Monday, December 1, 2014

"Mindin' my P's n' Q's"... and other Things

Though I'm very busy... and deeply embedded in my thoughts and actions in completing a list of commissions, I am pausing this morning to share thoughts that I am most certain all of us in the Boomer-Zoomer time warp have surface in our mid to late journeys.

I recently read an article profiling the iconic Canadian songster Bryan Adams in the October edition of Zoomer... a broadly-read and equally iconic Canadian magazine. There were a number of interesting facts and quotes in the article regarding maintaining creative... handling of success...  maintaining reality... and one's humility!

Here is one quote in particular that struck me as important. Music, without any argument is a "trigger" for nostalgic wanderings backwards in life. A single song has the uncanny ability to link itself and a generation to a specific moment... event, or person in our lives.

Why? According to Adams, "Nostalgia tends to run deeper when it's triggered by an obscure, half-forgotten memory, rather than a fixture on an oldies radio." Music has always been a part of my family's tradition for as long as I can remember... and on "both sides of the fence." So nostalgia runs rampant in our common conversations... and music is indelibly the trigger. But... "other things"... such as "family sayings" achieve the same effect for me as I think... work and play with my paints.

The oft- used colloquialism, "Mind your P's and Q's"... is but one of many that my Mom threw my way whenever she felt that I needed direction... encouragement... or admonishment. All of these, I was to come to better appreciate at this current stage of in my life... are ongoing and deeply held convictions of all parents for their emerging adolescent and adult children.

Another one... which is likely a synonym for the one used above was : "Get your ducks all in a row before jumping into things." Yet another was derived from my Scottish grandparents and their era. "If you're nae with the corbies (crows)... then you'll nae be shot at." The list seemed ... too endless... during those painful growing up years and yet this morning, upon reflecting backwards (as I have of late) in my life... I have come to more fully respect her caring... and considerably wise intent. Some folks regard these as merely "cliche". I choose not to view them in that way. They remain for me... "road markers" set down by her for me which still today... encourage me to reflect and consider my actions more carefully. And the "Speaker"... has long since left the room!

This morning, as I enjoyed my (first) morning keyboard coffee, I turned the November page of the Norman Rockwell calendar from Newell's Garage to December's Waterman Pen Santa. How much nostalgia seeps out in that one page gesture and reflection? HA HA!!

Waterman Pens?... I wonder if Santa uses a "Sharprie" these days! HA HA!!!

Nostalgia is most certainly at its zenith in all of our lives at this time of year, as we shift trajectories from thoughts of Remembrance and Thanksgiving... orbiting towards that Christmas Star... and all the while maintaining... "visions of sugar plums" (and Santa thoughts)... that dance through our heads"!

I will close out today's post with a few extra "P" words that I have come up with to help move my thoughts and my actions past this hopefully joyful season and into readiness for my New Year calendar of events and responsibilities... already filling up too quickly. A very bright and promising start for 2015 has already masnifested itself for me. But that's a story ... for another day!

Here are my list of "P" words that I have been  considering:

Plein air paint more often... and Persevere.
Paint only the things that I have a Passion for.
Exhibit only those paintings which encourage inner Pride.
Paint with People who share my Principles and Passion... in new places.
Practise moderation...
Do "Push ways" (from the table) sooner...  and shave smaller Portions! ha ha!

As for the "Q" parts...
Increase Quantity... but... maintain and improve Quality.

I wish to share a holday trip down memory lane - a looking back at a collection of Twelve Christmases Passed.
Hope that you enjoy this joyful reflection!


" The Family Gathering" - oil on canvas 30x36 inches


"Team Canada One" -oil on canvas 48x60 inches


 "Eldorado Gold": oil on canvas 48x60 inches


"Winter-locked... at Workworth" - oil on canvas 36x48 inches


 "Embracing Winter... and Life" - oil on canvas 30x24 inches


"Minuet d' Hiver" -oil on canvas 36x30 inches


"Not a Creature was Stirring... Hillsdale" - oil on canvas 12x16 inches


"Winterlude" - oil on canvas 24x30 inches


"Winter's Back is Broken" - oil on canvas 12x16 inches


"Afternoon Recess" - oil on canvas 36x36 inches


"The Real Hockey Night in Canada" - oil on canvas 24x18 inches


" L'Heure d'or - Les Eboulements, Charlevoix, Quebec
oil on canvas 20x24 inches

2014 ?????

 Stay tuned!!!.....

An early Happy Holidays from Bruce and Deb
Good Painting!... to ALL!!!


  1. Great post, Bruce!! I love your seasons greetings paintings you've shared from past years and I know you'll manage those P's and Q's just fine. For me, it is dot your i's and cross your t's. Something I always try to do. Anyway, I agree with your thoughts on music and memories. Music is a very strong memory activator for me. Often times it is the emotions that come bubbling up but definitely it is triggered by music. Sometimes I can't even listen for the tears. Always best when I am happiest. Thank you for another wonderful post. Unfortunately, my usual Christmas card art is going to have to skip a year due to finances but hopefully I'll be back on track next year!

  2. HI there Sherry!... Thank you for your thoughtfful comments!

    Continue to "dot those "i's" and cross those "t's"... "take care of business"... "look after your own self"... all the same stuff! HA HA!!

    Music puts us in touch with our emotions. Sing and dance yer heart out!

    Don't worry about the Christmas card bit for 2104 either Sherry! Your friends... everywhere understand!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,

  3. What a great post indeed!!
    I can't however figure out what to think about the P's and Q's is that "Please" and "Questions" (mind your P's and Q's) or is it paint and quality, or play and quantity, ... sometimes it's really hard to get an foreign laguage right, and this is only American Enlgish, ... try that in Irish or Scotish!! Anyhow I like you remarks on music and memory. For me it touches me more often in my feelings, no particular memory just a feeling of pure joy or satisfation, happyness or pure sadness with no thoughts of any passed. Again thanks for this lovely post, will take it with me to day and ponder on it a little more.

    Leaving you with a nice piece of music what I also truely believe in that music is about as well:

  4. Good morning Rene!... Thank you for visiting and for making the effort to use the translation template to respond to the post contents as well as you have!

    It is difficult in any language to either write or respond at times because certain phrases used by those speaking or writing are "idioms." That is... a phrase using humour as means to make a point... but correct understanding of what is intended is totally lost in the process of translation.

    For instance, in our area and in my family conversations... everyone would understand that "Mind your "p's" and "q's " simply meant: "Pay attention!" You could never arrive at this intended meaning using a dictionary or a translation app. Hope that this clears up the misunderstanding that my writing style has imposed!

    But then there are music and art! They are universally understood "languages" of humanity that defy langauge, cultural or geographical borders. They are felt in a very different way through more than mere words - through our emotions. That is what makes them so very important to mankind. They bind separate cultures and people... like you and I easily through another channel beyond simple vocabulary in either language spoken.

    Artists and musicians are like conductors on a train. They inform and make others more comfortable on their common journeys. Does that make any sense? Hope so!

    Thanks for visiting and taking the time to respond so well. Thank you too... for the musical intelude. I shall now go and enjoy it!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,

    1. Good evening,

      Thanks for your thorough answering, ... I have to say tho that I never use a translation app or so for reading, I do however use it to write some words which I know what they mean but not how to write them. We (I'll guess many outside the US) have the advantage that many films are made overthere with a lot of those kinds of fraces and certain way of speaking, ... so in that respect I'll manege but sometimes you just run into some words which doesn't make sense or at least put you on a wrong road, .. so to speak. Again thanks for your thorough answer.

  5. Good evening Rene!... Hoped my description would help clarify the term and use of the idiom!

    You do splendidly in your own personal method of translation! Get ready Rene:

    "My hat's off to you"! .... HA HA!!!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,

  6. What beautiful work. I'm so glad to have found it. My favorite is " L'Heure d'or - Les Eboulements, Charlevoix, Quebec....a real gem!

  7. Hi there Mary!... Thank you for dropping by this morning and for your encouraging comments about the paintings!

    I much admire your work as well... and think that we share many common principles... and not limited to our art alone!

    Hard to have a "favourite" in one's family of children. Likewise... I find that a most difficult choice with my paintings. I love each... for different reasons... based upon their unique qualities.

    Do drop by again. Glad that you found the blog!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,'

  8. What a wonderful post Bruce! I love all your 'P's. Thank you so much for sharing your outstanding collection of paintings from Christmas' past.
    I wish you and all your family a very Merry Christmas.

  9. Good evening Helen!... Thank you for your visit and for your complimentary remarks! I believe that you and I share many of those common "P" words that I speak of... especially... "Principles!

    I wish you and your family Rich Christmas Blessings of Peace... Good Health and Happiness!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,