Monday Night Painting

Some people ask me :  What’s the point of painting something?  Why don’t you just take a photo?

Good question.

Here’s a photo.  (Might have been taken by me or my girlfriend at the time, I don’t remember).  It’s Spirit Island on Maligne Lake, in Jasper National Park.

And here’s the painting:

As you can see, it’s not always about reproducing something 100% accurately.

It’s creating your own version of the world, as you chose to see it and edit it.

All while trying to coax finicky pigments to spread on a damp piece of paper.

With colors that are more subtle than the real thing,  giving the scene an entirely different, softer look.

And THAT….is what half the fun is.

Something that you can’t get from a photo.

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52 Comments on “Monday Night Painting”

  1. The impact…one paints the impact of what we’ve seen. 🙂 Nice piece..kind of dreamlike.
    (And hey…I am a Southern female painter for real life.. and in bloggoland. 🙂 )

  2. steph Says:

    Cool. I like seeing your interpretation of the photo, the subtle changes you make.

  3. Davina Says:

    Okay, I have to say that your photograph knocked me for a loop. OMG what a gorgeous view! I could just sit and stare at this (no talking please :-)). In fact, heh, heh… I keep scrolling back up to look at it and this comment is taking forEVer to type.

    I enjoy these comparisons Friar. You’re right… a softer, scene in watercolour. Time well spent, as opposed to the snap of a shutter in a split second.

    I know what I want to say: the photo is about capturing something; the painting is about letting something free.

  4. Kool Aid Says:

    That’s fantastic! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the photo! How peaceful that must have been. But I have to tell you, the sky and the mountains in your photo look like they were painted to begin with. I think it’s the lighting but I would not have guessed that was a photo right away.

    Your painting is awesome and I love to see the comparisons between it and the photo. Beautiful!

  5. XUP Says:

    Both the photo and the painting are lovely works of art.

  6. Friar Says:


    I wanted to pull of a quick painting/sketch in one evening…(instant gratification). So I did a lot of wet-on-wet and didn’t fiddle around too much. Hence the dreamy look.

    It would be totally different if I did this in a larger size, and spent multiple sessions doing it.

    PS. I’m glad you’re actually a Southun Lady in real life AND in Blogoland, as you claim to be. 😉


    Heh heh. Also call it a series of “Fortunate” accidents. You’ll notice the scale of the trees is wrong. And I got the horizon line in the upper right corner wrong.

    But of course, I didn’t have to tell anyone that. It just falls under the category of artists’s licence. (Which is why I like painting so much…NO RULES!) 🙂

    “The painting is about letting something free”.

    Oooh, that’s DEEP. 🙂

    But actually, you’re expressed it perfectly. A painting is somethign inside of me, that I need to get out. Regardless if anyone sees it or not.

    @Kool Aid
    It’s a bit deceiving. The scenery is absolutely peaceful and serene.

    But what you don’t see is the 30-or-so people crammed on the boat with me, going for a site-seeing tour.

    It’s quite a touristy spot….I much prefer to hike alone to get away from the crowds. But in this case, I made an exception to capture the scenery.


    They’re both words of art…perhaps.

    But the painting took 5400 times to complete, than the photo. 😉

  7. Wendi Kelly Says:

    You really do take great photos. And the watercolor is nice too. I am missing my paints. I haven’t had them out since…October? All of my creativity has been tied up in the theater and th written word lately and while that is good there is just something so peaceful and soothing about watercolor. Between you and Janice…sigh..

    I need to find the time…

  8. Friar Says:


    I kinda the same way wit guitar. I used to play a lot…but now I’m passionate about my painting and the guitar sits there collecting dust.

    There are only so many hours in a day…

    I think as long as we have some kind of creative outlet (whether it’s theater, art, music), that’s all that matters.

    I’d be interested in seeing you post some of your artwork, though. (You should!)

  9. Friar Says:


    PS. Now that I’m just reminded, there’s a 50-50 chance this might have my photo or my girfriends’ at the time. I have no way of knowing…we pooled our photos together, and gave each other copies.

    But we pretty much duplicated each other’s snapshots…so I suppose it all works out to be the same. 😉

  10. bandobras Says:

    As someone who photographs but has just slightly less talent than required to draw a rectangle I wish I could paint instead of just shooting pictures.

  11. Kat Says:

    Nice shot with the photo. Idealistic scene. I actually find I sort of prefer the painting though… Because while a camera is a remarkable device that uses exposure quite well.. there’s something about the same view ‘captured’ by human hands.

    =) Well done, and I enjoyed the post.

  12. Eyeteaguy Says:

    Oh goody…..paintings.

    You know what the painting is missing? Vikings, lots of Vikings.

    I am really beginning to like your idea of a second blog where you post your paintings. Then the love fest can continue there unabated.


  13. Friar Says:


    Well…at least I post more than once in a blue moon.

    And I answer my comments, too!

    You should try it, sometimes.

  14. Friar Says:

    Photographers know a lot about composition and have a good sense of color ….you probalby have a lot more artistic talent than you think.


    I prefer paintigns too…because not everyone can do one.

    It also takes skill to take a good photo, but with Photoshop and today’s digital cameras (allowing you to take 1000’s of photos and pick the right one) good photos are not quite as rare as they used to be.

  15. Davina Says:

    I L*** “Eyeblehguy”! Friar, there’s always a Squidoo lens; you could set that up as an art blog 😉

  16. Friar Says:


    I have no idea what a Squidoo Lens is. (And I’m actually pround of that!) 🙂

  17. Eyeteaguy Says:

    You cut me deep Friar. I boost your comments, share the love and offer genuine criticism and you treat me like this. Its enough to make me blog about it.

    I’d post more but I have a real job, and a family, and hobbies and friends. Blogging takes a backseat sometimes.


  18. Friar's Mom Says:


    The reason why there are no Vikings is because Vikings don’t know how to land their Viking ships, put on their Viking hiking footwear, and climb over mountain passes to hike to this lake. Vikings prefer to spend their energy fightng, pillaging, and burning villages.

    Wee Friar only sets fire to his paintings when something goes wrong with his artwork. I have a framed watercolour of a burning sailing ship in my powder room.

    That being said, maybe his pyromanic tendency is a latent Viking skill.

  19. Friar Says:


    I’m sorry.

    Maybe I was being insensitive. Perhaps your snarky comments about my artwork stem from your own frustration at not being able to paint or draw as well as I do.

    Can I make it up for you, and offer you an art E-lesson?

    It’s a $499 value, but I’ll let you have it for only $477.

  20. Eyeteaguy Says:

    So you are offering me a lesson so I can paint like you?

    Umm, pass, That would be like taking blogging lessons from JHJ. And I like my soul firmly planted in my body.


    But if you want I’ll teach you how to run a network. Its very exciting, especially when you move files share randomly.

  21. Seestor Says:

    Nicely done!
    Done nicely!
    Cede only in!
    Clod ye nine!
    Clone I Deny!



  22. Friar's Mom Says:


    Non-iced lye
    Deny no lice
    Dine Ceylon

  23. Friar Says:


    I can honestly say, I’m as interested in learning to run a network, as you are learning how to paint.

    @Seestor and Friar’s Mom

    I was looking for hidden messages in your comments (maybe naughty words in code, or something…that would have been cool!)

    Ah..but I see they’re just palindromes.

    (I’m too brain-dead to invent new ones at this point)

  24. Peter Says:

    Anagrams. They are anagrams. Not to be confused with analgrams.

    Too much water.

    (I think the amount of water is just right, but if I don’t say it, who will?)

  25. Friar Says:


    Analgrams. Telegrams. Hippodromes…

    I TOLD you I was brain-dead.

    PS. Regarding comments: I would have also accepted “Too green”. Or “Too wet”.

  26. Friar's Mom Says:

    @Wee Friar,

    Would you accept “To many gray mountains”?

    For your infoe, a palindrome is a word, sentence, or number which reads the same backwards and forwards.

    “Able was I ere I saw Elba” is a well-known palindrome. Racecar is a word palindrome. The square of 111 is a numeric one.


    I blush.

  27. Hi Friar,

    I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating, you are a very talented artist. I love how you took that photo and created a painting that’s filled with heart.

    Someday I’ll be saying, “I knew him when….” You’re future looks bright and I’m happy to be along for the ride.

  28. Friar Says:

    @Friar’s Mom
    I should devote a whole post to my art critics.

    Among the more memorable were:

    “Too square.”

    “Too pointy.”

    “Too green.”

    “Too many bears.”


    Aw…shucks. (But shhh! Don’t compliment me too loudly…we dont’ want to upset Eyeteaguy!)

    I’d say people knew me “when”, at the point my artwork allows me to support myself and not work at the Widget Factory any more.

    But I’m not holding my breath! 😉

  29. Friar's Mom Says:

    @Wee Friar,

    My comment is not about your painting it’s about your Viking banner.

    Vikings know how to have fun, it’s not all about plundering and pillaging.

  30. Friar Says:

    @Friar’s Mom

    Yeah, but notice they still took their weapons with them on the toboggan, just the same?

    (Just in case there was any plundering and pillaging on the way down…)

  31. Lisis Says:

    Beautiful… the painting and the photo! Your observation reminds me a lot of writing, especially this part:

    “It’s creating your own version of the world, as you chose to see it and edit it.”

    Everything we create has our own personal spin to it, our voice, a little bit of our soul. This is why, even if we are all painting (or writing) about the same subject, each creation will be a little different, and all will be awesome in their diversity.

    I love it! 🙂

  32. eyeteaguy Says:

    Oh for fucks sake. I think I’m gonna barf.

    You want some genuine criticism? Some genuime comments? Not this syruppy “I love it” crap that is spewing forth?

    Really? You really want the truth?! Well you can’t handle the truth. The truth is out there and trust no one. Except Fox Mulder.

    Please, please, would someone hijack this blog? Where are the shit distrubers, the misguided youth, the disenfranchised masses? Dammit Jim, I’m an IT Guy not a social commentator.

    Medic! Medic!

    Cheque please. Waiter!

    Lemme out, lemme outta here!

    There it is.


  33. Seestor Says:

    A man, a plan, a canal, Panama.

    (Peter, “anal” hidden twice, to and fro.)

    Nice banner! !!!! Yay Vikings and a viking dawg! I love the guy with his hand on his eyes. It speaks volumes. Hee hee. There is a place for Viking Christmas cards. I’m your seestor, I should get one.

    I’ll make you something out of used mothballs.

  34. Friar Says:

    That’s what I like about paitning. Each one is different.

    Even if I re-do the same scene..the next time, it won’t quite be the same. It always changes.

    (And don’t mind ol’ Eyeteaguy…comments like yours tend to make him a tad grumpy…but I still appreciate them!) 😉


    Oh, come on, now! Be nice!

    After all…didn’t you notice the new banner?

    I added the Village Elder, covering his eyes, going “D’oh”…just for you!


    Anal Lana.

    (Lana Lang was one of chicks who had the hots for Superman, if I recall).

    PS. The Village Elder is covering his eyes, because of the intellgence his colleagues are displaying, careening down a slippery hill at high speed while brandshing sharp objects.

  35. Seestor Says:


    whine whine wine, with nary a witty thing to add. You’re losing your edge, dude.

    Must be all those days in front of a computer screen, being bombarded by teensy weensy destructive particles that are screwing with your brain. I’ll make you a special deflector helmut out of an old colander that don’t use anymore. You could pull it off and still be my Eyehotguy. I know it.

    @ Friar

    Don’t mind Eyewhinerguy …. he must be premenstrual.

    Seestor J

  36. Friar Says:


    Mabye if you wrap the colander in tin foil, that will help protect Eyeteaguy’s poor cerebrum even BETTER.

  37. eyeteaguy Says:

    I am not premenstrual, I am an EyeteaGUY. I am premental. Tomorrow I’ll be completely nuts. But it only lasts for a few days now that I am on the pill.

    I am adding, if you will notice, everytime I add a comment the comment count goes up by 1.

    And as for the tin hat wrapped in foil, doesn’t work. I currently use a green waffle patterned towel soaked in maple syrup. Works well buts its a bit messy and the flies do get thick at times.

    And since my office is so drafty I’m now…


  38. Seestor Says:


    Now we’re talking! Premental and maple syrup towel hats.

    You’re definitely on to something. There could be a market for said headgear. Have you considered a low sugar version for those who are scared of sugar and prefer chemicals. You could also make a version soaked in vodka. They flies wouldn’t bother you in that one. Even if they did, you wouldn’t notice them.

    You could release it just in time for people to wear one to the Christmas office party!

    You’ll always be Eyehotguy to me, even when you’re Eyecoldguy. 😉

  39. Friar Says:

    @Seestor and Eyeteaguy

    Okay, you two. Get a room.

  40. Eyeteaguy Says:

    We do have a room….. yours!

    And I did see the elder going D’oh. But I didn’t want to reiterate I wanted to add.

    I’d love to see what is at the bottom of the hill, a burning village, hot Viking babes or a huge pile of snow to go POOF into.

    I’ll use my imagination, you don’t need to draw anything.


  41. Friar Says:


    I could draw something like that…but it would compromise the wholesome family-friendly atmosphere of my blog.

  42. Eyeteaguy Says:


    I just died laughing.


  43. Friar Says:


    Well…FINALLY, I got you in a good mood today.

    My work here is done.

  44. Eyeteaguy Says:

    Actually that was me going mental as per my previous comment.

    If I was in a good mood you would be crying. We see-saw that way.


  45. Friar Says:


    Eventually, we’ll reach an equilibrium of neutral mediocrity.

    Unless Brett shows up, and everything goes to Hell in a Handbasket all over again.

  46. Brett Legree Says:

    I liked the one that said “fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck” better.


  47. Brett Legree Says:

    (Would that be considered going to Hell in a Handbasket?)

  48. Friar Says:


    Haitch E. Double-toothpicks.

    You’re probably scared off all the Seniors reading my blog.

    Including Friar’s Mom, who will surely scold me for having such “potty mouth” here.

  49. Brett Legree Says:

    Aw hell, they can take it.

    They fought the Nazis, after all.

    If you can face an MG-42 on the beach, what’s a little old eff word gonna do?

  50. hannah78 Says:

    Exactly! Painting gives you the ability to create anything you want and lose yourself in other worlds. Great method of escapism.:)

  51. Friar Says:


    I dunno…there aren’t too many of those Veterans left. I suspect it’s the “younger” (under-75) seniors who were too young to fight, who’d have a problem with the F-words.



    What I like about it…is that when I paint, I have full control over that piece of watercolor paper…

    Unlike 99% of everything else in my life..! 😉

  52. Brett Legree Says:


    Ah yes, they were the ones who “tuned in, turned on, dropped out”.

    Just pass ’em a blunt and everything will be *alllllll riiiiiiight, maaaaannnn…*

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