Monday, January 14, 2019

The Yin and the Yang

In Chinese philosophy, Yin and Yang represent how two even opposites can compliment each other and should be considered as a whole. The ancient symbol of harmony also reminds us that life is a balancing act and most fulfilling when we embrace its dualities, for example the times when we feel like we are in perpetual motion or the times when we shut out the world around us and relax. 


'Duality' Transparent Watercolour 28 by 17 inches

This is one of the most challenging paintings I have ever attempted - trying to convey two radically different emotions/ the movement, energy and joy versus the inner peace and at the same time still trying visually to keep the painting unifying as a whole concept was AGH!!!!!. I am still not sure if the painting worked but I have decided this year to push the boundaries and experiment, to share my journey here with you and to accept not everything will work. It is all too easy to stay in a safe calm zone but in doing so I know I won't grow. They do say that the Yin and Yang are also the starting point for change so Let's see what happens in 2019!

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Waiting for Santa


Holiday Silent Auction: If anyone wishes to purchase this original piece of art, I will donate all profit to the Guelph Humane Society to help make this Christmas a special one for the animals in their care.

Like many dogs in animal shelters and human societies at this time of year, Bentley is waiting for Santa. He would love a new toy or a good bone to chew on, but more than anything Bentley hopes someone with a loving heart who is willing to give him a forever home will arrive.


Sweet Bentley was found wandering around Guelph on October 1st, 2018. He had a limp when he walked, and it was a struggle for him to move​. Even though he was in a lot of pain, Bentley still wanted to play, jump and run just like any other puppy.  Early in November Bentley had surgery on his left leg to remove the tip of the leg bone, so he would have full range of motion in his hip again. He was then fostered by my son Chris while he recuperated.

Thanks to generous Donors, this puppy got the medical care he needed, is on the road to recovery, and will hopefully soon get his wish for a new loving home. While you wait for Santa this year, maybe you would consider donating to help other animals get the medical help they need so they can find a new loving home. https://guelphhumane.ca/get-involved/donate

Waiting for Santa: 8 by 10 inches Airbrushed Watercolour and Scratch board on Ampersand Museum Quality clay board. Contact ona@onak.ca if you want to bid. Start bidding price $100. Bidding will remain open until Midnight on Christmas Day. Ona will contact the person with the highest bid on Boxing Day.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Bah Humbug!



It's time to decorate your home for the Holidays. You get out the lights and check each one...all are working beautifully so you carefully hang them up. Then you gather the family to watch the magic 'turning on of the lights' only to find one light not lit up. Bah Humbug! 

I usually work with a very limited palette when I paint so tackling this painting was a huge step outside my comfort zone... so many colours so close together EEEK!!! for someone  for whom colour and emotion is so closely intertwined it was a challenge not to get overwhelmed as I painted it. It was fun to do though. Thank you Garry for allowing me to take the photo that inspired this painting.

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it. Remember, it is the light within you that is what your friends and family like about you. So don't stress about all the external trimmings.

Transparent Watercolour  17. 5 by 12 inches.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

10th Annual International Signature American Int’l Watermedia Exhibition

I was very happy to hear yesterday that my painting 'Tigantai' has been selected to be part of the 10th Annual International Signature American Int’l Watermedia Exhibition which opens on February 10th next year and runs until April 21st at the Fallbrook Arts Center in California.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Reflecting on 2018 and Planning for 2019

November is my time both to reflect on the current year and to look forward to the next year. I have just released for sale a few of my smaller demos. These are just 3 of the 5 now available. when I look at them I see not only the story behind the paintings themselves but also the memories of the fun had while painting or sharing them and the friends I made doing it. Thank you all 


I am also currently preparing for my workshops and demos for 2019. I am working on a series of videos for them too so although I have been painting this month, there is nothing I am able to share with you all right at this moment. I am very excited to be planning for several new workshop themes though. Anyone who has taken one of my workshops before we know we have a fun time and learn heaps (and yes, I say we because I always learn things too). In 2019 we will be exploring the Psychology of colour in Cambridge,  playing with textures in Sudbury and learning how to paint a portrait in Burlington. So If anyone is interested in signing up for one of them you can find more details HERE.



Sunday, October 21, 2018

Tigantai: The Butterfly Effect


This little Huaorani girl is Nemonte. She is named after her grandmother the eldest woman in the village who is 80 years old.  Little Nemonte, much like her grandmother, has grown up with the forest, and already knows which fruits to eat and what insects to stay away from. Nemonte shows us a butterfly (Tigantai in Wao). This butterfly is only small, just a tiny living being in a huge world, but when it flaps its wings the movement it creates in the air can change the course of the universe forever.

In other words everything we do matters. Every move we make and every action we take matters, not only to us but to everyone and everything that’s part of our life and our world today, tomorrow and even long after we’re gone.  One single action we take can have a resounding impact on our world for years to come.   So be kind, be tolerant and look after the beautiful world we live in so that others in the future can also enjoy it. 

I was so lucky that my son Chris was able to spend some time with Nemonte and her family recently. As soon as I knew he was going  I knew I had to capture the above idea in a painting. Once I had familiarized myself with her appearance I put the photos away and sketched from my heart to create the image I wanted to paint. The background is purely from my imagination.

Transparent Watercolour 21 by 26 inches on arches 140 lb cold press paper.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Let's help to spread some Love around the World

Hope you will enjoy watching this video I created with help from 7 of my art friends from around the globe https://youtu.be/pwV-vMD23dg



Art has the power to break down boundaries and overcome distances between people. It brings people together - to unify those who live to create and also those who love art. 

I would like to thank seven IWS Canada Symphony in Watercolour Finalists, Lorraine Watry, Alexandra Bryksa, Jan Min, Carrie Waller, Sun Jiangang, William Rogers and Lianne Todd who spent their time helping me to create this video. Please help us to spread some love around our world today.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Dorothy J Corson Award

I was honoured to receive the Dorothy J Corson Award yesterday evening at the opening reception of the CSPWC Open Water International Exhibition.



The exhibition is open until October 26th at the John B Aird Gallery 900 Bay Street Toronto.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Ona's Pumpkin Spice Trio by Da Vinci Paint Co.

  Da Vinci Paint Co. approached me and asked if I would select a trio of their colours to create a special set which I could name. I have called it the Pumpkin Spice Trio. This trio is available from Da Vinci Paint Co. beginning today. The three colours I selected are Quin Red, Raw Sienna and Indanthrene Blue. They are gorgeous colours on their own but together they create magic.... beautiful fall oranges, muted greens, shadow purples and AMAZINGLY rich darks... just perfect for capturing fall colour, pumpkins, ghords or cozy fireplaces.

 Hope you enjoy this brand new Paint along with Ona using these three colours



Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Workshop fun


I had a lovely weekend with the Central Ontario Art Association and its sister organisation the East Central Ontario Art Association at Geneva Park. We learnt all about painting white objects.  Thank you to the organizers of the event for making sure it all ran smoothly and thank you to all the participants for their enthusiasm and interest. That is the last of my workshops this year. I have enjoyed them all.

I have just updated the workshop page on my website with the details for next years workshops. If you are interested in attending one reserve your place soon as they are filling up fast!

 http://emotiveexpressions.ca/tutoring-and-critiques/workshops-and-demos/

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Splash 19:Illusion of Light


I am honoured to have my painting 'A Penny for your Thoughts' featured as the lead image for the portrait section of the latest 'Splash 19: The Illusion of Light'  recently published by North Light Books. There are so many amazing images in this book. It is one well worth getting.

Monday, August 20, 2018

For You


'For You' Transparent Watercolour 12 by 18 inches

It has been slow progress painting this as I am also working on getting everything ready for the big IWS CAnada/CSPWC event 'The Symphony In Watercolour' which opens next month. This felt like a really suitable painting to do in the odd moments I had though as it is all about the idea of giving and helping to organize the event next month is my way of giving back.

In this painting I wanted also to capture the feeling of summer -the light of the sunshine, the freshness of the breeze, beauty of the flowers and the joy of being outside. Hope you are all enjoying the summer. Make the most of it while it lasts.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Scratch board fun


This little Chipmunk is a frequent visitor to our front garden. What do you think he has seen?

I did a workshop this past weekend introducing my students to techniques I use in scratch board and pen and ink. This was the scratch board I was doing to show them how I used the techniques in my work. I finished it at home yesterday. Its drawn on an Ampersand Museum Grade Panel and is 12 by 16 inches in size.

Any ideas for a title?

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Bottoms Up

It has been a lovely  warm sunny few days  so yesterday I painted outside. I love watching the local wildlife at our local pond. These little ducks obviously found something super yummy under the water.



'Bottoms Up' Transparent Watercolour 11.75 by 7.75 inches


Monday, July 2, 2018

Small but Mighty

I've just finished this miniature transparent Watercolour that is just 3 inches by 4 inches in size. Although the kestrel is one of the smallest birds of prey she is much larger in real life than in my painting. The little painted kestrel measures only 2.5 inches by 1 inch and was painted with a magnifying glass and a very small brush.


 This is the painting matted and framed.