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 4 April 2018

A Few Weeks of Portrait Play

A few weeks ago I posted that I needed to " get back to basics" for some me time. I said I was going to do colour charts and spend time making impressionistic "portraits".

How did I do? Well, while the colour chats are a great idea they were too laborious - I am too old to be that bored.  I should have done them 10 years ago. Maybe next year.

But the quickie portraits I love doing. Did  a few each day.  Most done in a hour or less. A few a bit more. All done alla prima .. All 6x8 on a variety of surfaces and using a variety of brushes - all part of the play. All using water mixable oils.

Some are family. The rest are copies: a few from Sargent, a few from Fechin , one from Liberace ( from his DVD), one from Ruskin.  Great exercise in drawing, in values and colour mixing.


  1. It so true what you said about going " your room". One can only learn so much for the masters. "Go to Your Room" is about developing one's own style and finding one's voice. Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. Ha, your comment re: colour charts made me laugh. I too feel I'm too old to be that bored. I will give myself permission to skip class.

    I enjoy reading your blog. I first came across your work on the Artists Helping Artists podcast, and it gave me the boost I needed to follow my dream of being a artist. I just got into 2 galleries here in Newfoundland, so this late-bloomer is thrilled. Come out and visit us here. (Maybe teach a workshop?) I'm also planning a trip out to BC in about a year. I might catch up with you there, or in Ontario (where I'm from).

    Thanks for taking such care with this blog. I

    1. Hi. Thanks for the comments. Been to the "rock" many times while working. Would love to come as a painter. We are BC in winter, Ont in summer. Let us know.Cheers.


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