Friday, February 17, 2017


I had two exciting pieces of news this week. 'Chocolate Chipadees' will be winging its way to Kenosha this spring for the 2017 Transparent Watercolor Society of America's 41st Annual Exhibition (Jurors, Jean Pederson, CSPWC, AWS and Bruce Handford TWSA MS, NWS)

The exhibition will take place at the Kenosha 5500 First Avenue, Kenosha, Wisconsin from May 6th to August 6th 2017.

 My painting 'From Little Acorns' was also awarded an Honourable Mention in the International Watercolour Societies online contest.

The contest had an overwhelming response and received 1452 entries. To be chosen as one of the top 31 paintings is such an honour. I hope you enjoy the slideshow of all the winners. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Just Ducking Out!

I have always loved the idea of painting outside, capturing the scene as it is right at that moment in time, but I am such a slow painter it just so hard especially when I do love to paint animals. This Watercolour illustrates what I am sure would happen if I tried!

 Ona the amateur plein air painter searches for a suitable subject to paint. Aha!!! a nest of baby wood ducks high in a tree....a captive subject. I can paint them! They look so adorable waiting for mom and dad to return with food. I can take my time and not rush. So each day I returned to the same spot,  set my easel up and paint while the light allowed. I thought... do the babies first and then I can paint the nest around them. I worked hard to make them look as real as possible and was so pleased with how they turned out but before I could finish the nest around them.... well, just look what happened!!! My little painted ducklings fledged and started leaping out of my painting!

I guess I am just not cut out to be a plein air painter am I! (grin)

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Exhibition News

I was honoured to receive an e mail from the President of the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour to inform me that my painting 'Artist at Work', which is part of the National Diploma Collection, had been selected for a special exhibition to be held at the Peel Art Gallery and Museum, Brampton, Ontario.

My painting (on the left) is of a very special person who sadly died a few years ago. He believed in me as an artist long before I did and encouraged me so much in the early days. When he saw this portrait of himself he encouraged me to apply for  CSPWC elected membership.  I was elected shortly before he died and when I told him the painting of him was the one selected to be part of the National diploma Collection he was thrilled, He said he would now live on forever. You still have a very special place in my heart Denis.

Sunday, January 29, 2017


James 3D printed me some new scratch board blade handles so, of course, I just had to try them out didn't I.  'Memory' Scratch board on Ampersand Museum Series 11 by 14 inch panel. (A touch of watercolour was added in the cats eyes.)

'Memory, turn your face to the moonlight
 Let your memory lead you
Open up, enter in.
If you find there the meaning of what happiness is
Then a new life will begin'

Friday, January 27, 2017

Once Upon a Dragon

 I guess painting this was my escape from all the animosity and hate that is happening around our world right now.

'Once Upon a Dragon' Transparent Watercolour.

Reading a good story allows our imagination to take flight and allows us to forget about our day-to-day troubles. It can transport us to a fantasy world that, for a brief moment, we can escape into.

I guess because my paintings are visual stories it has a similar effect when I paint them. Painting this was a great escape. Who else fancies a pet dragon?

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Richeson 75 Small Works Exhibition Finalist

I was pleased to receive an e mail yesterday afternoon to say that my painting 'Incarcerate-Ted' had been selected as a finalist in the 2017 Richeson75 Small Works Exhibition.

Now I need to package him up so he can safely be transport-Ted  to the exhibition. It opens on February 22, 2017 in Kimberly, WI and runs until April 18th.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Storytime WIP 1

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I will begin....

I have been working on this background for the last week. What you see is only a section of what will be a much larger painting but as I was working on it today the picture I could see made me smile.

 I wanted to create the feeling of a book illustration for the background in what will be a double portrait of one child reading a book to another younger child. It appears though that two of the dragons I have painted in the background have other ideas and want more of a key role in my story! Maybe the plot or illustrations in the book the child is holding have captured their interest too.

I often use a piece of foamcore to cover the area I am not working on to keep the paper clean while I paint. As I stopped for a break today I realised  that the foamcore was covering the area they are all looking at. It made me smile because the two dragons and the child look as if they can see behind the foamcore but we can't so at the moment the story is their secret. I will have to keep painting so you can all be part of and enjoy the tale too won't I. Until I do any guesses what the story the child is reading might be???

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Happy New Year!

I just want to wish my readers a very Happy New Year and to let you know about some events that will be happening this year. Firstly I was honoured to be asked by the President of the International Watercolor Society to be a co representative of IWS Canada.

I met with Atanur along with the president of CSPWC this week and we talked about building a stronger relationship between the two organisations here in Canada. I am looking forward to working with both presidents to make this happen.

I also wanted to let you know that this year I will be participating in the King Studio Tour in April rather than the Richmond Hill one in the fall. The dates for the King Studio Tour are April 22nd and 23rd. More details will follow soon but save the dates!

From Mid July until late in August I will also have a solo exhibition at the Aurora Public Library. More details will follow for this later this spring.


Saturday, December 10, 2016

Paint Along with Ona

My Holiday gift to you all this year is a paint along with me. In this video you will see how I create realistic folds in fabric. I hope you will enjoy following along and painting your own version of this simple Holiday themed watercolour using just 6 colours. If you don't have the colours I use, just substitute for ones you do have. You need a neutral colour,  a purple/red, a pink, a warmer orange/red, a mid brown, and an orange/brown.

If you have subscribed to my e mail notifications or you want to see the video full screen please click on the link to my Youtube channel:

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Feed the Birds

Seeing the world through the eyes of a child is the purest joy you can experience.

I really enjoyed painting this. I think the child's joy must have been contagious. I love painting both children and animals so having both in one painting was a lot of fun to do. I used  5 different reference photo's to create this. The Chickadees were actually visitors to my feeders over this past summer. It took me many attempts to get the references I wanted. The cookies are  a pile of my husband's favourite chocolate chip flavour that I photographed and the child is from an old photo I had.

Can anyone help me out with ideas for a title?

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Feed the Birds WIP 2

I am really enjoying working on this painting. I think the child's delight must be contagious, don't you? As promised, here's an update on my progress.

People often ask me what I think as I paint. Do I focus on the colours or the values or where to put the detail? Although I think about all three, more than anything I think about the emotion or atmosphere I want to convey as I paint. In this one I am trying to capturing the feelings of softness, delicacy, joy and sunshine. I wonder if it's my subconscious making up for the shorter, colder days that we have now by filling my painting with light and warmth?

Monday, November 28, 2016

An early Christmas gift

Christmas came early today for my special little boy Harry. Jamie Markle from F&W kindly sent us a special preview copy of the newly published book 'Art Journey Animals' which has my drawing of Harry as the front cover. I hope you enjoy the photo's my husband took as I unwrapped the package and showed the book to Harry. I think he approves, don't you?

'Hey Harry, Santa heard you wish. A package has arrived from F&W'

'Look Harry, it's you on the front cover. Isn't that awesome!'

'That's me, that is. They have made my eyes extra shiny too'

The book can be pre ordered from North Light Books

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Feed the Birds WIP 1

I realised looking back through my blog this year I haven't done a single WIP. I think I've been either so absorbed in the process  or had a crisis of confidence in what I was trying to do that I have shy'd away from sharing as I paint. I thought that today I would change this, as the little face looking at me and my brush right now just radiates such happiness that I hope it will make you smile too.

As you can see I have a LONG way to go with this but the child's delight has reminded me to just enjoy the moment that is now.

Whatever you are doing today, whether you are celebrating Thanksgiving as many of my US friends are doing or it's just a normal  Thursday as it is here in Canada, I hope you can find some joy too.

I am not sure how speedy I am going to be with this as the holiday season is fast approaching but I will try to share my progress with this as I go.


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Art Journey Animals

Harry can't wait to get his own special copy with my drawing of him on the jacket cover. Art Journey: Animals is now available to pre-order from North Light Books and is estimated to be shipped around the 15th December. I wonder if Santa will manage to get Harry's copy here in time for Christmas? 


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Light's Rainbow

As Watercolour artists we know that every colour works as a team to create the white light that we strive so hard to capture in our paintings. Although the light we see in the world may appear colourless, the sunlight we strive to capture in our art is actually white light that is composed of all the colors of the spectrum working together. You don't see the individual colours most of the time but they are there working in harmony: a rainbow is proof of this. The sum of all the colors creates the white light. By working together they create something pure and beautiful and uplifting.

 With this in mind I chose to use all the colours of the rainbow in this painting to help me create an illusion of pure, simple white light on my paper. Its only through the diversity of my palette that the beauty of the light shines out.

 (((Hugs to you all today, whatever your race, colour, beliefs, or philosophies. Remember, just as in this painting, diversity can be our strength not our weakness if we work together in harmony.)))