When I’m sketching in an industrial area I’m a bit reluctant to get out of my car, especially on a quiet Sunday when no one is around, so today I painted in my car. I don’t remember exactly how this happened but at one point my car started to roll forward into a ditch. With paintbrush in hand and watercolour block on my lap, I had a moment of panic. But reflexes kicked in and I dropped the brush, grabbed the hand brake and stopped the roll before the point of no return.


34 Comments on “Betty”

  1. Ack! Glad you, the car, and the painting are all safe!

  2. Wwoooowwwww….. 🙂 It’s amazing…

    PS – Henceforth, put the hand break 1st then paint… It’s good to be lost in art, but not so much… 😀


  3. Vicky Porter says:

    Stunning! That snow is so pristine.
    Good save on the possible ditch trip:)

  4. Mrs. P says:

    So you had a bit of excitement today, eh? 😉

  5. Laura B. says:

    That’s a great way to add some excitement to your life. I’m glad that the story didn’t end with MORE excitement. Nice painting (as always).

  6. Lyn Seley says:

    You make the everything look beautiful. Would never think to paint a scene like that!

  7. Linda Daily says:

    Good save! And you didn’t even wreck your painting. Beautiful colors….another simple triad?

  8. captelaine says:

    YIKES… for an automatic, put it in Park, for a stick, leave it in gear… no need of a brake and it will not roll.

  9. wrightottawa says:

    Like the painting, but not getting the “Betty” reference

    • Betty is the name of the bakery. It’s written on the wall but probably too faint to read.

      • wrightottawa says:

        So that teases out another question…..what size is this sketch?

        I’m having scale issues…can’t get it in on the small sketchbook, but lost in the detail on latrger sheets.

        I always appreciate your answers, Coach.

      • I’m working bigger these days John. This was done on a 9″ x 12″ watercolour block. And I often work in the bigger Stillman & Birn book too which is about the same size. I am finding lately that unless I’m doing some little detail sketch, like today’s crocuses, I need to work bigger. I haven’t picked up my 5 x 8 Moleskine in many moons. I carry it around thinking I will use it but never seem to.
        A piece of advice from my good friend Marc for when you work on the larger sheet. Don’t think that you have to fill up the page. Start working on a detail that interests you and work out from there. I have used this advice many times.

  10. Mary Sanchez says:

    Glad you’re fine. Beautiful structure you’ve painted.

  11. drawandshoot says:

    Oh my! I love this painting, Shari. I know I’ve said this before but you can make anything beautiful!

  12. Peggy Haug says:

    Stunning, Shari, just exquisite, and so amazing how you can make even an industrial area look so interesting. I am so surprised at how much SNOW you still have!! WOW! Everything is green here in Seattle, and everything is in bloom. Tulips are almost finished!

    • There’s still quite a chill in the air here Peggy. The snow was actually much dirtier in this scene but I whitened it up. There’s nothing worse than trying to paint dirty snow. I see the tulips poking out of the ground but no blooms yet!

  13. dezabaleta says:

    A “different” watercolor….

  14. borrominibear says:

    the hazards of painting!…
    btw the title betty made me think you were referring to yourself and the handbrake …in the 80s there was a sitcom in Australia called Hey Dad (he was an architect) and his secretary was called Betty and she was SO useless. Our secretary( in the days when we had on in the architect office) used to call herself Betty (particularly when she did something silly!)
    anyway- glad all was ok!

    • That’s pretty funny Liz. Your Betty sounds a bit like Lucy of “I love Lucy”. Several decades later, of course. What was funny for me is that I have been smelling the bread baking in this industrial bakery for years but never knew what it was. I walk my dog in the woods just in back of this and have always wondered why it smelled like bread in the forest. And it took some time to realize it even while I was painting because the sign is so faded.

  15. Ross says:

    Great painting… nice to see a backstreet urban subject again.
    And, reading the comments above, I didn’t need to ask the obvious question… “why Betty?”
    I had some ideas… I thought it may be a Canadian profanity, as in “What the Betty!!!” or “Holy Betty!!!” but I thought it lacked punch… I thought it may be a reference to the English monarch, fondly know as Betty Windsor around here, with you imploring assistance from a higher source…
    And then there was my friend Ken who had three goldfish… he named them all Betty which made it so much easier for him to do goldfish tricks like “Betty, swim to the top of the tank”… which has nothing to do with anything here.
    Anyway glad you survived… next time use the hand brake (that funny tube thing, between the front seats, that gets in the way of your water holder).

    • Thanks Ross. It’s great to get out and paint an urban subject again after all those months of still lifes on my kitchen counter…
      I guess everyone has their own ideas of Betty. Liz Steel told me about Betty on the Australian sitcom Hey Dad. You must have heard of that too.
      I do know what the handbrake is, thanks very much. In retrospect, I figured out what happened. The handbrake was on but occasionally I turn on the car to dry my painting. I always make sure the car is not in gear but I think I took off the handbrake as if I was going to drive off and then forgot to put it back when I turned off the car. Does that make sense? That could be why I started to roll towards the ditch.

      • Ross says:

        Yes, that explains what happened… unfortunately, the explanation doesn’t paint you in the best light… but that’s what happens where you put it all out there in the blog. We can just put this incident down to you being over-absorbed in your art.
        I remember Betty from “Hey Dad” but, these days, it is hard to remember the show too fondly as the lead male actor (the architect) was recently convicted of pedophilia.

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