S. Shawcross / Oil on canvas / 20 x 24 /
Now I painted this last Christmas. When you are old and without children, you can do as you please at Christmas for the most part and so I painted while George sculpted. This is a street in Toronto with its winter lights on snow; the viridian and mauve shadows are why I painted this scene. I painted the figure first and then I added the dog. The painting is named after an actual beautiful little dog of a friend of mine whom unfortunately I've since lost track of. Little Billy Blue that very week fell sick and died. He was called Billy Blue because sometimes he would howl for no reason other than to entertain perhaps. Perhaps the winter winds that are swept into the background of this picture are howling for his loss. I think it was the light in the painting that made me add the dog because I have no doubt he is frolicking in the light even as I write this. Dogs, as we should know, are better than humans because they don't know about deception, anger and greed. None of us, if the truth be told, deserve dogs. I only wonder what dogs ever did to deserve us... Billy Blue stands softly shadowed in the foreground and his leash follows the vanishing point into the picture. I learned how to do streetlights in this one... yellow streetlights and how the glow follows down the pole only part way. There are so many things to learn as a painter. It will take the rest of my life and beyond that probably.