“A Day in the Life” with Montréal Author and Visual Artist Shirley Shoub

Shirley Shoub grew up as the second generation of an immigrant family in Montréal during the 40s and 50s. Her father was a factory worker in the clothing industry, and her mother worked hard to raise her and her three older brothers with very limited means.

She worked briefly in office work before marrying her husband with whom she had three children. Life remained difficult for her as she had to divorce her husband and raise her kids essentially on her own, all while completing her BA in English and pursuing a career as a social counsellor.

Around this, time she started exploring her artistic side. She got involved with producing shows for local cable television. It was also around this time that she began taking art classes and finding the creative outlet of drawing and painting.

As Shirley grew older and wiser, her career led her to become an administrator of local daycare homes. She also was involved as a volunteer for women’s abuse shelters, among many charitable organizations, as she strongly believed in giving back to her community. Through all the family and career challenges Shirley has faced, she often seemed to return to her art as a way to ground herself and find meaning.

Shirley’s visual art (paintings, drawings, rendered in acrylics, pastels, and charcoal) has been displayed at exhibitions at the Aquatic and Community Centre of Cote St. Luc, AIM, and in its “Winter Fun” exhibition. She has experimented with abstract art, live art, impressionism, pointillism, and design.

Most recently, Shirley has authored and hand-illustrated children’s books. Two books currently in publication are “Skipper’s Stories” and “Skipper’s Stories: Almost Twins”.

At the age of 81, she says that the biggest art projects are behind her. Don’t believe her.

-Written by Dr. Gary Schneider, son of Shirley Shoub

Shirley Shoub
I am with some of my friends at the Eleanor London Cote St. Luc Library display table of my first two Skipper books which I authored and illustrated: Skipper’s Stories and Skipper’s Stories: Almost Twins. I appreciate having such supportive friends, Charlotte Migicovsky, Deena Smith, Carol Rabinovitch, Reggie Wise, Rosalie Parnass and Marika Somlo
Shirley Shoub
I am reading my second Skipper book: Skipper’s Stories: Almost Twins to the children and parents at Storytime at the Eleanor London Cote St. Luc Library in March of this year
Some of my artwork: my charcoal drawing of a live model, my abstract Double Vision, my paintings of a lion, and of a jaguar, my painting of the aurora borealis with silhouettes of a wolf and landscape as I imagine them to be
Operating my iPhone and my iPad does not come easily to me in my senior years. Here I am in a class provided by CSL Women’s Club with teacher Rhonda Shechtman
Each week, I hone my skills in art class provided by the CSL Aqua Fitness Centre (ACC). Although most of us in class are artists, some guidance from our teacher Noa Ne’eman helps us to continue to progress. There is the extra perk of drawing and painting in the company of friends
CSL Women’s Club provides us with Fitness Classes to the music from around the world. Music of the fifties, sixties, seventies and eighties makes exercise so much more enjoyable. I exercise three hours a week with teacher Angela Palumbo
Shirley Shoub
Pictured here is Janine West, Director of the Eleanor London CSL Library, who also devotes her time to animate our monthly discussion of the latest novel at our Book Club. Here too are Bluma Malinoff and myself, both of us friends since meeting there
Shirley Shoub
Here is my series of five drawings in the design of birds representing the symbolism I had in my dreams when I was in my thirties. Each drawing carries true and in-depth meaning to me


Which ‘hood are you in?

I live in Cote St. Luc, a little city with so much to offer. I enjoy the trail walks in the tiny forest in Trudeau Park, the close proximity to the ACC Community Centre, the Eleanor London CSL Library, the convenience of the CLSC across the road. Of course, I especially enjoy the company of the people who live here.

What do you do?

If we dig deep, we can discover what lies within us and we can continue to reinvent ourselves. Such has been my life, which has allowed me the openness to explore the arts, formerly producing, directing, hosting, researching for community television, and editing a newsletter.

This was along with my career in administration and social work. In my so-called retirement, I have the liberty to thrive in different ways. It is now that I write and illustrate children’s books, paint and draw.

Dinner out with friends is so important to me. Many of us attended Baron Byng High School together. Would you believe it? Yes, we are still in touch.

Visits from my children and grandchildren are fun. They all live elsewhere. Now that I live in an apartment, we find ways to double and triple up to be together. With the grandchildren, I can be young again accompanying them on various excursions.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently hand illustrating my fourth children’s picture book in my Skipper series which I have also authored. Skipper was our beagle dog. I didn’t know what I was getting into to adopt a beagle. I can never write enough stories about the challenges he gave us. But then again, what I have written and illustrated is what I believe to be Skipper’s side of the stories.

I have also recently completed painting a tile for the mosaic mural at the Montréal Children’s Hospital.

Where can we find your work?

Both “Skipper’s Stories” and “Skipper’s Stories: Almost Twins” written and illustrated by Shirley Shoub are available on Amazon.ca, all Amazon sites, Indigo Kids & Baby site, etc. To date, these books have sold in Europe, the US and Canada. The first book, “Skipper’s Stories” written and illustrated by Shirley Shoub is also available at Bonder’s Book Store, Kidlink and the Babar Book Store website.

My artwork and books are also on the Artists in Montréal site where I am a member.