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.

Monday 5 December 2011

Two New Workshops Announced

I have had the good fortune to have taken many excellent workshops in Canada and the USA - plein air, studio landscape and portrait/figurative.  Some are simple "paint like me" workshops which are fun and helpful to a point. I benefited much more from those workshops that focused on the fundamentals, particularly on how to simplify and plan your painting, on constructing effective compositions and other fundamentals like creating effective form from light and shadow. They gave me real take-home help. 

Workshops to me are not about making paintings but about making progress. 

The best plein air workshops I attended were from Barry John Raybould (Virtual Art Academy), Jennifer McChristian and Robert Watts. Each focused on fundamental principles, on developing good habits that helped in planning and simplifying. Each had an indoor component - from one to three days - to insure that when one did go on-location they had a better chance of success. 


February 25, 26      Qualicum Bay, B.C.   $275

Painting plein air is exciting but very difficult. The most successful plein air painters insure their success through careful planning and having an understanding of the elements of composition before going on location. They use equipment and supplies that work.

This workshop will be two days INDOORS. The first day will focus on equipment and supplies in oils and acrylics, on the elements of composition,  on using Notan and thumbnails to design and simplify, and using pencil and pad to create effective and interesting  compositional choices from a series of projected images.  The second day will be totally hands-on planning and decision-making from projected images then creating small "plein air"  paintings - simulating the challenges of working on location.

The principles taught will be useful to improve studio as well as plein air paintings. 

To  register, contact Susan Schaefer, Island ArtsMagazine go to Online Store. 


Recent Comox Workshop Pearl Ellis 
April 16-20   The Old School House   Qualicum Beach B.C.  

Designed for painters with some experience/knowledge and for intermediate painters looking for a grounding/refresher in the fundamentals of planning and executing a successful landscape painting. 

For an outline of the five day program visit my website and go to workshops. 
Each morning from Monday to Thursday we will have a presentation/discussion on topics: colour, value, shape and form, perspective, accurate observations and composition. Each afternoon I will do a demo and we will work on exercises to reinforce the topic of the day. The final day will be just painting - using the principles we discussed during the week to  manage our reference, value sketches, making strong compositions etc. 

To Register contact the Old School House  

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