My Beloved Books

I’m not a rich man.  I do not have a Mercedes in my garage.  I do not live in a ten bedroom mansion.  I can’t afford to drink Champagne and eat foie gras for lunch.  I don’t own a thousand dollar suit.

But I do not consider myself poor.  I am surrounded by books ─ hundreds of them ─ hundreds of beautiful books.  They are my treasures, my companions of solitude.  Having books close by gives me comfort, passion, and feeling of oneness with the universe.  My books make my soul feel rich.  They are the fuel for my mind.

Maple Leaves

Each leaf is drawn and painted freehand. I did two test paintings of leaves before doing this one, which something I rarely do. I tend to paint like I wrote poetry. Most of the time I just get on with it with no plan or preparation. However, this time, I really wanted to understand the maple leaf. It has such a beautiful and unusual shape, and I’ve seen them in all colors, from crimson to yellow green as bright as a traffic light.

While we’re on the subject of pens…

Ohhh…I’m a lumberjack and I’m okay. I write with a girly pen all day…

Perhaps, dear readers, you have already heard about Bic’s new “for her” line of ball point pens. They are nice and soft so as not to damage a woman’s delicate hands, and come in appropriately girly colors. Oh bless.

Okay, stop laughing. Take a deep breath and calm down. While this is definitely a “what were they thinking” kind of product, one may perhaps understand where they were coming from by examining some of Bic’s other products. They do produce pink disposable razors “for women” which are purchased most enthusiastically by the fairer sex. So why not market a special pink pen just for women?

Makes sense, right? Well…no. We’re not buying it, both literally and figuratively. However, while these women’s pens are totally stupid and utterly sexist, they have produced a number of hilariously ironic reviews on Amazon. This one is my favorite:

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a pen.

However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a stationers, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered as the rightful property of some one or other of their salespeople. However, this has not always been the case for young ladies.

“My dear Mr. Hodgson,” said my lady to me one day, “have you heard that Bic are making writing tools for ladies at last?”

I replied that I had not.

“But they are,” returned she; “for Mrs. Long has just been here, and she told me all about it.”

I made no answer. Surely this could not be true, why would a woman have need of such a thing?

“Do not you want to know who will buy them?” cried my wife impatiently.

“You want to tell me, and I have no objection to hearing it,” I said.

This was invitation enough.

“Why, my dear, you must know, a well known online retail establishment have been selling these, and it has encouraged young Lizzy to attempt to write down her fanciful ideas . Apparently a young lady from a nearby town has even done so and attempted to write a book!”

“What is her name?” I asked her.


“Is she married or single?”

“Oh! single, my dear, to be sure! A man could never want to marry a young woman who thinks anything she has to say is so interesting it could need to be written down,” said my wife, most accurately.

And so it was that I assured her that there would be nothing to worry about, that women do not need special pens, no matter what Mr. Bic may think, and that nothing would ever come of this young ‘Jane Austen’ girl and her flights of fancy.

The End.

P.S. Lizzy says she is a bit fed up of pink and purple, when do we get some in a nice floral pattern?

Portrait of Lissie the Cat

Here’s a painting I did recently as a birthday present for a very dear friend who just lost her beloved cat. The photo was taken at night so it’s a little dark. I first lightly sketched out the image in pencil and then drew it in pen. Then I shaded and added details to the image and the background, and then I painted it. Over all, it probably took about four hours to do. Looking at it now I wish I done a better job, but my friend absolutely loved it. She almost cried when she saw it, and said it was one of the nicest gifts she’s ever received.

Lissie was the sweetest little kitty, with her beautiful harlequin face and her directional ear.

Okay…just hold still…

Here’s my little cat, Cinnamon. I haven’t actually tried to paint her very often because it’s difficult. She keeps licking the paint off. So I thought I’d try painting a picture of her instead.

Cinny Sleeps

It’s not perfect but I think it’s a pretty good likeness. Here she is sleeping on my tablet case. The tablet was in there but it was turned off.

It’s not made of warm but I want to lie on it anyway.

We All Have Our Obsessions

It shouldn’t be too hard to guess what mine is.

This is the first Violation painting I attempted. It remains a favorite and hangs on my kitchen wall.

This is the second Violation painting I did, again in black with a red background. I gave it to a friend and former colleague.

I did a third Violation in Black painting quite similar to the first one, and gave it to a very dear friend. I don’t have a picture of it, though.

The first attempt of a red on black image. I didn’t want it to look too much like the Violator album cover so I kept the black background to a minimum. This one also hangs on my kitchen wall.

My latest Violation, this time in blue. I absolutely love it.

All paintings are aquarelle pencil and watercolor on paper.