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.

Tuesday 4 November 2014


I don't know how it started but I generally use a colour shaper , from 1 inch to 5 inches, for adding and removing paint during the early block in stage. I have not shown it's use recently so I thought I would share this attempt. I use it with transparent liquid acrylics ( preference for me is Golden) to layer in a value underpainting of either a mono colour or include the colours that will be used in most large shapes as I did with this piece.

There is something about the physicalness of swiping on and removing as needed that gets me into the feeling of the painting. I think it forces  abstraction  and helps me to avoid over-representation in my work. I particularly like using it when I want a degree of randomness and colour and when I will use opaques to carve out shapes negatively - as in the case of the rocks and trees in this piece.

But mostly I just enjoy it- it gets me in the mood and into my painting.

The initial sketch was done using water soluble pencils followed by acrylic markers once I was happy with my plan.
Initial value sketch - pencil on paper  - to light, mid light, mid dark and dark 

Multiple layers of transparents, dark at the base and warmer for the trees

Green gold wash over entire piece

Beginning to shape trees using pre mixed opaque - thinly over yellow underpainting 

Set up
Examples of colour shapers used

Almost finished shaping sky and water

Autumn Passage   Acrylic on Canvas 24x36

So now into a frame and sit with it for a few days to see what it needs.

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