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.)))

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

My Thinking Cap

 With all the hate and animosity on the web and news at the moment I do wonder about how this is affecting our children and how they think and feel about what is happening.

'My Thinking Cap' Transparent Watercolour 24 by 16 inches

 I wanted to capture this in a painting. In the background I have written quotes about love and hate, racism versus tolerance of others, good and evil. The child thinks about these things. They become part of him and how he views the world and the people in it.

 In front of him is largely a blank canvas representing the future. As he stares ahead he will, over time form his own thoughts and this empty space will be filled in.

 Please be kind to others and not hateful towards those who do not feel the same way as you. Show some tolerance, love and understanding of others thoughts and beliefs so our children learn by our example and fill the years ahead of them with love, understanding and tolerance too.

Careful the things you say 
 Children will listen 
Careful the things you do 
Children will see And learn 
Guide them along the way 
 Children will glisten 
Children will look to you 
For which way to turn 
To learn what to be 
Careful before you say 
"Listen to me" 
Children will listen 
 (from Disney's Into the Woods)

Monday, October 31, 2016

Cheap Joe's Award 2016 NFWS National Exhibition

I had a wonderful message yesterday evening from fellow artist Cathy O'Neill letting me know that my painting 'Thought Bubbles' won the Cheap Joe's Art Stuff Award in the Niagara Frontier Watercolor Society's 13th National Exhibition. Unfortunately I wasn't able to make the opening reception yesterday afternoon. The composite photo below shows NFWS vice president Cathy Skeeter with my painting and the painting label with juror Thomas Schaller's comment. Thank you both for taking the time to pose for, take, and send me the photo. I really appreciate it.

Thanks to all at NFWS for making this exhibition possible and to juror Thomas Schaller, Thank you also to Joe Miller for donating the award.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Puppy love

   I've spent the last couple of days curled up on the sofa drawing with my faithful friend beside me watching my progress. This is him as a youngster. He is now 14 years old but he still knows how to leave paw prints on my heart with those soulful eyes of his.

' Puppy Love ' Pen and ink (10.5 by 7 inches)

Love, they say, is patient,
Love, they say, is kind,
It sees beyond another’s faults
For love, they say, is blind.
Love will not diminish,
Or rush or fade with years,
But it will gain its strength
From time, from laughter, joy and tears.
Love is God’s own gift to us.
A present from above,
He gives us peace, He gives us joy,
But first He gives us love. (Anon)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Photo's from the Studio Tour

It was a lovely weekend at Covernotes Tea and Coffee House in Richmond Hill. We had lots of visitors. There were many familiar faces and some new faces too. Thank you to everyone that stopped by to see my work.

For those of you too far away to visit I hope you will enjoy these photos. If you are interested in any of the paintings please let me know. All are now available for sale.

These two sold during the weekend. The new owners kindly allowed me sharing their comments about the artwork with you all.

'We went on this life long dream vacation to Africa this last spring for our Golden Wedding Anniversary celebration and your pen and ink 'The Touch of love' just captures EVERYTHING about that special time and our lifelong love for each other. It might only be 11 by 14 inches framed but, to us it is HUGE in the emotion it conveys.'          Nancy

 'I have suffered from Depression for years and at times feel like a huge cloud hangs over me. Your painting 'After the Storm' gives me such hope each time I look at it. However heavy those dark clouds may feel there can be such colour awaiting us if we just plough through. I am putting this piece of work up in my bedroom so that its the first thing I see each day and the last thing at night to remind me of that message. Thank you for reminding me that hope and light and colour and strength and power is just behind those clouds.'        Han

Thank you for all the e mails, messages and phone calls about the weekend and my work. They touch my heart.


Monday, October 10, 2016

Ona invites you to Covernotes for the Richmond Hill Studio Tour

Hope you all enjoy this short video. It gives you just a taster of what I will have on display next weekend (October 14th-16th) at Covernotes Richmond Hill.  Details of opening times and address of Covernotes can be found on your invite below.

I will have over 20 original pieces of art on display and for sale. I will also have over 40 different art card designs, my new book, and various other gift items for sale or to order.

Hope to see you there.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Leaf me be

There are times in our lives when we just need to take a break, to disconnect, to figure things out. At these times we need to be alone. We don't need to be comforted by others, we just need a quiet moment to take things in, all that has been, time to pull ourselves together again, or time to just let go.

'Leaf me be' Transparent Watercolour 20 by 28 inches

Creating this painting at my busiest time of year, for me has been my time out, my alone time, just me and my brushes, time for me to gather my thoughts. It has just been an odd hour here and there over the last few weeks but my 'alone time' with my brushes during these odd moments was just what I needed. 

Make sure you take the time out to take care of yourself however busy you are. You deserve it.