The right place at the wrong time

My sketch story today has a moral to it: don’t paint on beer delivery day in Pointe Claire.

I chose this parking lot scene because there was some great light on the snow-covered cars in a lot facing the back entrance of a popular bar in Pointe Claire Village. A spotlight, really, on the cars, in front of a jumble of nondescript buildings. Just the kind of thing I love to paint.

img_2443About ten minutes into my drawing, a giant beer delivery truck pulled up and blocked the scene. It blocked it so perfectly it was comical. I thought I could wait it out, so I started drawing the car on the right (at the wrong size, I think, because the beer truck blocked the other cars that I was measuring against). And then I waited some more while the guys opened the truck, took out the lift to carry the kegs, loaded up the lift, went inside the bar, came out of the bar, had a smoke, and chatted.


When I thought they might be leaving, they further blocked by view by placing palettes of kegs in front of the only thing I could see, which was the car that I had already drawn (at the wrong size). And when I thought they couldn’t delay any longer because they had already brought in the full kegs and bottles, they started the process of removing the empties. I guess I had no idea how long this whole thing would take.


Here’s the sketch that I finished up quickly when the truck finally left. By the time I got around to painting it, the sharp light had changed completely and I was pretty frozen.


That’s the bad news about my sketching adventure today.

But the good news for today is that my painting “The Town” has been accepted in the American Watercolour Society’s 150th International Exhibition at the Salmagundi Club in New York City. Even if I have to cancel classes, I hope to be able to make it to New York to see the show, which is on from April 3-22, 2017.



88 Comments on “The right place at the wrong time”

  1. carolyn cochran says:

    Congratulations on this recognition of the excellence of your work, Shari! I wish the Anacortes gang could join you in New York to see the show!! Best wishes, Carolyn

  2. Daphne Boder says:

    Congratulations on your acceptance into the Watercolor exhibition!!

  3. Elaine Bisson says:

    What a fun post. Thanks Shari.


  4. TonyU says:

    Congratulations on the acceptance Shari! Wonderful news and well deserved. But I think the delivery guys were trying to send you a message that you should have been in the bar celebrating rather than outside painting! Best, Tony

    • Thanks for making me laugh Tony. I hadn’t thought of that, but you’re right, they probably were trying to tell me something. Even if it was 9:30 in the morning and the bar was closed.

  5. Maggie Marszewski says:

    Congratulations! Also, any advice on painting snow on trees etc.. i keep trying to leave whites but not happy with the results. Thanks Shari!

    • Thanks Maggie. One tip for painting snow on trees is to join up the snow shapes into a biggish mass of white. Also look at the shape of the snow. It is rounded at the top and flatter on the bottom where it sits on the pine needles.

  6. Orit says:

    How exciting Shari! Good for you!

  7. karim waked says:

    Congrats Shari! xx

    ***Karimobile 514 9944433

  8. Luise says:

    Congratulations, Shari, well deserved!
    I also admire your tenacity in getting outside to sketch in all kinds of weather. I’m really enjoying your posts.

  9. Tom Jump says:

    Regardless, it’s a great painting Shari and I did get a chuckle out of your story. You don’t want to mess with Canadians and their beer supply, right? Congratulations on the acceptance of your work- it’s well-earned! Happy new year! ~Tom

  10. That truck thing is always happening! A big scream (🙀Nooooo!) and then an explanation or just a nice request and they will usually move. Actually, I can’t think of a time when they didn’t. A bit easier when you’re outside and not enclosed in a sound-proof car, of course!

    • Hi Cornelia, Usually if someone is parking a car I can ask them to move, but you don’t want to mess with the beer guys. They were parking on a narrow street and they needed to be close to the bar, and that’s fine. I just didn’t expect them to be there for so long!!

  11. Bernadette says:

    Love the paintings! Love your stories almost as much. You were able to pull off a winter adventure story and successful painting all in one day….sweet success.
    Congratulations on your painting headed to New York for exhibition in April. It is a beauty!
    Thanks for posting, adventure stories and gorgeous art.


  12. Shari, wonderful story of the beer trucks and your tenacity! Congratulations on the Watercolor Exhibition at the Salmagundi Club, a great tribute to an amazing artist. Got to get you to Florida!

  13. brubakerr says:

    Congratulations, Shari, on the AWS selection.

  14. SusanA says:

    Congratulations on being accepted into the watercolor exhibit! Sounds very exciting! I love “The Town” and hope you can attend so you can see it in the show.

  15. Dee Ludwig says:

    Laughed out loud at your dilemma ! Delighted at your well deserved honor!

  16. Sorry about your sketching mis-adventures, but congratulations on the exhibit! That was one of my favorites from your year past!

  17. loisajay says:

    did you have a beer to celebrate? 😀 Congratulations to you! NY in April should be beautiful weather.

  18. I actually think it’s good the car is the “wrong size” because it keeps the car from being the focus of importance. I really like how it turned out. Beautiful!

  19. Julana says:

    Ha ha.🙂 Brrrrrrr. Congratulations!

  20. ChesapkLady says:

    “in the American Watercolour Society’s 150th International Exhibition at the Salmagundi Club in New York City”. . . WOW!! THAT IS TRULY AWESOME!! I’m so thrilled for you, Shari. You’ve earned it.
    Love the story about the beer truck, and frankly, the painting is amazing, in spite of your obstructions. . . 😀
    (Hot damn. . . AWS 150th International Exhibition at the SALAMAGUNDI CLUB IN NYC. . . HOT DAMN, GIRL!)

  21. Soni McFarland says:

    CONGRATULATIONS, Shari !! Your painting deserves to be in that Show / very prestigious & well earned many paintings over

    As for this one, you should’ve joined them inside for afew rounds and by then they’d have moved their truck for the icicle Artist 👨‍🎤

  22. Birte says:

    Congratulations, your work is great and deserve it,

  23. gaelle1947 says:

    Just want to add my dittos, amen and hurrays to all the well-expressed comments! You make Canada look great!

  24. Ellen says:

    Hilarious story! Congrats on AWS acceptance! What size was the painting?

  25. Doug Elliot says:

    Congratulations. You did an excellent car park sketch in the circumstances.

  26. Trevor Travis says:

    Great to see the photograph of the scene and how much more lively and interesting your painting is. Patience was rewarded! It is another truly beautiful piece of work.

    Congratulations on being accepted into the Salmagundi Club exhibition. A much deserved honour.

    • Thanks Trevor. It really is an honour for me, and I really do have to find a way to get there for the show even though the timing couldn’t be worse. My students will be having their end of year vernissage at that time as well as going off on various internships. But I will find a way to get there because I can’t miss this.

  27. rosjenke says:

    Congratulations 👍👍 well deserved. It’s a fabulous painting. The bad news painting is not too bad either 😀 in other words it’s great.

  28. anne farmer says:

    Tenacity and humour: great qualities for an artist. Congratulations,

  29. Kristen says:

    Congratulations on your acceptance!! That is awesome!! 😆😀
    And brilliant way of seeing positivity in a day filled with disruptions! 😊

  30. dianegklock says:

    Congratulations, that is wonderful news Shari . I do love both paintings and goes to show you patience prevails .

  31. stacey says:

    congratulations. I love the view with the kegs, too.

  32. Garry Hamilton says:

    Wonderful news about acceptance in AWS and powerful piece. Congratulations!

    Sent from my iPad


  33. Wonderful news! We’ll take such news any old day!! Congrats!

  34. Suzanne says:

    😅 Shari, please paint on delivery day, Groundhog Day, and any day that presents you with challenges or obstacles!

  35. Judy Sopher says:

    Everything has been said but I have to add my congratulations. And I love the painting-Don’t know if it was worth it for you with frozen hands but it is for me. You not only teach painting but you teach that being patient pays off.

  36. Judy Sopher says:

    What is a vernissage? Thanks. And ,Shari, I enjoy your replies and that you take the time to do so many.

  37. Anna Cull says:

    Congratulations on your acceptance into the exhibition! I’m a bit sorry the kegs didn’t make it into the final sketch… Maybe next time?

  38. Congrats on your acceptance. I almost always get into the city to see the AWS show, especially when I know people who are in it. Your story about the beer delivery truck made me smile. That happens often and then I think it seems to take a lot longer than you thought it would. I was thinking about you earlier. I am in Maine and there is a view from one of the windows here in my sister’s house that would be the perfect view to paint if it had snow on it. Luckily it is snowing now…so I’m hopeful for a good “Sherry snow scene” for tomorrow. 🙂

  39. timdada says:


    Very interesting post. And congratulations on being accepted into the AWS exhibition. That’s quite an honor. I think you’re as good a watercolorist as there is so to me it’s a no brainer.

    It’s been very cold here in Northern California so I can imagine how happy you are that the days are getting longer and Spring is on the way.



  40. Billie Barton (ClermontPB) says:

    Yeah, I am so excited for you! I love all your work, but I can see why this one made it ‘big time’. Keep painting…you inspire so many!!!

  41. Tom Chandler says:

    “My sketch story today has a moral to it: don’t paint on beer delivery day in Pointe Claire.”

    Or you could specialize in sketching beer trucks. That’s a crossover art book if ever there was one.

    Congrats on the exhibition invite. You really do inspire a lot of us to try bigger things.

  42. Alison says:

    Bravo Shari! I’m so pleased for you.

  43. Gina B. says:

    Congratuoations! Any special reason for choosing that painting in particular?

  44. Hola Shari, Te deseo que tengas un buen año 2017.
    Pintar tiene estos inconvenientes. Empiezas a pintar algo y la situación cambia, porque el sujeto de ha ido, o porque el tiempo ha cambiado. Creo que a todos nos ha pasado esto con frecuencia. Pero tu habilidad en pintar, suple estos inconvenientes y… en este caso, con paciencia, lo has resuelto perfectamente. Bravo!!
    Y con respecto a que han escogido una pintura tuya para la exposición Internacional nº 150 en el Club Salpicón de NY, te felicito.

  45. Jane Hannah says:

    Congratulations Shari!

  46. chakwowsite says:

    I hope it will be fine tomorrow.

  47. holmar58 says:

    Congratulations Shari… well deserved! Wonder sketch , I enjoyed reading about it.

  48. Congrats!! I like the way you captured your chosen scene, no matter how hectic the behind the scenes (or front of the scenes, technically) were for a while. The textures and the contrast in the painted product look great! 🙂

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