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.

Thursday 10 October 2013

Cut downs for stronger pieces

I am not sure if I have posted about finding the heart of a larger piece and cutting it down to create a smaller better piece. Something I do often, particularly if a piece is just hanging around or has not sold and I reconsider its strengths and weaknesses.  I put it on the floor and try a variety of  frames to isolate areas to see if I can find areas to save. Its not uncommon to find a few strong  8x10s  from a larger weak piece.  Another reason I like to paint on boards when I can - so easy to take to the chop saw.

Original sketch - too much foreground 

Chop saw at work 

8x10 cut down that I think (hope) is stronger

Thought I would like this start better in square format 12x12 - now to finish the piece
20x30 stretched canvas with poor composition 
Tried 14x18 frame and think I found a stronger composition 

Marked and cut canvas - but accidentally tore it pulling off frame

White glue spread on doorskin to remount

Re-framed, torn area mended using acrylic gel and paint - now to decide what it needs to finish

Sunday 6 October 2013

Modifying my easels

In a recent post I described the plein air easel used by Doug Braithwaite at his workshop. He places his panels on a back board, simply resting on a small ledge. It gives him freedom to work with his panels and use his T square  in a unique and interesting way. 

Doug Braithwaite working at his easel

I modified my Art Box plein air panel holder to carry a back board with a small ledge. Took it for a run today and really liked the freedom to move the panel and have full access to the edges without clips holding it. 

Art Box unmodified with panel held by clips 

Modified with addition of back board to rest panels 

Back side holding back board 

I also modified my Jack Richeson easel, adding a removable back board and shelf and created a palette extension with a glass mixing surface. 

Modified Richeson easel - the one I use for oils 

Panel resting on ledge without attachment and free to move 

panel turned on side for easier working 

Glass palette extended working surface

Workshop Announcement - Fundamentals for Landscape Painters

Fundamentals for Landscape Painters

Strong paintings are built using strong fundamentals

Four days of learning and fun

For the new painter with some experience and the intermediate
painter wanting to strengthen fundamentals

Thursday, Feb 27 to Sunday March 2, 2014

9 AM to 5 PM daily 

Location Comox BC - The Little Red Church 

Class size limited to 12 for maximum supervision 

Mediums: acrylics, water mixable oils or oils with odorless mineral spirits

Demonstrations made in acrylics and water mixable oils

Supply list and reading list

Advanced reading material 

Topics: supplies and equipment, colour, colour mixing, working with values, perspective, creating shape and form, composition, developing a self-critique, approaches to starting paintings in oils or acrylics, working on different surfaces

Each morning: review topic for the day, demonstrations and group exercises
Each afternoon: work on your  own paintings with supervision and instruction

Visit to my studio 

Cost $ 375    
$100 deposit on registration - payment by cheque or PayPal (to
Balance due Jan 15

No refunds after Jan 15 but transferable to waiting list

Reasonably priced accommodations close by 

Testimonials from previous workshops on border on right