R.I.P. Stupid Mask That Will Not Die (1977-2014)

Posted January 25, 2014 by Friar
Categories: Friar's Grab Bag

Tags: , ,

See this stupid paper-maché mask?     I made it in Grade 7 Art Class in 1977.

0 Mask 1

I stopped caring for the Stupid Mask sometimes in the early 80’s.   As I got older, I tried to throw it out multiple times but it kept coming back.

(Thanks, Friar’s Mom).

I won’t bother you with the history…(you can read about it here).  But suffice to say,  over the few decades, I just could not get RID of this thing.

The Stupid Mask would NOT DIE.

It continued to plague me, and I thought I would never be able to move forward with my life.

Fast forward, December 2013.

Friar’s Mom was cleaning up the clutter in her house, and I guess she finally decided she wanted the Stupid Mask out of her house too.

So she wrapped it up, and gave it to my Screaming Nephew for Christmas.    

Her thinking: maybe he can amuse himself by burning it in a bonfire, or something.

Now, imagine yourself as an 11 year old boy,  who likes PlayStation DS and MineCraft and Lego, and all the other things 11-year-old boys do.

And Grandma gives you a lame-ass musty paper-maché art project that Uncle Friar did almost four decades ago.   That even Uncle Friar doesn’t like any more.

Now..how excited would you be?

The answer is:  NOT VERY MUCH.

So I offered to hold the Stupid Mask while the Screaming Nephew gave it a karate punch.

Which he gleefully did.

Stupid MaskIMG_5981

And he continued to destroy it.

And I was glad.

Stupid Mask IMG_5992

The Stupid Mask did get it’s 15 minutes of fame, though.  

It provided the Screaming Nephew some mild amusement, when we put the “scary teeth” in front of our faces.

Stupid Mask IMG_5991

Stupid MaskIMG_5980

But, eventually, the Stupid Mask had outlived it’s usefulness, and now is no more.

Stupid Mask IMG_6031

And I say….GOOD !!!

Because now I finally have closure.

z

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French 101: Random Phrases Overheard in a Quebec Restaurant

Posted January 16, 2014 by Friar
Categories: Friar's Grab Bag

Tags: , , ,

IMG_6095-c

“Sh-tanh Floride”  
(I was in Florida)

“ShPah Kapab…”
(I am not able to…)

“Yeh Pu Kapab…”
(He is no longer able to…)

“Nuh Nuh Non.”
(Emphatic no)

“Whye”
(Yes)

“Euh, lah, euh.,.”
(Um…well, um.,.)

“Feh-kla…”
(The fact is, there..)

“Bainh, Lah, lah…”
(Well, um, there..)

“Ah, Bainh, La, Euh…”
(Oh, well, then, there…)

 “Euhhhhhhhh”
(Ummmmmm)

“Mwhye Meh”
(Hmm.  Yes, but…)

“Tsay…”
(You know…)

“Ee bouge pu…”
(He is no longer moving…)

“Pee Lah..”
(And then, there…)

“Pee Euhhh…”
(And then, ummmmm)

“Ease cash…”
(He is hiding…)

“Yah Tawnh”
(He is waiting)

Getting Up Close and Personal

Posted January 14, 2014 by Friar
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Sometimes I like to play with the macro lens on my camera and take close-up shots of my garden.

There’s no magic here.  I don’t use a tripod or anything.

I just bring the lens up close and point and click.   Technology does the rest.

Here’s a zinnia.

Close up IMG_4380a

A sunflower.

Close u FlowerIMG_3238

aPoppies.

Close uP IMG_2376 a

No idea what these are.  Close up IMG_4384a

I had to go out on the lake to get this lily pad.

Close UP IMG_3534

This was a hard photo to take.  It was  a real bitch trying to position the canoe with one hand on the the paddle, while trying to keep the camera inches away with the other.

The great thing about digital photos, is that with Photoshop you can zoom in and enlarge the picture even more.

Here are some forget-me-nots, which are only a few millimeters in diameter.

Close Up IMG_2249a Close UP IMG_2361a

Here are some individual lilac blossoms. IMG_2233 Close Up   Close up IMG_2292a

Dandelions are especially amazing.  They are now one of my favorite flowers. 

Close UP IMG_2389

If you zoom in, you see all kinds of curley-cues, which I never even knew existed until this year.

Close Up IMG_2267a

Flower IMG_2494

To give you an idea of how small these are, here’s an ant crawling through them.

Flower IMG_2488

You can see the individual grains of pollen on his back.

(Not bad for a hand-held camera).

I think this is a wild strawberry blossom.   I took this one in June near Wawa, Ontario.

Flower IMG_2504

Here are some pink wild flowers.  No idea what they are.

Pink Flowers Flowers IMG_2509

Zoomed up, it looks like some tiny yellow bears poking their head out of a cave.

Flower IMG_2500

Here’s a daisy from my back yard.

Close up Daisy IMG_3243

Zooming in shows a hexagonal matrix of pods (or whatever you call them) arranged in spiral patterns.

Close up Extrem IMG_3243

It’s all very mathematical.   Flowers like to follow Fibonacci sequence.

I once wrote a blog post about it here.

And of course, I had berries.

Raspberry IMG_3236

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Raspberry IMG_3234

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Close UP IMG_3062 - Copy

It was a good crop this year.  For a few weeks,  I’d get a bowl like this every 2 days.

berries blow IMG_3069

IMG_3072 Zoom

Once in a while, I also managed to get some insects.

If they’re occuppied with the flower,  I could get quite close without disturbing them.

Close UP IMG_4366

This bee could care less if I was there…she just wanted the pollen.

Close up IMG_4368a

Close UP IMG_4376

I found this fly in October while hiking in Algonquin Park.

The weather was cold, so he has kind of dopey and slow.    Which is probalby the reason I was able to bring the camera so close.

Close up IMG_5301

(Shudder!)  

Kind of creepy.

If my Grandma was alive and she saw this, she’d have a freaking heart attack.

Anyway, I’m just glad I’m hundreds of times larger than he is.

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Monday Night Art Class: Something Different

Posted January 9, 2014 by Friar
Categories: Friar's Artwork

Tags: , , , , ,

I wanted to so something different.   So I though I’d paint this close-up photo of a dandelion, which I took last summer.

Flower IMG_2494

 

And then I decided to add geckos.

With Viking helmets.

Gecko Dandelion-S

Three Sentimental Decorations

Posted December 23, 2013 by Friar
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: , , ,

Cock-eyed Cardinal

When I was about 13, my grandma was in the hospital for a few weeks.     When she left,  she bought her grand kids gifts at the hospital gift shop (because that’s what Grandmas do).

I got this plastic cardinal with the plastic eyes glued on crooked.  It’s cheap, and actually kinda ugly, if you think about it.

But I’ve kept it all these years, because Grandma bought it for me.

Every year, when we’d decorate the tree, I’d take it out.    And every year my Dad would roll his eyes, and tell me to get rid of that piece of junk.

And every year,  I’d still insist on putting it in the tree and his blood pressure would go up.

Dad and Grandma are gone now.

But 35 years later, I’m still putting up the cardinal.

 

Cardinal IMG_5891

Silver Pine Cone

It’s nothing much to look at.   A pine cone spray-painted silver, with a nail in it so you can hang it on the three with a thread.

I got it a few years ago.   Friar’s Mom said my grandpa made this.   She remembers it from when she was a little girl, before she went to school.

Which would date this around 1944-45.

And that’s what I think is pretty cool.

Pine Cone IMG_5898

High Birds

This would be going back to the early 70’s, when I was 6 or 7.    My grandfather gave me, my brother and my sister one of these birds for the Christmas tree.   They had real feathers on them, and we’d throw them to make them fly.   I though these were the coolest decorations ever.

We’d also have a contest, to see who’s bird would end up highest on the tree.   We’d go tippy-toes on chairs and push them as high as they could go.

Someone would always be messing with the other person’s bird, putting theirs higher and and re-locating the other siblings’ bird lower in the down.    It was mostly my brother and myself that would do this…and this pissing contest would go on for days, if not weeks.

I think we did this well into our 20’s.

Bird IMG_5895

Monday Night Art Class: A Miserable Day

Posted November 21, 2013 by Friar
Categories: Friar's Artwork

Tags: , , ,

This was Lake Ontario last month, near Sandbanks.

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It was a really miserable day.   There were 5-6 foot waves crashing on shore.   I can only imagine what it must have been like out in the middle of the lake.

Thought I’d paint this and use depressing dark colors to capture the mood.

But I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.    The more I tried to mix dark grey,   the more I wanted color.  So I deliberately added some warm yellows to back-light the sky.

October Storm Lake Ontario

 

Artistic license, I guess.

It’s a different painting from the photo.     Not necessarily better or worse.

But just different.

Monday Night Art Class: Mess O’ Leaves

Posted November 15, 2013 by Friar
Categories: Friar's Artwork

Tags: , , ,

I took a a close-up photo of my tree in my back yard this fall:

Red Leaves IMG_4708a

And I decided to paint it.

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Leaves 1 IMG_5618a

Leaves 2 IMG_5621a

Leaves 3 IMG_5636a

Leaves 4 Mess O Leaves

Took a while, but I finally finished it.

And that’s it.

I’m done painting leaves.

Until next year. 

a


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