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 19 May 2013

What I miss the most

Colour of Gabriola  Acrylic 16x20

So, I have been painting in a small bedroom in this little rented condo for two weeks - all in acrylics. Not ideal but now I am looking at it as a way to learn what I can and cannot do without. I have a great studio set up now in Comox but we are considering the move to a smaller place and it would help a lot to know just what I truly need.

After two weeks its clear  what I miss the most (i.e. cannot do without). I thought it would be to do with the painting area -easels, work surfaces etc. But no its:

  • space in the studio. I normally, particularly as the painting nears completion, apply a stroke or two then walk back about 12 ft to evaluate. My day is a constant back and forth. Without it I find I can't accurately see the effect of each added spot of colour.
Critiquing at my Comox living room 
  • An effective area for  self-critique.  At home I place paintings-in-progress in a good frame  on an easel in our living room considering what it needs to make it stronger under different lighting conditions - for minutes, hours or days. Some I hang on our walls and consider for longer. Cannot stress how important that is and has been for my learning and to improve individual paintings.
  • The jars of premixed acrylic colours of know value. I generally have at least a dozen mixed with the colour painted on the top so I know what the final drying value/colour  will be.
  • A utility sink and work room. Right now I am washing brushes in the toilet - yes, the toilet. Really miss my big sink and work area - for gessoing, varnishing, etc etc. 

Jars of pre mixed colours of known value 

We do the best we can with what we have.



  1. Love that painting of Gabriola at the top of this piece. I love the looseness of your work and strive for this in my work, but it always seems to come out `tight and clean`! If you are going to be back in Comox for a bit I would love to come up and spend a day or two with you.

    1. Sure, would enjoy getting together. But don't fight who you are - your work is very strong.

  2. Wow, I really hear you about the sink. I paint mostly at home, but rent a small studio space largely to have access to a sink for brush cleaning, since I prefer not to do that at home. As for the rest, I know you to be an inventive, creative artist and I'll bet you'll figure out a way to have the space you need to move and observe...somehow.


Thanks for your feedback.