Walk the dog

It seemed like a perfect painting day. A quiet morning in Pointe Claire Village. Some freshly fallen snow. A view I’ve sketched many times, AND a lucky parking spot just behind a bus stop, which pretty much guarantees that no one can park in front of me. WRONG. It turns out that the no parking zone in front of me is the busiest parking spot in the village. The first offender was a Purolator truck making multiple drop offs. Then it was a sidewalk-clearing plow that ironically got stuck in the snow. After that it was an 18-wheeler reversing into a grocery store parking lot. And then a man dropping off a gift bag to someone in a café. The list is long.

Each of these things might seem like a minor distraction on a warm day, but when you’re painting in the car in winter, time is of the essence. Five or ten minutes longer than expected can mean frozen feet and fingertips. You see, my process when painting in the car is to warm it up sufficiently before I set out to paint, in the hopes that when I turn off the engine to paint, the residual heat will keep me warm for some time, maybe even long enough to get me through a full painting. That’s the plan, anyway.

The end of this story is that I did manage to finish my painting on site. After all the comings and goings that blocked my view, the space finally cleared and I was able to add in all the details that are so important at the end of the painting process.

33 Comments on “Walk the dog”

  1. Dan says:

    this one is great Shari. I really enjoy your daily posts!


  2. DiniAlice says:

    What a great view. Love the perspective. Too funny about the no – parking – unless you were there trying to paint, of course!


  3. Denise Gowan says:

    Hi Shari! Quick question for you: I was caught by your line about adding in the all-important details at the end of painting. Will your new book – coming out soon, right? – show any paintings in progression?? I am always in awe of what look to be layers in your paintings and would love to see the multi-step process for them. Will your new book be a resource for this? Thanks!!


    • Hi Denise. Yes, the book is coming out soon. Beginning of April, so my publisher tells me. This book does include lots of stuff about colour, but no paintings in progression. It is more of a resource book for colour, but since it is quite a small format (not sure if you have seen any others in this series) there is not place for a step-by-step process. I will try to do another one on the blog one of these days.


      • Denise Gowan says:

        Wonderful! I’d love to see a progression on the blog when you can!! And thanks for the info on the book… REALLY looking forward to it coming out.


  4. Ann Tyler says:

    Hi Shari, I really love seeing your sketchbook paintings and the spontaneity and freshness of them. I wonder what sketchbook you use? I like the square format of your book and would like know the type of paper is in it.
    Many thanks. Ann !


  5. Denise says:

    Hi Shari, I may sound like a broken record, but I have to say again I love your work and your posts! Thanks so much for sharing:)


  6. Irene Reinhold says:

    You are amazing.


  7. I love how you’ve conveyed the personality of this particular spot. Wonderful colours and mood.


  8. Chris Rusk says:

    Today’s gem, hard earned.
    Many thanks & well done 🙂


  9. Chris Ahearn says:

    Your work is beautiful, and I am impressed with the fact that you did this in a car on a cold day! How long did it take you?


  10. Bernadette says:

    I join in with the others who appreciate your blog and the details of each behind the scene details in the paintings. Great limited color that emphasizes the ochre colored homes on either side of the page. They do not divide the composition but help me to focus on the monochromatic scene beyond. It is wonderfully done!


  11. gaelle1947 says:

    Splendid painting and hilarious story! And all those intrusive vehicles certainly have left some telling tracks – I can visualize their coming and going – A most animated rendering!


  12. Rita says:

    A beautiful painting, Shari—very worth the effort. You always inspire me. I have been off the pace since we got our second dog (Alice). I hope to get going again soon.


  13. Judy Sopher says:

    I certainly am late in viewing this. Love this painting and your scenes at Point Claire Village. Had to get out my map of Montreal and find it. (I still have a pile of them in hopes I may one day visit) It is a funny story and you did finish on site–don’t know how you do it. Is there anything safe to keep the inside of the car heated after you park?

    Tis is one painting I can look at and feel the cold. And wish I was there.


  14. Shari, I enjoyed your personal account as well as your image from Pointe Claire Village. Nurturing and beautiful!


  15. alklineart says:

    Great work, so happy to have found you!


  16. Reblogged this on The Reluctant Poet and commented:
    Come enjoy Shari’s painting!


  17. -Eugenia says:

    Lovely painting, Shari!


  18. How many times do “man” and nature challenge our well laid plans. A message to us that we must pay with our patience to capture what moves us. Thanks for reminding me (with your painting) that that it’s all good and worth the effort.


  19. Scott Rubie says:

    Hi Shari, I take it this is the location for your post for step by step.


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