Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thursday Thirteen - 164 - 13 Creative Works by My Grandfather, Charles Doucet Sr.

As I state over in my sidebar, 'I love to showcase creative works by artists of all stripes.'

Here at A Piece of My Mind, I've had an embarrassment of riches when it comes to my own family. I've posted art shows featuring:

My mom - Paulette Phillips

My uncle - Charles E. Doucet

My sister-in-law - Anna Baccin

My other sister-in-law - Violetta Smith

For today's Thursday Thirteen, I'm opening my Art Gallery doors to feature my late grandfather, Charles Doucet Sr.

When I was old enough to start noticing what characteristics made up the different members of my family, I knew that one grandfather played the fiddle, and one grandfather painted. Grandpa Doucet was the painting grandfather, and anytime I smell turpentine or oilpaints, I automatically think of him.

He made his living as a portrait photographer, but didn't leave his passion for photography in the studio.

I have very affectionate memories of him constantly sketching in numerous sketchbooks with colored pencils or pastels. I remember being fascinated as he mixed the colors on his artist's palette. I remember all the rags and the brushes in his basement on the shelf outside his darkroom.

His art work graced the walls of his home and of his children's homes. I've never lived anywhere without an art piece of his upon the wall.

So I'm pleased to share a small selection of his work with you, in honor of his birthday, which is coming up on the 27th. Feel free to stroll about the gallery - I'm going to see about that tray of fruit heading this way.

- 1 - A depiction of the Sacred Heart

A very early piece done in colored pencil, dating from his boyhood in Cheticamp, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

- 2 - Cheticamp rug hooking

The town where he grew up is known for creating fabulous, intricate hooked rugs. In later life, he gave lessons on rug hooking.

- 3 - My circus clown

When I was little, this hung in my bedroom.

- 4 - Yarmouth Harbour

My grandparents moved from Canada to Michigan in the 50's, and back to Canada in the 70's when he retired. They settled in my Gram's hometown of Yarmouth, which has really incredible sunsets. He painted a lot of silhouette landscapes during this period.

- 5 - Moonlight

He also did quite a few snowy scenes, especially set at night.

- 6 - Bluenose II

He did this one especially for my Uncle Warren, who served in the United States Navy.

The Bluenose II has its home port in Nova Scotia, and is featured on the Canadian dime.

- 7 - Cottage with Birches

This always hung in my grandparents' living room.

It was definitely hanging on the wall beside Gram's rocking chair during her last decade here.

- 8 - Cape Breton scenery

This piece was painted on the outside of the shed at their Yarmouth home. It became a bit of a landmark for awhile.

- 9 - Portrait of Simon Doucet

Grandpa concentrated mainly on landscapes, but he was known to paint figures from time to time. This is a portrait of his father.

It was painted from this photographic portrait, also taken by Grandpa.

This is an amazing shot of my great-grandfather, since Grandpa was very keen on posing his subjects for studio portraits. The naturalism and candid moment is quite atypical for my grandfather's photography.

- 10 - Turkish Coffee

- 11 - Abstract Autumn Colors

Grandpa didn't create too many abstract pieces, but this one is a favorite of mine.

- 12 - Snow Scene

- 13 - Sunset, Yarmouth

Here's my grandfather with his wife, Juliette - my Gram. This was taken at his portrait studio for their 25th wedding anniversary.

Also here at the gallery, in spirit, is my Aunt Sheila.

Nabbed for a picture are Charles' children, Louis, Warren, Paulette and Charlie.

We'd all like to thank you so much for dropping by my grandfather's art show. ((hugs)) It's been great to see you here!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thursday Thirteen - 147 - 13 Creative Works by My Uncle, Renaissance Man Charles E. Doucet

It's a huge crowd here today for the opening of my Uncle Charlie's art show here at A Piece of My Mind.

Come in! Come in! Have some chocolate-dipped strawberries, some grapes and cheese. A glass of wine.

Uncle Charlie is front and center for the family portrait. He's usually behind the camera! Take a picture, quick - Oh, well, he's picking up his guitar, getting ready for a jazz duo with his wife, my Aunt Noel. That's how it is with Uncle Charlie. That's why he's the Renaissance Man Extraordinaire.

As more guests arrive to the gallery, let's find a spot to enjoy Uncle Charlie's original composition which he wrote with Auntie especially for this art opening.

1 - Jazz guitar original composition


Oh, I just love the buttery-smooth tone of his guitar.

In case you need a bass player, he can play electric bass, as well. And if your keyboard player can't make it, he can take that gig, as well.

Uncle Charlie is a musician, composer, painter, wood carver, photographer, film and television producer and former underwater filmmaker.

That's him back in the day with an underwater camera casing, out at my favorite spot on earth, Polly Cove.

This is my favorite of his fine art photographs, taken out at my favorite piece of heaven.

- 2 Two Boulders

A lifelong fisherman, wilderness camper and hunter, Uncle Charlie has trekked deep into pristine forests to get amazing shots like Family of Wolves and Lynx in Tree.

- 3 Family of Wolves

- 4 Lynx in Tree

At some point, Uncle Charlie thought - hey, why not try painting?

- 5 An early painting

For most of his career, Uncle Charlie has been writing, producing, directing and editing radio and television commercials, regional TV series, documentaries and corporate videos. Here's a promo for a piece he did about our city of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

6 - Halifax Harbour: A Geological Journey

There's a strong attachment to the sea for Maritimers, and it gives my uncle a recurring theme in many of his pieces.

7 - Dory Silhouette

8 - Driftwood art photography

9 - Driftwood Twists

10 - A favorite driftwood face

11 - The Viking King

Uncle Charlie has turned his attention more recently to wood carving. Some of his creations do double duty as holiday greeters for the family Christmas Eve dinner.

A passionate gardener, his affinity for growing things leads to another strong element to his photography.

12 - Grapes

13 - Amaryllis Leaves

Oh - there's the artist now! Uncle Charlie - ((hug)) - I'm so glad you decided to have a show here on my blog. I absolutely love your new website, Charles E. Doucet Creatives.

You mean you built your website yourself?

The Renaissance Man shrugs. What can he say?

And here comes his daughter, historical romance author Julianne MacLean. "Hi, Cuz!" she smiles.

Oh, Julianne - your dad's art show is really amazing.

Her brother Charlie runs up to join us.

"This is awesome!" he says.

And Uncle Charlie's sister - my mom - and his wife, my Aunt Noel join us just as another tray of cheesecake squares and Cape Breton 'pork pies' (maple and date tarts) goes by.

Mmm...I think I'll nab a few of those...

Auntie, I loved your flute in the music video.

"Oh, thank you!" she says.

The crowd continues to stroll past the art work, and Uncle Charlie is busy chatting to guests. Thank you so much for coming to my latest art show! If we're lucky, they might pick up their guitar and flute again...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Thursday Thirteen - 106 - 13 Paintings By My Sister-in-Law, Violetta Smith

Oh look - there she is waiting for us. Hi, Violetta! ((hug))

Happy Birthday!

"Thank you Julia," she says as we head over to the gallery. I'm celebrating my sister-in-law's birthday today by having a showing of her work in my cyber gallery. "That is very nice of you," Violetta says. "That will make me feel very special."

Her husband Jeff meets us on the balcony before we head into the art show. "Hey bro," Jeff says to my husband Brad.

"Hey, Jeff," says Brad.

"Hey, Big Guy!" Violetta says, hugging Brad.

"Happy Birthday!" Brad says, giving her a big hug.

"I hope I don't have to make any speeches," Violetta says, laughing.

"Nah," I scoff. We're almost at the door. She turns and looks at Jeff, takes his hand and walks into the gallery.

As I watch her walk in and look around at her paintings, I squeeze my husband's hand and feel so lucky to have Violetta as my sister-in-law.

Those Smith men really are magnetic - my husband pulled me from the Maritimes across three provinces to Ontario so we could meet. Jeff pulled Violetta all the way from Poland. It's probably why Violetta and I get along so well. We both fell under the same Smith spell.

I've always admired her adventurous spirit, coming to Canada and seizing life with both hands. I love her no-nonsense style, her easy laughter and her get-on-with-it manner.

I'm so glad you've come to my art show today, so we can enjoy the world as Violetta sees it.

Well, here we go.

- 1

- 2

- 3

- 4

- 5

- 6

- 7

- 8

- 9

- 10

- 11

- 12

- 13

Ha! Ha! Here comes Violetta, bobbing through the crowd with food for us.

"What are you doing?" I ask. "I should be getting it for you!"

"Just sit down and eat it!" she says.

Who can argue with that?

Happy Birthday, Violetta.

And thanks to you for joining us at her art show.