GO TO YOUR ROOM ! I borrowed this phrase from the recently deceased Canadian painter Robert Genn who believed that there is only so much we can learn about how to paint from the many fine instructors and resources available today. The true learning comes from going off on our own and doing it - Go to your room!

I have had the good fortune to take instruction from outstanding artists in Canada and the USA. I am now focusing on my own development ( Going to MY room!) and sharing what I have learned and continue to learn. I created this blog primarily for those attending my workshops to keep in touch and to further share as we grow together. If others are interested in following that would be great.

Enjoy the journey.

Friday, 24 October 2014

New Acrylic Workshop Announced for Campbell River Art Gallery

New acrylic two day workshop to be held March 7/8 at the Campbell River Art Gallery on Vancouver Island. The program is designed for serious beginners to intermediate artists wishing to explore the great potential in the acrylic medium.

Clip from the Campbell River Art Gallery Website. 
We will focus on techniques and equipment useful to acrylic painters, on different approaches to beginning an acrylic painting  and the use of different types of acrylic paints and mediums.

I will be doing demos and a few paint-along-with-me drills. There will be exercises to practice. On the Sunday afternoon participants will work on their own painting employing many of the techniques demonstrated.

Participants will receive my recommended reading list, a supply list and my outline Steps for Making a Landscape Painting. 

To register contact the Campbell River Art Gallery.

Monday, 6 October 2014

From plein air sketch to studio commission

Pleased to have been  commissioned to make a  painting in Collingwood. The request was for the view from the top of Blue Mountain down to the town and to the grain silos - the  town icon. Its a scene I have painted many times but only in the spring and winter.

 The client wanted a splash of fall colour and the Collingwood scene from above.

Pencil sketch on linen. Final draw in using acrylic markers

WM oils nearing finish   11x14 on linen
For the commission I decided to create an oil and an acrylic. Each with a different foreground.

Oil on linen 14x18  
Acrylic on linen 14x18
The client chose the oil.  Wonderful couple to work with making doing a commission a joy.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Along the Road to Ontario

In mid August Cathy and I left Comox for Ontario to spend 6 weeks with our family there. We took our RV, headed into Washington State and did the Cascades region, which we had not seen before. Then up into Southern BC and across Canada to Ontario. The trip was easy (for a change), uncomplicated by bad weather or problems of any type.

We really enjoy our 24 ft unit - e bikes on the back.

In Saskatoon we enjoyed the hospitality of painter and photographer Delee Grant and her husband Larry. 
I packed an acrylic kit to use in our rented condo on arrival and an oil kit for plein air along the way. I decided NOT to pack my acrylic plein air kit - to force me to work with the oils and not have my more comfortable acrylics to fall back on when I got frustrated. Goal was to experiment with new and  different brushes on different surfaces - linen or smooth gessoed MDF board. 

I made about 20 small pieces along the way, all needing "tweeking".  Below I have shared a few. 

 I am pleased to have been asked to do a workshop with the Marsh Street Painters in Clarsburg while I am here. Looking forward to that.

Will try to keep in touch - grand-kids permitting.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Post workshop practice

first lay-in 6x6 oil on board 

Having just returned from the Susan Lyon/Scott Burdick workhop I needed to find time to play with some of the concepts. My main concern from the workshop was that it was clear that I was not identifying my values as well as I could. So I needed to play with small quick sketches to practice while I still had things in my head .... and SQUINT harder and longer  and carefully survey the reference to clearly identify value shapes. .

First few quickies. Each under an hour.

Smile on Black  WM oil on board 6x6

The Outdoors Man   WM oil on Linen 6x8

Beauty on Black  WM oil on Board 6x8

Great practice and fun to do. Keep trying.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Honored to be included in editorial in South West Art Magazine, August

I was honored that South West Art Magazine, August 2014, chose to include my work along with seven other artist in a section on new Contemporary Landscape Painters.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Susan Lyon and Scott Burdick Workshop - My Review


 Last week I attended a six day workshop at Whidbey Island Fine Art Studio in Langely WA on Whidbey Island. This was my second workshop at the Studio and once again it was very well organized and the venue was well laid out with lots of room. They do a great job and I recommend them for workshops. I took our RV and parked in the fairground where the workshop took place - $15 a night - can't beat that.

We had three days each from Susan and Scott.

Each day they began with a new model, new lighting set up and new approach to starting the portrait. Each demo was about 2 1/2 hrs. Each afternoon we painted the same models for 3 hours.
Six days of full morning demos is a lot and can be hard to take - but not with these two instructors. Each day was filled with learning and suggestions and most participants , including me , were pretty much on the edge of their seats the whole time. This couple is so skilled at their craft , so full of knowledge and so willing to share it that you don't want to miss a minute. It was fun to learn of their painting adventures and their own journeys learning to paint.

And they are so different in their approaches that we got to see technique from two entirely different painters. I saw her as a prima ballerina and him as a cowboy - and it made it really fun to watch and compare.

Susan began with a thin wash sketching in the darks
Then adding the lights 

Notice the palette management - neat as a pin

Second day Susan sketched in darks with thin wash
Almost finished - gorgeous piece - the head is only about 4 in high

Susans third started with blocking in the lights

Then the darks 

and almost finished

Scotts first began with a bold block in of the lights

Then adding the darks

Almost finished - notice the palette management 

Second day was a vine charcoal drawing to start

Then the value patterns

Almost finished

Third day was drawn in with transparent paint

Amazing handling of thick paint 

Power paint added

Demo final - what an amazing piece it was

And one of my attempts:

11x14 on linen

And finally another of mine :

But this one I had to buy - one of Scotts prior demos

I was very pleased to be able to add a Scott Burdick to my growing collection. Wish I had one of Susans as well - but the budget only goes so far. 

In summary, it was an excellent workshop. Continuous delivery of information and demonstrations of outstanding skill. And the six days were made fun by the warm and sharing personalities of them both. 

Highly recommend them - and they don't do many workshops. 

Now got to get practicing so I don't loose it.