Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 30 > Page 28 - A Visit with Bill Daye, Painter

Page 28 - A Visit with Bill Daye, Painter

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1981/12/1 (247 reads)

ground, there's always one watching, you see, watching for that one. Now, he's got twice as many animals as that, but that's all I got that day--sit there and put some feed around to keep them eating, you know. I made the drawings on the spot--the sketches and the descriptions, the colour and what they were. And then I came home and I put the drawing on the canvas, and then I went back to get some of the col? ours of the farm, and this and that. I'd do a little painting, and I'd come back home and find out what I had wrong, and I'd correct it. I must have gone 50 times back and forth to get it painted. You couldn't sit there long enough to paint all that. You couldn't do it outside, the flies plaguing you and everything. (Trout--35 years ago, Gillis's Lake--and that's the actual size of it?) This is The Angler's Prayer. (Reads:) "This actual- sized trout was caught in Gillis's Lake, East Bay, Cape Breton, April 30th, 1943." I laid the trout on a piece of cardboard, and I cut out the paper the shape and size of the fish. And in years after, when I wanted to paint the fish, I'd go down to the brook and catch a little trout and take him home fresh to get the colour. Eve? ry time I wanted to paint, I'd go get a new little trout in the brook. Oh, God knows how many times. There were two ships, passenger ships, used to sail from Sydney up the St. Law? rence to different ports. One was called the City of Sydney. Big white passenger ships"! And they took passengers back and forth on regular schedules. They were re? pairing some part of this ship and putting in new heavy canvas on the deck and down the galley ways, you know, the inner part of the housing on the boat--not the outer decks. And those big sheets of canvas, when they'd be dirty, they'd destroy them and put new canvas, just like you'd put a carpet in a room. And Capt. John Buffett-- he was mate on this boat then--he brought up this big piece of canvas to my mother and said, "Here, Mrs. Daye, this'd just fit your kitchen floor." And she got the canvas, she put it down on the kitchen floor, and had it painted some sort of blue or bright green. And after that wore on the floor for years and years and years, she threw it out. And this day I wanted to paint a picture. And I said, I'll use it for my trout. Because I was painting on pa? per they paint signs on, before that, you see, and it wasn't so good, wouldn't stand up. And I took that old piece of canvas out in the back yard, I turned it over and I sized it with sizing. I gave it 2 or 3 coats of good white paint, and I painted the trout on it. And there it is. (Winter Pork.) I was there when he killed the two pigs. He shot them first with a .22 rifle. And he had an old door or a big piece of heavy 3/4-inch plywood on the saw- horses, and the pigs were laying on there and they shaved them. A big barrel of wa? ter and knives--the wet bags to lay on to make the pigs warm, you know. He didn't dip them down in a big container of water. He just laid them there and steeled them and shaved them, and then he hung them in the trees--nice trees there in the scene, too, and the old poles the pen was built out of. And the pig house that they lived in was a house for two dogs that a fellow had given me. So they lived in that house all the time till they died, till they were killed. And it's got a nice red roof on it, which gives colour to it. And lay? ing on this big board is the liver and the In One Building Three Separate Businesses Contribute to the Progress and Shopping Enjoyment of Baddeck and Surrounding Areas Your Mini-Department Store in Baddeck, N.S. Stone's Drug Store Baddeck Home & Auto Baddeck Family Clothing Ltd (28)
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