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.

Friday 27 November 2015

I was asked why I pre-colour the canvas.

To further explain the post from yesterday. I was asked about why I chose to  pre-colour the canvas red or blue . Couple of reasons: I don't like painting on a white canvas. It is either coloured with paint or coated with dark gesso - just a personal preference.  I also like the serendipity of outcome - the happenstance of letting some of the under painting show through - creating harmony or a "mother colour".  It takes a bit of practice at the beginning  but with time  is not done with a lot of forethought . You can take the same image and totally change the outcome starting on a different base colour - warm or cool or black etc. It adds a fun element to quick studies like these.

Here the canvas was coloured red . You can see where it  behind the blue distant hills. Makes no sense - but its kind of fun. I glazed over the bottom and  some of the tree area with transparent diox purple then you can see where I removed it while still wet using a rubber shaper from parts of the "rock shapes" at the bottom and some of the tree area then shaped those areas with opaque paint - result is a dulled red but still holds the harmony. You can also see where some of the red can be seen through the clouds by wiping off some of the opaque with a paper towel.

This piece has a similar theme but is built on a phthalo blue base. The distant hills, the core of the rocks and some limbs of the trees have remained untouched but shaped by the opaque around it. You can see where I left some of the tree limbs blue - again makes no sense but I kind of like it.

Here you can see the red ground remaining to be part of the tree limbs, in the sky and again on the rocks where I glazed with transparent burnt orange and removed in areas with the rubber shaper.

These are quick studies with little planning or  second guessing. They are simple, almost naive little pieces but are really fun to do and great for getting the juice flowing. Might look good under a Christmas tree.


  1. You have a great grasp of color theory and you have used it to make your style very distinct. I love your work.


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