Friar’s Art Stories

I’ve lost count of all the paintings I’ve done, but each one has a story behind it,

And if I jog my memory, I can remember most of them.

Here are a few.



This was a study I did in art class.  My teacher wanted me to learn to paint texture, hence the elephant’s wrinkly skin.

I spent so much time on this damned pachyderm,  I started to become on a first-name basis with him.

So for my own amusement (and to annoy the serious old biddies in the class) I proudly announced that I would call this painting  “BUCKWHEAT”.

One of these ladies asked me:  “WHAT…in GOD’s name is a “Buckwheat?”


Needless to say, she didn’t appreciate my answer.

(Did  I mention I liked to annoy the serious old biddies in my class?)


My Favorite Rocks

I did this the day I got a shitty pay raise at my old job.

I was so depressed and so demoralized, I wanted to cry.

Instead, I sat down for four straight hours and painted this.   It turned out to be the best thing I had ever done at the time.

I guess they’re right, when they say artists must suffer.


Acadia Rocks

I was going aways for the weekend and it was a 3 hour drive to my friend’s house.

Just before I left, I decided to paint a quickie.

I pulled this one off in an hour.

Sometimes, it works that way.

The stars line up, everything falls into place, and you end up with a keeper.

And you’ll never be able to duplicate it quite the same way again, no matter how hard you try.

This was one of those special paintings.


House from Hell

Dammit, I worked SO hard on this.

It was an old brick house on the West Island of Montreal, and I was trying to paint it in art class.

This other student sitting next to me (a stupid witch I couldn’t stand) kept telling me I was doing it wrong.

Of course, she couldn’t draw or paint jack-shit herself.   But she was more than eager to point out all MY errors.

And she would NOT shut the #@$% up about it.


I kept trying to ignore her, but the painting wasn’t going well.  I just couldn’t’ get the perspective quite right.

Half way through the class, my teacher shook her head, and told me the painting was beyond fixing, and I had to reluctantly agree.

Of course, the Witch chimed in:  “See?  I TOLD HIM!   I TOLD HIM he was doing it wrong, I TOLD HIM!”

I got so fed up,  I set fire to my house.

I figured if I ruined the painting, then at least I might as well get some amusement out of it.

Heh heh.

It worked.

10 years later, the burning house still makes me laugh.


Depot Lake Road

Getting back to the Painting Witch.

By this time, I was quite pissed off at her, and was on the verge of tearing her a new one.

Instead, I took out a photo, and used my anger to start a new painting, right in front of her.

I splashed my paint willy-nilly, and finished this  9″ x 12″ before the class was over.

Just to prove that I could.


…I can still see her mouth dropping open in amazement.

(And THAT…was far more satisfying than any screaming or yelling I could have done to her!)



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14 Comments on “Friar’s Art Stories”

  1. Bern Says:

    Mannnn, you must have some strange dreams. Your House from Hell is a classic. I am humbled by your derangement. :0

    Beautiful Work Deep. Keep on Feeling Alive!

    I hope you don’t cut your ear off or something more important. 🙂

  2. Friar's Mom Says:

    Wee Friar,

    You forgot to mention the sailboats which you set on fire. I had the painting framed and hung it in my powder room. I can’t remember the story behind that one.

    I enjoy your seascape at Kennebunkport, Maine. You painted it especially for me because I had cycled over 700k to Kennebunk and dipped my bike wheels into the ocean. You used sea water to mix your watercolours.

    I must admit, you do your best work when you’re down. All your paintings have stories.

  3. Gayle Says:

    Hey, your artwork is awesome:) I LOVE the elephant picture the best though, it seemed so “real.”

  4. So,so Talented. And funny. Maybe you do your best work when people piss you off.That’s why you are the Crabby Friar, it’s your Muse’s fuel…

  5. Personally I love all the paintings. Buckwheat is a perfect name and the house of fire serves that old biddy right.

    P.S. Which Depot Lake Road is it? I know of 2nd, 3rd, & 5th. I know where Depot Lake is but haven’t been to that one (yet).

  6. Friar Says:

    I would never cut off my ears. Otherwise, I would never hear my muse.

    @Friar’s Mom
    Yeah, but the burning boats truly WAS a bad painting.

    Though I think it annoyed my teacher when I set fire to them. And I’m glad. He was a dink.

    The elephant’s okay…but it was a study based on a photo. So it’s kinda original work…but kinda NOT. I’m more attached to paintings I did based on my own photos.

    I think you’re right. I need angst to create. Maybe that’s why I’m crabby.

    That’s why I go ead the Granola crunchers on Blogoland…it gets me all riled up, and then I go paint something.

    Um…I forget exactly where, but I think this was up towards the fourth/fifth Depot Lake…and eventually I was going to met up with Highway 7 near Sharbot Lake or something.

    I used to live just outside of Kingston, near Gan. I loved exploring the area.

  7. Kelvin Kao Says:

    Sounds like you have a habit of setting paintings on fire. You are so not doing my portrait.

  8. Dear Santa,
    I’ve been kinda good this year. Will you please bring me that Burning House from Hell picture?

  9. Friar Says:

    Oh, come on!!! Those were the only two paintings I ever set on fire.

    @Trailerpark Barbie
    Sorry…I like my burning house too much to part with.

    It keeps me humble. 🙂

  10. steph Says:

    Wow. Your paintings always impress me.

  11. Pauline Says:

    Great work! I particularly like the third one-Acadia Rocks! The story of “Buckwheat” made laugh! Those ‘old biddies’ are no fun! 🙂

  12. Friar Says:

    Yanking the Old Biddies chain was half the fun of art class! 🙂

  13. Nancy Says:

    My favourite rocks are those pond/river rocks that my mom has hanging in her bathroom. And I’ve always liked that elephant painting…

  14. Friar Says:

    I remember that one. Your Mom liked it so much, she printed out a color copy and framed it.

    I felt so sorry for her, I surprised her, and just gave her the original!

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