A promise :: Une promesse

Become friends with people who aren’t your age.
Hang out with people whose first language isn’t the same as yours.
Get to know someone who doesn’t come from your social class.
This is how you see the world.
This is how you grow.

I had promised my local union JACFA that I would sketch some picketing scenes during our four strike days… well… better late then never I say! I am very happy that our negotiations seem to be coming to an end, and I know (having been on the Executive for five years) that these people work very hard for us behind the scenes to give us decent wages and working conditions. So here is the first watercolour painting that I did on a cold & rainy November day.

J’avais promis à mon syndicat local JACFA que je ferais des esquisses de quelques scènes de piquetage lors de nos quatre jours de grève … eh bien … mieux vaut tard que jamais! Je suis très heureuse que les négociations semblent tirer à leurs fins, et je sais (après avoir fait partie de l’exécutif pendant cinq ans) que ces gens travaillent très durs pour que nos conditions de travail soient décentes. Voici donc la première peinture à l’aquarelle que j’ai fait par un jour de pluie froide en Novembre.

Paper: Arches
Colours (main): Q. Gold, Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Sienna, French Ultramarine
Fountain Pen Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey
Location: John Abbott College in Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Quebec, Canada

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Picketing JACFA members at Cegep John Abbott College

:: Friendship ::

You do not need a score of men to laugh and sing with you;
You can be rich in comradeship with just a friend or two,
You do not need a monarch’s smile to light your way along;
Through weal or woe a friend or two will fill your days with song.

So let the many go their way, and let the throng pass by;
The crowd is but a fickle thing which hears not when you sigh.
The multitude is quick to run in search of favorites new,
And all that man can hold for grief is just a friend or two.

When winds of failure to start to blow, you’ll find the throng has gone —
The splendor of a brighter flame will always lure them on;
But with the ashes of your dreams, and all you hoped to do,
You’ll find that all you really need is just a friend or two.
You cannot know the multitude, however hard you try;
It cannot sit about your hearth; it canot hear you sigh;
It cannot read the heart of you, or know the hurts you bear;
Its cheers are all for happy men and not for those in care.

So let the throng go on its way and let the crowd depart;
But one of two will keep the faith when you are sick at heart;
And rich you’ll be, and comforted, when gray skies high the blue,
If you can turn and share your grief with just a friend or two.
— Edgar A. Guest

Some people have good bones. To explain further, I was simply watching TV tonight and there was an interviewee that had such good bones, that I got up, and decided to draw her quickly. You know that type of face that has a solid foundation (skeleton) and seems just right? The eyebrows are not too widely set, the mouth is not too wide or too thin, the chin is firm without being square? Well here she is.

I have not drawn or painted in a very long time and the reasons are numerous… but what I am very grateful for is that my 91-year old mother is now safe and sound in a home that she chose, surrounded by many acquaintances and some friends. I guess that the number of friends that one has is not very important as one is all we need, do we not? If we have one good friend, what could we ask more? Two? Three? Twenty? No. I think that one good friend is enough. The poem that I cited above is taken from one of my Dad’s favourite poetry books.

Paper: Moleskine Watercolour Sketchbook
Fountain Pen Ink: Noodlers’ Lexington Grey
Location: Rigaud, Québec, Canada

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