Painting an Altered Book or Art Journal
Inspired by graffiti, we will begin by utilizing acrylic paint, stencils, stamps or other mark-making tools to create a vibrant background. We will explore colour and contrast, while adding interest through mark-making in order to capture a vibrant city scene.
With so much attention on the plight of bees in our world, and spending hours watching them in the garden, I knew that it was important to capture them. The colourful flower beds inspired the backgrounds which are always fun to create. These bees are more cartoon-like with the use of reference photos as a guide. A fun way to spend an afternoon painting whimsical bees.
In college many, many years ago I was often referred to as ‘the flower painter’…it wasn’t because my work was necessarily the best, but rather because I enjoyed the process so much. My family has allergies which doesn’t allow me to bring flowers into my home, but I can enjoy them in my garden and in my artwork. I really like the fact that there is no perfection in them, and in fact, the imperfections just seem to add to their beauty.
I grew up in an Indigenous region of northern Canada where I was taught by local grandmothers to bead and weave and to pay attention to the plants and animals of my surroundings. Occasionally a bear or wolf or wolverine, among other animals, would wander through town, something that still happens in my community. We were taught to pay attention to the messengers and what stories they might want to share with us.
Painting a Landscape
Inspired by graffiti, we will begin by utilizing acrylic paint, stencils, stamps or other mark-making tools to create a vibrant background. While working intuitively we will explore colour theory, contrast, and the value of mark-making. We will complete our paintings by including a combination of symbols and images to create a visual story inspired by personal memories.
Painting a Canoe
My family and I spend a lot of time in the Rocky Mountains where I’m always inspired by the canoes in the lakes and rivers. I always carry a small sketchbook and a pen wherever I go and try to sketch some of this inspiration as I prefer to work from sketches rather than photographs…it seems to allow me to work a little more loosely and to alter shapes as I go. In this workshop my focus is on incorporating colourful and meaningful patterns to enhance the canoes.
Facing a blank canvas can be intimidating. Using acrylic paints and stencils we will have fun creating an interesting surface that can be displayed as is or, as in other workshops, layered with imagery to create a finished painting.
Painting Portraits - Simplified
For several years I have begun the practice of creating a small painting a week following a particular theme. As a practicing artist I have found that working in series is great for so many reasons…not only to increase my skills and to challenge myself but also to have a focus and to learn to speak more clearly about what I do. It’s also great to try new methods of working and new materials. Last year my youngest daughter encouraged me to focus on portraits as I hadn’t really worked on them since college a long, long time ago and so I began to paint the women who had impacted me in some way, titled ‘Heroes’. Each week on my website I shared their images, their words and the story of how they influenced me. (They can be viewed under the portfolio on my website.) This workshop is a simplified version of creating portrait paintings.
One of the most popular workshops in schools and otherwise have always been painted hearts and every year I like to paint some for Valentine’s Day. This is a great project when working with children and is a terrific introduction on how to keep colours vibrant. Painting hearts is a fun way to spend an afternoon and can be adapted in so many ways. This project also works well to make cards. When I’m painting these, I like to think of the things I’m grateful for…there is plenty of thinking time with all the layers of colour required. You can add as many or a little colour as you’d like, go bold or neutral.