A Happy Ending

Following up to yesterday’s post about my misadventures with my bike, I’d like to fill you in on the happy ending of that story.

So Friday I walked back to Pecco’s in Gatineau, armed with the receipt-less wheel, tire, and inner tube, praying the entire way that the nice folks there will remember me. I may or may not have dressed up a little nicer than normal for the occasion. Hey, don’t judge. I was desperate to return this thing!

Well so much for my efforts, it started raining as I was in the middle of the Alexandra Bridge, which in case you don’t know, is a freakin long bridge and there’s nowhere to seek cover. Obviously I didn’t have an umbrella. I couldn’t stop thinking of the giant one I had just painted the previous day (it’s like it was some kind of sick joke). Oh well, goodbye nice hair.

I felt like these guys
I felt like these guys

Eventually I made it to Pecco’s, slightly resembling a wet dog. Turns out they were into that look. They gladly returned all my stuff with no hassle what-so-ever. Score.

The following day, Alex took me (with his car) to a couple places to find a new bike and lo-and-behold, I found this beauty at Walmart for only $200.


So now back to relating this to painting…

The splothy blue background that I used for the umbrella painting was intended to be 1/3 paintings in a set. The other backgrounds I had done were these two:

Step 1: Paint a Background
Step 1: Paint a Background (and learn to take better photographs…)

 Step 2: Slap on some plants using a palette knife and call it a day!

16x16" - Acrylic on Canvas
16×16″ – Acrylic on Canvas
16x16" - Acrylic on Canvas
16×16″ – Acrylic on Canvas



And finally a side view of the two paintings together
And finally a side view of the two paintings together

And that about wraps up the bike chronicles. Hopefully forever. Have a happy Tuesday friends 🙂

The Bike Chronicles Continue

[First off, did anyone notice that my website is now self-hosted (ie. no more .wordpress.com in the site URL so they’re not the boss of me anymore! wooowhoo!!). I took the plunge last night, and man did that take a lot longer and more brain power than those step-by-step tutorials have you believe it will. There are still some glitches, and I would really appreciate it if you could let me know if you come across any. I will be redesigning the whole website soon so stay tuned. Also, now that I’m self hosting I can post videos, so I plan on posting some tutorials in the near future too. Anything specific you want to see, just let me know!]

Now back to our regular scheduled programming…

The story and accompanying painting I’m about to show you comes from last Thursday.

Thursday was just not a good day. Remember my bike that had the front wheel stolen off of it (yes, way back in the fall)… well I’ve spent a good chunk of this week running around the city buying parts to finally fix it. Here is what I was working with:

I know, pretty bad eh?
I know, pretty bad eh?

So I bought a new chain, some lube for the gears, a new wheel, tire, and inner tube, and a new lock (since I forgot the combo to my old one). When I bought this bike 5 years ago, it only cost $199. And now I spent about $100 on these replacement parts. And about 30 hours of my time to find them all, since believe it or not, Canadian Tire does not sell all these things. Neither do bike stores, or if they do, they were sold out. My trek eventually led me to Gatineau to Pecco’s where I found a wheel.

So FINALLY today I was going to revive this old bike, and guess what. Not possible. The junker is beyond repair. The frame got so deformed during the winter that it’s basically garbage. I realized this after getting bike lube on everything. Gross.

Hmm... something's not right...
Hmm… something’s not right…

Okay. Awesome. Looks like we’re heading back to CT and Gatineau to return a bunch of parts.

My main mode of transportation is my bike, and without it, a trip to CT takes me almost 2 hours. Same with a trip to the bike store in Gatineau. And the best part is that I wasn’t given a receipt from the bike store where I spent almost $70, so I’m not even sure I can return the wheel, tire, and inner tube. WOMP WOMP

Naturally,  I came home, vented to my friends and my mom, poured myself a glass of wine (thank you for the wonderful suggestion Alex) and started to paint. I felt like my day was a shit storm, so I painted myself a giant umbrella.

The background was already done from a previous day, and I was actually planning on doing something entirely different with it, but the blue reminded me of rain so I just went with it.

One, Two, Three
One, Two, Three
16x16" - Acrylic on Canvas
16×16″ – Acrylic on Canvas
Side View - Edges are painted
Side View – Edges are painted
Displayed in my room over a Queen sized bed
Displayed in my room over a Queen sized bed

Saturday, I’m off to get a new bike. Which I obviously should have just done from the beginning.

Morale of the story. Don’t try to fix things.

On the plus side, although this bike has caused me a headache and a half, at least I’ve gotten two decent paintings out of it.

Like this painting? The original is available for sale here

Missing My Bike

I started this painting with no idea what I wanted the finished product to look like. I only knew that I wanted it to incorporate a bike in some way. I think this stems from missing riding my bike everywhere. Some jerk stole the front wheel off my commuter bike a few weeks ago, and I have yet to buy a new one for it.

I started with a 36×24″ canvas, and painted a background using a palette knife and acrylic paint.
I added the bicycle and some details to the buildings.
A table and chair for children maybe?

At this point, I didn’t know what else to add, but I knew it needed something. I decided to add a little outdoor cafe patio. Then I realized that the table and chairs are teeny tiny compared to the bike right beside it! Oops!

I actually took my road bike and placed it beside my kitchen table before I redid this part in order to have a frame of reference as not to make the same mistake again.

Okay, that’s more like it.

Lastly, I just kept adding small details in such as a lamp post, a lady walking along the street, some flowers, and some wine and cheese on the table. Before I knew it, my initial painting of a bike turned into one of a french cafe.

The finished product. 36×24″ Acrylic on Stretched Canvas
Zoomed in view of the cafe
I’ve always wanted a bike with a basket in the front.
Zoomed in on the (french) bookstore.

My favorite part about this painting is the contrast between the calm and quiet life of going to a cafe and reading a book, versus the fast paced life that many of us tend to lead. The busy and loud road is meant to represent that fast paced life, while the bicycle, the cafe, and the book store represent the other extreme.

On that note, I think I’m going to go read a book and have a glass of wine before I hit the books tonight. My manufacturing assignment can wait…

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