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 just doing it - Go to your room!

I have had the good fortune to take instruction from outstanding artists in Canada and the USA. I continue to work on my own development ( Going to MY room!) . I share, through this blog and workshops, what I have learned and what others have shared with me.

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.

Sunday 8 July 2012

Street Painting - a step towards plein air?

I recently spent a couple of days painting on the sidewalk  in front of two galleries: Gallery 223 in Nanaimo and Pearl Ellis Gallery in Comox. Neither site provided an interesting spot to make a plein air start so I painted from photos. Both days attracted interest with some folks staying and chatting for over a hour. 

In each case I spent about an hour  and a half making starts that I will put final finishes on and see if they warrant being called a " painting". 

But my point came to me yesterday when one of the "audience" was talking about their fear of painting plein air in front of viewers. It dawned on us that maybe painting in a visible location from photos - where you have better control of your subject and weather etc - might be a step to building confidence in painting in front of others. 

I choose photos that are simple to work. Each example is acrylic 12x16 on linen mounted on 1/8 " doorskin plywood. 

Just something to consider.

Cameron Lake Colours 

Late Snow Castle Craig

Shapes of San Jo Bay

Strathcona Runoff 


  1. Exactly right! That's why I choose to volunteer at TOSH. Painting in the gift shop took away my fear of painting in public, as folks are always stopping to watch you paint, asking questions etc.

  2. Exactly right! That's why I choose to volunteer & paint in the gift shop at TOSH - it took away the fear of public painting. Folks are always stopping by & watching & asking questions etc.

  3. Painting with acrylics amid constant interruption? You have my undying respect!

  4. Brian, I just found your blog and love you work! I subscribed, and expect to learn a lot from you.

    Jaime Howard


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