Sunday, December 14, 2014

"Windswept" 24 x 30" acrylic

"Summerfield" 24 x 30" acrylic

These will be my last 2 paintings for 2014. They are currently hanging in the Medal show at the Federation of Canadian Artists Gallery in Vancouver. They might represent a new direction for me, although I've been incorporating some of the techniques used here for a few years now. On "Summerfield" in particular, I've used a lot of chippy brushstrokes and I'm really enjoying the results.

I've learned over the years that painting has a mind of it's own. I think we might do our best work if we just follow the muse and don't try to control or preplan too much, how things will go. When I'm teaching, I call it "letting the painting be the boss". The process involves starting a painting and then stepping back and looking to see what the painting is asking for. In this way, each painting becomes an adventure- you don't know what will come until the painting is finished.

2014 has been a year of letting go for Alan and I, and it has been one of the most difficult ones for me. We lost my precious Dad in January. Alan has had many health challenges and we have gone through the stress of putting our home of 26 years on the market. There have been a few tears on my part as I try to let go of this place that holds so many memories for us. This is where I raised my children and where we hosted so many dinners with family and friends. Three years ago we built my dream studio and I don't really feel that I got enough time to experience it. Still, the time is right to make a change.

In January we will move into our new home- a large pretty townhouse in the heart of Fort Langley. We have lots of space for two studios and many of the comforts of a new house that we've never had in our 100 year old current house. We will be close to friends, shops, restaurants, walking trails and the beautiful Fraser River. We are excited to have a new start and be able to stay in our community. I'm looking forward to making new memories in the new house and welcoming friends and family there.

For all of you who read my blog- thank you for your interest. I hope that 2015 is a wonderful, creative, happy year for you.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

3 little paintings

  I have been on a roll with 12 x 16" paintings lately. Must be the dull weather that's causing me to want to do bright colour. It's fun to take a reference photo with just green trees and play around with alternative colour possibilities. I have always struggled a bit with small paintings- I feel more comfortable on a larger scale but it feels like these little guys are teaching me something. Texture and movement are what I'm learning more about. Also, on a small painting you have to simplify- those editing decisions are challenging, but necessary, to make a stronger painting.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Winter Pine

"Winter Pine" 24 x 30" acrylic

I have been away from the blog for quite some time. Our life is filled with real estate stress right now as we are selling our current house, and have purchased a new house. We're only moving a few blocks away but have downsized on the garden space by buying a large townhouse. Plenty of studio space for Alan and me, but very little upkeep. We are excited to start a new chapter of our lives but right now there are a lot of distractions.

Painting has been a lovely distraction so I have managed to produce a few new pieces. I painted the tree in this new piece once before in oils. My plan was to start it in acrylics and finish in oils, but I ended up seeing it through in acrylics. Instead of blending the sky, I used chippy brushstrokes to make the subtle transitions. The painting will go to the Adele Campbell Gallery in Whistler for their annual "Spirit of Winter" show.

I have a couple of events coming up soon. This weekend, we are in White Rock for the annual International Artist's Day festival. It's held at the White Rock community centre and goes Friday night and all day Saturday and Sunday. I will be doing an artists talk on "What Jurors Look for"on Saturday from 11:30 to 12:00.

I also have my last workshop of the year happening at the Steveston Hotel in Richmond on November 1st and 2nd. It's intermediate level acrylics and details are on the Federation of Canadian Artists website-, under "education". Contact me if you have any questions.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Blue Wave

I had a good day in the studio today. Finished two paintings that I've been working on for a while. This painting was done from a photo that I overlooked for 2 years. I took a notion to paint nothing but waves and sky, and searched through my reference photos to find this one. I really like the simplicity of the image- I find it very peaceful. Which I can use right now as we just put our house on the market. Living with real estate stress now!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Into the Woods

I love to paint the forest. This spot was quite magical with a carpet of moss everywhere and light slanting through. I took the photo on a drive up to Whistler. The painting will be one of my 2 new pieces for the Peninsula Gallery in Sidney. Alan and I will be painting in the gallery on Sunday after noon- Sept 7th. Please come and see us if you're in the area.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Gulf Island Sunset

This is the dock near my Mom's home on Pender Island. I raced down at the end of the day to capture the reference photos for this painting. Don't have a title for it yet but it's a 30 x 40" acrylic.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Whistler Workshop

I had a wonderful time last weekend teaching a workshop in Whistler for these lovely people. Thanks  to all for making it such a fun experience!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Here's our little gang at the Western art show at the Calgary Stampede. Alan and Rick McDiarmid shared a booth, and Diane and I went along as support staff. It was 10 long days and a unique experience to say the least. Best parts for me were getting to know the other artists and viewing some the of incredible diversity of artistic talent represented there. I came home feeling inspired and anxious to get going in the studio. I took a day to drive through the Kananaskis region of Alberta, so am working on a piece based on pictures I took that day. The mountain scenery was spectacular.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Early Moon - Tofino

Early Moon - Tofino   24 x 30" acrylic

Just finished this one. I'm exploring working with a bit more limited palette and keeping the shapes more graphic. Also having a lot of fun with texture and brushmarks- especially in the sky. This painting will be going off to the Adele Campbell Gallery in Whistler soon.

Monday, June 9, 2014

White on White

White on White- Parrot Tulips

I've been wanting to do a white on white painting for a while. When my friend, Jeannie, gave me these beautiful parrot tulips, I knew they had to be painted. Here's a couple of the early stages, plus the finished piece.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Blustery Day

  "A Blustery Day" 30 x 40" acrylic

The Peninsula Gallery in Sidney, Vancouver Island, has new owners, so they are celebrating the new beginning with the "Rebirth Show", opening on June 7th. I am looking forward to working with Jonathan and Vivian, and Alan and I both plan to attend the show. Come see us if you're in the area. The piece above is my contribution towards the show.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sunny Bouquet 30 x 24" acrylic

Just finished this painting this morning. I tried many different treatments for the background, including various leaf patterns and polka dots. Once I put the stripes in, the painting just seemed to come together.

 I have a still life workshop coming up in Victoria in June, so I've been thinking about creative possibilities. Backgrounds can be really fun for a realist painter like me because you can make up anything you can imagine. In the reference photo, there was a window behind the flowers with a view of the garden. It would have been way too busy to have included all that.

If you're interested in the Victoria workshop, details can be found on my website:

Monday, April 21, 2014


"Anticipation" 24 x 36" acrylic
For me, a perfect day often includes nature and sunshine. I like the way the sea sparkles in the distance, beckoning the observer forward. I'm hoping this painting imparts a feeling of joy and anticipation, the same feeling I get from being in a place such as this.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

After the Rain

"After the Rain- Tofino" 24 x 36" acrylic

Here's my first painting from the Tofino trip. It will be in the catalogue for the Painters at Painters event in Campbell River in May. I am teaching an acrylic workshop in Campbell River right after Painters, so check my website or email me if you want more information.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Another Arbutus painting

 "Island Dancer" 30 x 40" acrylic

Here's the latest painting of my favourite tree in my favourite spot on the planet. Roesland on Pender Island. I love the way the arbutus tree undulates amongst all the staid upright fir trees.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Tofino Trip


 Last weekend we spent three days in Tofino, on Vancouver Island's glorious wild west coast. We were joined by friends and fellow artists, Rick and Diane McDiarmid, Gaye Adams and Mark Hobson. The highlight for me was visiting Mark's beautiful floating studio. It's a 15 minute boat trip away from the town of Tofino- every artist's dream of a peaceful retreat to create in.

We painted on the beach, walked dogs and took a ton of photos. I'm looking forward to starting a new beach painting in the next few days.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Weekly beginner class in Fort Langley

I have set up 6 weeks of Wednesday afternoon classes in my studio. This series will focus on basic acrylic techniques. Images provided- step by step instruction. Dates are Feb 26 to April 2nd- Wednesdays, 1:30 to 4:30. Cost is $300.00, plus tax. Currently I have 2 spots available. If you're interested, let me know.

Friday, February 14, 2014


Sea to Sky 30 x 24" acrylic

As I may have mentioned before, skies have always been my nemesis. My goal for 2014 is to conquer skies in acrylics.  I love the idea of painting something as simple as water, sand and sky, although I wouldn't describe this painting as simple.

I have tried many approaches including fast and furious, and slow and painstaking. The techniques I used for this painting would be closer to the slow approach but I found painting it quite meditative and enjoyable. I used a lot of glazing fluid and many layers of glazes in this painting. I tried not to think about technique and just let the painting dictate what it needed. I might have liked more chunky brushstrokes but that's not the way it evolved. Now I'm looking forward to the next one.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Begin Again

I like the uncluttered feeling of the sand in this painting. I painted that area very fast with a 2 inch brush to get the soft edges. Also used lots of glazing fluid to keep the paint wet a little longer. This is another of the perfect beaches on Calvert Island, north of Vancouver Island.

"Begin Again" 30 x 40" acrylic

Friday, January 24, 2014

Lighthouse Park

Lighthouse Park    24 x 36" acrylic

Painting is turning out to be the thing I feel most like doing right now. My studio feels like a sanctuary of calm and the images of the ocean are what I'm drawn to for subject matter. I took the photo reference for this one a few weeks ago. Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver has been painted many times so I hope I was able to bring something original to my rendition.

Monday, January 20, 2014

What Remains

Here's my first completed painting for 2014. It's from my favourite spot on Pender Island.  I'm dedicating it to my dad, who passed away last week after a rich and happy life of 88 years.

"What Remains"  30 x 40" acrylic