinc mixture mostly.
Zinc is highly transparent white but most of the paint manufactures add it to titanium.  The manufacturers  say zinc makes the paint warmer and more like lead white. So they add zinc to titanium for the buyer's own good. (I suspect zinc is cheaper than titanium...at least you need to use twice as much for the same coverage.) Plus zinc is not archival in oil paint and will eventually cause the oil painting to fail.
So I bought some lead white from Kama Pigments.  Kama is a Montreal paint manufacturer that makes artist quality oil paint in small batches. Very nice! And a great place to buy pure pigments and archival mediums and supplies.
Sorry, I wanted to add the before painting but couldn't find it.


1154 Le Plateau Best Transport, egg tempera, 8x10

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When I was in school nobody rode a bike in the winter. The brakes just don't work properly. Now it's a common mode of winter transport. It really is the fastest.

1153 Aylmer Street, 8x10, egg tempera

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A friend of mine once lived in that red brick building. The apartment was only about 200 square feet (And half of it was the bathroom). In spite of it's tiny size there were numerous "large cubby holes" hidden in the closets and cupboards. (The cupboard over the kitchen was built on top of the bathroom ceiling and could have concealed a family of four!) The place had a small icebox(instead of a fridge) which was defrosted every Wednesday (somehow through a pipe from the basement of the building). It was the 1980s, so it was quite unusual for buildings to still have iceboxes. We used to attend free recitals at the Pollack Hall.  Then we would return to the apartment to drink compari and soda and make dinner in the tiny kitchen, while saxaphone music bellowed from a window across the lane. Those were truly romantic and wonderful times.

1151 Parc LaFontaine Fun, 8x10, egg tempera

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Here's a Parc LaFontaine sliding scene.  Don't you just love sliding?  Before they invented those plastic slides we used to slide on a big piece of cardboard. We used to put five or six kids on a big enough piece.  What fun!

1152 Parc La Fontaine, 8x10 egg tempera


Here's a painting I'm working on. There's still work to be done on it but this is half way through.  Considering omitting the light post and maybe adding some more figures. Will sleep on it.  



1150 Lane in the McGill Ghetto, 8x10, egg tempera

Here's a curious lane in the McGill Ghetto.  (Always a gathering of young people there). I always liked the jumble of structures in this lane.
That grey structure in the background attached to the house and braced is the remnant of an old shed.  They removed the bottom part and braced it. Sheds, once a common part of most houses in Montreal, but the city outlawed them in the 1980s due to many arson attacks that started in sheds.  Sheds used to house the boiler and oil tanks for the heating system. Our boiler was dated 1903 in the 1980s and it was still working fine.  Those hot water radiateurs were so nice and efficient. Great for drying mittens. They don't build things like they used to eh.

1148 After the Storm, McGill Student Ghetto, egg tempera, 8x19

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This is the McGill student ghetto after a snow storm.  I don't remember which street though. Everyone's digging out.  

1146 Le Plateau Kids, 8x10, egg tempera



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I lost count of how many glazes it took to get the right effect for this painting. It might be as much as 30 or 40.

Remember those good old days of childhood. I was once one of these kids. Sigh.

1144 Safe Crossing, Mile End Scene, 8x10, egg tempera

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Okay, I confess, I painted a similar scene a couple of years ago in oils. It was a really sweet painting too and now lives in France with a lovely kindergarten teacher. (Sigh)

I decided to revisit this scene using egg tempera because I really enjoy the process and the results are worth the effort. The painting has an enamel like finish, silky smooth and the colours have amazing depth.



1143 Heading Home, McGill Ghetto Scene, 8x10 Egg tempera

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I love how this painting turned out. I always loved that red house. And the young family trudging through the snow is typical on a nice winter day.
I also love using egg tempera. I almost can't stop painting. I turned in at 4am last night.  I love the control I have over the paint. Especially with small details. Egg tempera dried almost instantly.
This painting actually started this past summer when I had Windsor Plywood cut a few sheets of baltic birch into 8x10s.  Then I spent a month sanding, sealing, gessoeing, and scraping.  I just totally love those panels. Smooth as silk and sooo inviting. Really worth the effort.
I haven't sealed or varnished this work yet. I'm not sure if I will seal it with shellac and then varnish. Or if I'll do olifa....varnished with linseed oil medium.  Or if I'll just burnish the surface to a slight sheen.  

1141 Le Plateau Mont Royal, 8x10, oil on board

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This in one of my favourite views.  So charming.

I did this painting in oil on baltic birch 1/8th inch plywood. (Sealed and gessoed by me this summer on my back lawn under the supervision of Teena my tabby.) In case you're curious, here's the palette I used for this painting: Raw sienna, burnt sienna, raw umber, naples yellow, indian yellow, ultramarine, cerulean blue, cadmium red light, cadmium yellow light, pthalo green, flake white, and mars black.
For such an earthy grey painting it sure took a lot of colours. Most of the non earthtone colours were for the really saturated accents like the school signs (Pthalo green and cad yellow).  Okay I used black. (I'm allowed to because it's my painting and I hate rules).  Most of the "blacks" are done with a mixture of ultramarine blue and raw umber....but I couldn't resist getting the mars black out for the final touches...mostly defining some of the foreground shapes. I chose mars black over other blacks such as ivory because mars black drys faster. Same reason I chose lead white over titanium.

1139 Av Du Musee, 8x10, egg tempera

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This was done in egg tempera. I love this medium for it's archival stability, quick drying and easy corrections.  The paint also handles beautifully....doesn't tend to run into the colour beside it and has an initial gesso like surface. The colours dry much lighter than they go on and dry very matte, but they become brilliant and saturated with a coat of shellac.

1137 Montreal Street Scene, St-Denis, Egg Tempera, 8x10, on board

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I did this one with egg tempera. I really enjoyed trying out this medium. I love the hard smooth glossy surface of the Shellac sealer.  It took about a week to complete.

1134 Rue de Bullion, 8x10, oil on board


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I love de bullion. Especially this intersection in winter. Those earth tones (burnt sienna, yellow ochre, green earth, raw sienna) against that purple gray with a splash of manganese and permanent green. And that sweet naples yellow kitty in the window.  So cozy.

1132 St-Catherine, 8x10, oil on board

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I really like the way this one turned out. I usually photograph it in the back yard but today I didn't want to disturb our guest: