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 25 January 2015


I have often painted oil and acrylics on black gesso grounds. Particularly on small pieces I enjoy working out from "the darkness". Almost feels like sculpting.

Was about to order more black gesso when Opus Framing and Art Supplies (Vancouver) put Liquatex Burnt Umber Gesso on a greatly reduced price. So I thought I would give it a try and would use it on enough starts to really get the feel for it.  All are acrylics, mostly 11x14 on linen or cotton canvas.

Burnt Umber ground - drawing with acrylic markers

Filling large value shapes

Carving negative spaces

Almost finished 24x24

Sketch and early shapes

Almost finished 11x14 - details needed on figures

I really liked working on the warmer dark ground - as compared to the black. Each piece has a greater or lesser amount showing through and the warmth of the umber seems preferable to the cool black. 

Enough small starts of different colour themes to feel comfortable working on this warm dark ground 

So now I want to try working with it on larger pieces. 


  1. These little paintings are delightful, Brian, I especially enjoy your water surface. Beautiful work, as always!

  2. Blogging is the new poetry. I find it wonderful and amazing in many ways.


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