Category Archives: Uncategorized

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.


The Monkey Wants Your Input

Whether you are a past participant or are considering taking a workshop in the future, we’d appreciate your feedback.  It will help us to formulate our upcoming workshop schedule to better meet your needs.  Thank you for your response!  Fill out the survey here.


Transitions of a Painting

The result of my abstract demo from the Island Arts Expo and the documented process.

Finish the trunk, add some darks and unify and soften the sky.

Scrivener 24×24″ Acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas $1000.00

30 Paintings in 30 Days -Day 13

Divided –Separate or be separated into parts.   This painting has a religious story with the small image of the church in between the people. Reflecting while I was painting I realized how many times in my life I have seen the divide between religion and people.

I have had many feelings of being divided – through divorce, friendships, moving and death.  It is part of life that we must endure.

Being in groups of people, like minded or not often leaves me feeling exasperated separated.

This painting doesn’t have a happy feel instead it carries a lot of emotional weight.


Divided -12 x 12″  Oil and cold wax on a cradled panel $250.00

September-the Month of New Beginnings!

Wow! Where did the summer go, the last few days are really starting to feel like fall! I really got out of my routine over the summer between doing markets and going to harp camp. I am feeling the need to regroup and get back into my daily practice. I have trouble being my most creative when things are in turmoil.

Knowing it is going to be hard to get back at it I  have decided to challenge myself. After reading  Leslie Saeta’s challenge and the opportunity to join in, I thought that is perfect! 30 Paintings in 30 days! I’m in!

So decisions need to be made. What format, what substrate, what size, what subject matter …….. My first thought was that I would paint on 300 pound water colour paper  with a taped border in a square format, 8×8″, and work on abstracts in neutral colours with a single bright colour for the focal. That resonates with me!

However I have decided against it, for now anyway. As I looked around my studio and saw all the unfinished starts I have, I decided a bigger challenge would be to finish 30 of my unfinished paintings. Some might be total cover ups while others might just need some tweaking. In any case when I look at the large pile and think that these will all be finished paintings in 30 days I am stoked!DSC02247


What about you, do you have a challenge or are you heading back to school?


Change is good!

I just returned from 2 and a half weeks in Saskatchewan. The cold temperatures and wind surely should have killed any germs, in any event I ended up with a wicked cold/cough and laryngitis! Although it was a busy time preparing for my Dad’s memorial service and doing things around the house that have been neglected over time I did have time to think.

I love doing mind maps and had the time to work on my business plan in more detail. The appeal of mind maps in that they are visual and I can relate to that.

In any event when I came back and went in my studio I became very aware that it is time to simplify and become even more organized. I have been pondering my next painting challenge and just can’t get clear on it. Until I can decide I will work on reducing my clutter.  Some of that is inventory. Teaching and doing demo’s really creates a lot of art that doesn’t necessarily fit in with anything I am doing. That is the good news for you as I will be offering several pieces over the next few weeks through Daily Paintworks Auction. Now is the perfect time to treat yourself or buy a gift for someone.

Scrivener-Fields of Gold 10x8

Reflecting on 2012 accomplishments

I love the turn  of the calendar! It seems like a new start – new goals, determination to stick with it, renewed enthusiasm…

Before setting new goals I think it is important to reflect on the past year and list your accomplishments. You might be surprised! Give yourself a pat on the back. Now go ahead and use those accomplishments to set your 2013 goals around. What worked? What can you do more of? What is out of balance?

No one is going to set goals for you – you must set your own goals!

More on goal setting in an upcoming blog.

Right now I want to share my accomplishments from 2012.

  1.  Completed one commissioned  painting -24 x 72
  2.  Had two paintings accepted into the prestigious Sidney Art Show.
  3.  Had one newspaper article printed in the local PQ News.
  4. Had  9 paintings accepted into various Federation of Canadian Artists (FCA) juried shows in the Vancouver Gallery
  5. 1 painting accepted  into the  Arrowsmith Chapter FCA Spring Show
  6. 2 Paintings accepted into the Arrowsmith Chapters Fall Show
  7. Juried into and displayed my work at the Filberg Festival
  8. Displayed my art  in Nanoose Art in The Garden, Parksville Beach Fest, and TOSH 100 Year Anniversary
  9. Had a successful Open studio show and Sale
  10. Displayed my art at the Muir Gallery Popped Art Show in Courtenay
  11. Displayed my art at the TOSH 100 year celebration.
  12. Did a guest demo for Des Cosmos Art Group
  13. Participated in the FCA Taste Test Workshop
  14. Taught a workshop for the De Cosmos art group
  15.   Taught a workshop for the Nanoose Watercolour Group (they are delving into acrylic and mixed media!)
  16. Taught 6 workshops in my own studio.
  17. Painted 106 paintings
  18. Sold 35 paintings
  19. Have two new galleries displaying my art, Island Exposures Gallery in Parksville and the White Dog Studio Gallery in Whistler.
  20. 4 pieces juried into the Coast Collective Gallery in Victoria- Small Treasures Show.
  21. Published in the Federation Magazine

What did you accomplish?






Ho,ho,ho! Tis the season!

I don’t get caught up in the frenzy of Christmas, I don’t  decorate a tree,buy very few gifts and don’t do outdoor lights! I might go as far as to put some greens and a ribbon in my pots at the front door -maybe set a few baubles in a bowl and a couple of glitter twigs in a vase.

For 30 years I was involved in the business of Christmas! It all started by working at a greenhouse/flower shop that grew and sold over 800 poinsettias -mostly red. Oh it was beautiful at first but after decorating them all with pot covers and bows and wrapping them for the cold Saskatchewan air the novelty wore off.

I went on to own flower shops for several years. Christmas is a year long activity in retail – planning and purchasing in January. Inventory arriving in July. Starting to work on permanent Christmas wreaths and arrangements in August. Going full out until Dec 24th.  No time to go to parties, bake, or decorate for yourself-long days and lots of pine sap! I still do miss the smell of Christmas greens.

After the flower shops I started an interior decorating business. Needless to say I started decorating clients homes and hotels for Christmas. With a team we decorated 50 plus trees a year, garlands, decor, outdoor pots, mantles, staircase bannisters -day in and day out from Nov 10 until Dec 24th. Come January we took it all down and put it away.

I also consulted and put together product lines for a wholesale floral/accessory business. This meant buying trips to the Dallas market in January to select product. Working as a showroom designer I started getting Christmas displays ready in July.

I have had my fill! I am a confirmed hum-bug! Maybe -just maybe I will make some shortbread cookies!


For me Christmas is about  goodwill, peace and love. Spending quiet time with family and loved ones, doing good deeds,remembering those less fortunate and reflecting on all that I have.

Being a musician I also love all the different Christmas music especially the less common carols.



However you spend your Christmas I wish you peace, love and health.