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.

Wednesday 8 August 2012


Busy time of year for me so I have not been keeping up with my posts. Home for two more weeks then off to Watts Atelier and the Weekend with the Masters in San Diego. Will post about the exercises I am doing to try to get back to oils and to figurative work. But for now I just want to mention a new surface I am trying and quite liking.

Arches Oil Paper

I have never painted on paper - either acrylics or oils. Then I came across a U Tube video demonstrating the use of Arches oil paper - apparently it is quite new. So I purchased a few sheets ( about $8 each for full sheets) and have been trying it. I like it. 

I have tried it "neat" - as it comes, with black gesso and with clear acrylic mat medium. All have a different effect and all are fun to work with. I have glued it without difficult to doorskin. 

My interest is in having something easy and cheap to do quick colour sketches with - on their  own or to test out harmonies etc before beginning a larger piece.

I have two animal commissions to do so thought I would play first on the paper. Both are 8x10. The bear is done on the paper "neat". It is WS oils and I used a lot of Dorlands Wax medium to make it thick and juicy - lot of palette knife work. No problems and drying seems slightly ahead of normal - but it has been warm here lately so hard to tell.

The cat above was done on the paper treated with black gesso. Can get the nice dry brush effect I like over black gesso and enjoyed  doing the sketch. Think it may be worth going back to to see if I can make a  make a fun 6x6. 

Google Arches Oil Paper and lots of information, including Utube demos will come up.

Will try it with acrylics next.



  1. I think you must have read Ed Brickler's super editorial about Arches Oil Paper in the summer Island Arts Magazine.

  2. Brian, thanks for the tip. I want to give this paper a try too. Have a great time in San Diego!


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