Author Archives: patt

It is That Time of Year!

It is the time of year that I like to clean my studio and get ready to start fresh in the new year. 

This year with my studio reno I have been doing a lot of extra organization and I have lost some of my display walls to gain more storage, water, and a washroom. 

What always amazes me is how many paintings I have accumulated from workshops I have taught – most of them never finished!! So I have been FOCUSING (focus was my WOTY – word of the year for 2017) on finishing many of them. 

As these works don’t necessarily fit in with my current body of work I offer them at a discounted price. 

This is where you come in!! 

I need to move several of these out of my studio to make room for new work!  (My storage pit is bulging!!)  

I am having an “Affordable Art Sale” on Dec 16/17 from 11.-3 both days in my studio.   Along with the demo paintings, I will be offering works on paper, earlier work, and ends of series. The $$$ will be vintage! 

I will have approximately 300 paintings for you to choose from.  The last count I had 285 and I am still finishing some more over the next week. 

I really hope you will come out and buy a gift for a family member, a friend or treat yourself! 

And if you are out of wall space I have beautiful pillows, scarves, headbands, and leggings with my art printed on them. 

Support the arts this year while you are shopping!!! 


Stop by Passion4Art Studio and take home a treasure! 

Dec 16/17 2017


784 Temple St.

Parksville, BC

Or by appointment. 



My WOTY -or Word of the Year

I’ve finally settled on my guiding word for 2017. 


Pay particular attention to and concentrate. 

I will be focusing in particular on a few things in my art business. 

  1. Developing my online workshops
  2. Making better art
  3. Teaching lots of people both in my studio, as a guest instructor and online
  4. Getting more gallery representation
  5. Increasing my marketing efforts – more videos and blog posts in particular

That is the art business plan. 

Now for my harp business.

  1. Continue teaching my 5 students
  2. Work on developing new repertoire
  3. Plan a harp concert
  4. Start a harp ensemble
  5. Play for more weddings

In my Interior Design Business

  1. Upgrading my computer drafting skills
  2. Niche market to seniors overwhelmed with renos and downsizing

In my personal life I have some things to focus on too. 

  1. Plan more days off and mini getaways
  2. Finish some nagging projects
  3. Planning home improvement renos
  4. Spend more time in the garden?
  5. Spend more time in the sauna

My next step is to make a visual reminder of it. 

Have you picked your word for ?

Would you like to make it into a visual reminder?

I have a workshop coming up just for that. 

You can find out about it here. 

Looking Back

I always find this time of year to be one of reflection. To look back over the past year and review what worked, what didn’t, what I want to do less of, what I want to do more of, how I stacked up to my goals and the list of questions goes on! 

Take some time to answer these questions:

  • What are 3 things you will stop doing?  Do you have commitments you are resentful of? Do you have habits that are not serving you?  Are there time wasters that are keeping you from doing what you love. 
  • What are 3 things you will start doing?  How will you stretch out of your comfort zone? What new practices will you implement? 
  • What are 3 things you will continue doing?   What is working well and you want to keep doing? 

In order to move forward it is necessary to look back. 

In order to move forward we need to analyze, question and tweak. 

If we are in business as an artist (or otherwise) we need to take a step back and look from the outside in.

We need to work on our business not in our business. The last week of the year is my planning time.  Where I look at the big picture! Where I map out the year. 

This isn’t written in stone but is a guideline. The plan gets tweaked many times along the way. 

The most important thing is to have a plan. Without a plan closer to our dreams or goals. 

Taking action on our plan is the next step. 





The Benefits of Painting Studies

While preparing for my recent abstract landscape workshops I decided to do a bunch of small paintings on paper to show my students various techniques and compositional styles.  I really discovered the benefits of painting several studies in succession.

  • Safe – not a big commitment
  • It allows us to explore composition
  • The freedom to try new and different colour palettes
  • Try different techniques and tools
  • Improves painting skills by working quickly
  • Can be done when we don’t have a lot of time to paint
  • Ideas for future paintings
  • Discovering new techniques

Here is a sampling of some of them.


Play Big

This is a painting I did with cold wax and oil paint. For some reason the words “If life is a game Play Big” came up. It got me thinking about what play big means.

Scrivener - Play Big

Play Big is going to mean something different for everyone. The next step of your journey, something you are facing that is fearful, a big dream you want to take.

For me playing big means getting my art work and my music out there more.

It also means inspiring and helping other people to aspire to their dreams. That could come through teaching harp or art, decorating houses or coaching people to find their big.

When you do decide on what your big is it is amazing how stuff starts to show up and opportunities align with your “big”

So, where are you playing big right now?

If you are not playing big what is holding you back?

If you feel stuck with your creativity and want to break through the barriers book a free thirty minute Empowerment Call. You will be able to ask questions about the process about coaching and about what to expect if we work together. The goal of this call is to see if we are a good coach/client match, and whether or not you might want to work with me to break through the barriers and “Play Big”

If we decide that we are not a good fit, no harm done – we will both have learned something in the process.

Click here to request your free call.






One on One Mentoring Session

This week I had the opportunity to give a one on one mentoring session. It is a very efficient way to learn. In a one on one session you get undivided attention.  For some people it is a preferred method of learning rather than in a classroom setting. This was the case for G. (who wants to remain anonymous).

We spent three and a half hours together and he went home with a painting ready to hang.

He had an idea of what he wanted to do and needed help achieving it.

Here was the process.

Fist he blocked in some colour using a catalyst straight edge blade. Raw umber, yellow oxide, nickle azo and red iron oxide.

Initial Layer

Blow drying speeds up the process-even though acrylic dries fast G did not want to watch paint dry!


Next he added some umber to the foreground to tie it to unify it more with the top and give it a more rock like feel. Notice he is holding his brush at the end so he does not have so much control. This makes for more interesting lines.


He got ahead of my picture taking! He added another mountain shape in the background. For the tree he used a veil coat of watered down titanium white. This was misted with water so it would leave some texture and bring some of the umber to the top. The last step was to glaze over it with Nickle Azo gold. I love how the tree looks back lit. It makes it the focal point.  The edges where finished with raw umber before putting hanging hardware on the back.

G. went home with a painting he created ready to hang in his new home.



Do you want to fast track your learning?

Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned painter I am available to help you. Contact me to discuss the possibilities!


Two Day Residency

I just spent two days at the TOSH10 Gallery in The Old School House In Qualicum Beach. It is my commitment to being in a co-operative gallery. I treat my shift as a self imposed residency. If I go with a strong focus I find I can get a lot of  work done.  So for the past two days  I worked on Abstract Landscape paintings – just small studies.

I started by making several thumbnail sketches of  a variety of composition styles – high horizon, low horizon, framed, path, aerial view etc.
Sketch Book

I then started working on several paintings – 11 to be exact! I used scrapers and palette knife as well as some brush work.

There is great value in working on several paintings at one time- you never get caught up on any thing becoming to precious and you have no down time waiting for things to dry.

Most of them are not finished but close.

Here is where I got to so far. I will post them as I complete them – always the hardest part!

New Show at Martene’s Bistro in Comox

Martenes BistroI have a show hanging at Martenes Bistro in Comox. I met the owner Marcus at an outdoor festival in Comox and had the pleasure of eating at his restaurant. Best calamari ever!

I have a mixture of my work including pondscapes, abstracts and figurative. If you are in Comox or area and want to have a great meal be sure to check out Martines.