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MON AMI MARK - MY FRIEND MARK

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   English Version - *version française dessous* MY FRIEND MARK “Never let schooling interfere with your education”  – Mark Twain I laughed when I read Mark Twain’s quote...   I felt he was speaking to me!   You see, I was a terrible student.   I only mastered two subjects, history and current events.   I barely got out of high school and never had the marks to go to university.   Consequently, I went into the family jewelry business.   I was 18 years old.   Five years later my parents went into a joint venture in the Republic of Ireland with two other companies.   My folks suggested to their partners that even though I was young, I could run the green field start up.   Everyone agreed and I moved to Ireland.     I knew the manufacturing process pretty well, but that was about it.   I had no experience setting up a new business, hiring the employees, running the entire operation and dealing with a union (all foreign start up

LATE BEGINNINGS - DÉBUTS TARDIFS

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  English Version - *version française dessous*    LATE BEGINNINGS My first wife bought me a paint set for Christmas in 1988.   It was a beginners set for oil painting and had a small 5" x 7" canvas along with an instruction booklet on how to paint several different images.     In the spring of 1989, I tried it out.   Because I have kept a daily diary since the age of 23, I know the exact date.   It was Sunday, April 16 th , 1989.   I choose a winter farm scene and carefully followed the instructions.   To be frank, it was almost like “paint-by-numbers” but without the lines and numbers!   After about five hours of effort, I told myself "nice try... Don't quit your day time job!"   At that point in time, I had no intention of continuing and put the painting and the set on a shelf in my garage. I literally forgot about it for about three weeks. Then on Saturday, May 6 th , I had to get somet

FIRST INSPIRATIONS - PREMIÈRES INSPIRATIONS

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  English Version - *version française dessous*  FIRST INSPIRATIONS In December 1988, I was at my Mother-in-Laws house for Christmas. Several years previous, she saw the Courtauld Impressionist collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Fine Art.  She purchased a souvenir coffee table book. I had thumbed through this book a number of times and was glancing through it again that Christmas.   However, this time was different...   I clearly remember turning a page and seeing Degas.  Then Monet.  I will never forget how I felt that day when I turned those pages and saw such beauty... it was an epiphany!    I was struck by the vibrant colors and beauty and decided at that moment, I wanted to try and paint.   I was 38 years old at the time and had never had any interest in art, in fact, I was terrible in high school art classes… but then again, I was terrible in student in all subjects!   But I wanted to try.    To thi

MY EARLIEST PAINTING - MA PREMIÈRE PEINTURE

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English Version - *version française dessous*  MY EARLIEST PAINTING I have no recollection of my first painting efforts.   Nevertheless, I was told about it many times as I grew up.   My parents moved into a duplex on Patricia Avenue in NDG, a suburb of Montreal two weeks before I was born.   My Grandfather and my Uncle Bob lived on the first floor and we lived above them.   I was the first of four kids.   Apparently, if I had been a girl, my parents were going to name me “Patricia” after the street.   PHOTO/S: ROSANNE, STEPHEN & ME WITH GRANDPA   Both Mom and Dad worked.   During the day, Grandpa and Uncle Bob took care of me and in the summer they used to put me in backyard so I would not wake up my newly arrived siblings, Rosanne and Stephen, twins who arrived two years after me followed by my youngest brother Robby, a year after the twins.     According to family lore, when I was just over three, I escaped from