Friday, November 20, 2020

Hanging out to dry

 During this past summer I helped to raise over 20 monarch caterpillars.   In the wild only 1 in every 100 monarch eggs will make it to adult butterfly. Not only do they have to find milkweed to feed on and deal with predators as they grow but they also have to go through the process of metamorphosis. Ideally when ready a caterpillar will climb up and away from the milkweed they have fed on  and find a relatively safe hidden underside of a leaf or twig to spin a thread and hang from as they pupate. I quickly realized though that ideal isn't necessarily reality. My little crew would find all sorts of strange and less than ideal places! These little ones have found some washing drying on a clothes line to suspend themselves from. When they eclose they then need a couple of hours to dry their wings before they can fly. It gives the term hanging out to dry a whole new meaning doesn't it.

Transparent Watercolour  15 by 22 inches

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Sharing is Caring

Inspired by a photo I took a while back of Isla eating strawberries and my new garden friend the red squirrel who also adores eating the juicy fruit, I decided to combine both Isla and the squirrel into one painting.... after all it's so much nicer when you can share isn't it. I have given it the title Sharing is Caring for now but am open to other ideas if anyone thinks of a good one. My squirrel friend seemed to enjoy being my model. Maybe it had something to do with the seeds nuts and fruit I put out for him each day. I have a little feeder on my studio window that he thinks is just the right size for him. The photo below is one I snapped while painting the squirrel. It was wonderful to be able to see his markings up close as I painted.

Sunday, September 13, 2020


Had so much fun over this last week teaching an online virtual workshop Eggsperimenting with Texture in Watercolour. This was my demo painting which I have called 'Eggspectant' 

 Momma goose waits for the time when her eggs will hatch (and yes, we had a bit of an egg theme happening all week and much laughter and eggslporation as well as learning). In our virtual group we had artists from California, Minnesota, Alberta, and Ontario. It was a workshop that was originally planned long before COVID that would have taken place in Cambridge Ontario. Being virtual allowed people from much further afield to join us. Thank you to the workshop organizer Tiina Price for being flexible and working with me to find a way to present it online.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

People's Choice Award

 Just before the COVID lockdown, I received news that my painting 'Distant Dreams' had been juried into the Red River Watercolor Society's National Exhibition. Sadly, due to COVID I was unable to frame and ship my painting to the US. The Society very kindly allowed me to be part of the online component of the exhibition but It was not eligible for any awards by the juror. The society did allow it to be included in the people's Choice voting which was done online  and I am delighted to announce that Distant Dreams has won this award.

The painting was also featured in an article about the exhibition.

With the drop of flowing watercolor paint, luminous colors spread out like thoughts, emerging into the world as tangible works of art.Representing the past, present and future of things to come, all of these elements are encapsulated in one painting, Ona Kingdon’s “Distant Dreams,” one of the 50 pieces included in the Red River Watercolor Society’s 2020 National Juried Watermedia Exhibition.“Our art is our dream, and in this dream we often dwell on our thoughts,” Kingdon says.In her artist statement for a painting pondering a little girl with her mind on nature, Kingdon expresses messages of hope that future generations will be able to grow up in the beauty of the natural world, not a distant dream."

You can view the entire exhibition online

I have been taking a couple months off from painting and have been enjoying our garden and getting lots of inspiration for future paintings. Hopefully I will have lots to share with you once I begin again in a few weeks time. Until then, stay safe and enjoy the lovely summer weather.


Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Hope you enjoy this Paint Along Video

I was asked  by the Richmond Hill Public Library to create a paint along video. Hope you enjoy it.

For additional information on how to paint, a jpg of my finished painting and the outline please visit my website. Hope you all enjoy it. Have fun and do share your attempts with me. I would love to see them.


Monday, April 27, 2020

Byron Levy Memorial Award

 Oh this news has made my day! The Juror of the Louisiana Watercolor Society's 50th International Exhibition Juror Z. L. Feng AWS, NWS has awarded my painting “Small Wonders” The Byron Levy Memorial Award. I am honoured.

Thank you to everyone at the Louisiana Watercolor Society for making the exhibition online this year to help protect us all. Thank you also for making the exhibition available for so many others to see at a time when many are staying at home. I know it will be appreciated. You can see the full exhibition here. The rest of the awards will be posted on may 2nd.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Use the arts to help you during this difficult time.

'Knock on Wood' Transparent Watercolour 24 by 13.5 inches

 At this moment in time for our own wellbeing as well as staying safe it is also important find ways to cope with the stresses of life around us. Creating this painting was my way of coping with the world news and stress caused by the COVID pandemic. I might not be able to go out much physically at the moment but luckily for me I can go anywhere in my imagination. 

This downy woodpecker is in the process of creating a self portrait. It has taken many hours pecking away at the wood to get to this stage but, as we all know, creating art is such a wonderful way to escape the stresses of life today that the time spent is invaluable not just because we end up with a finished piece of work but also because it helps to improve our own mental wellbeing while we create it. During the process you can just switch off your mind to everything else.

 I am not even sure that this master woodpecker artist is aware that he has an observer. The watching woodpecker is entranced too. Watching a master artist at work is such a thrill and is often a welcome distraction also. So whether you are the artist or the person watching them at work or even viewing a finished piece of art such as this one distract yourself and use the arts to help you relax. Hugs and love to you all and Knock on Wood you all ((((Stay Safe)))

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

A Drop of Love

I often get asked how I think of ideas for my paintings...I have an ideas sketch book and sometimes I just like to play around with thoughts in it. This small watercolour 'A Drop of Love' was the result of my 'play' today.

 If you show someone even the slightest act of kindness without expecting anything in return, imagine the ripple effect and just how many people it could affect. Like the tiny water droplet hitting the surface of the water in my painting, a small act of love can ripple far from its source and affect many people. Be that tiny water droplet today and help me spread some love around our world.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Distant Dreams

Our art is our dream, and in this dream we often dwell on our thoughts. Our dreams are possibilities of things to come, records of what is now, or distant memories of things that once were. I hope that when this child grows up the beautiful natural world that we live in is not some distant dream for her.

Distant Dreams: Transparent Watercolour 20.5 by 26 inches

I had a lot of fun with this one playing with the idea of double exposure to capture her thoughts and concerns visually. 

Friday, February 7, 2020

Visions Adjoin

'The Little Girl with the Curl' is currently hanging in the Joint National Watercolor Society/ Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour 'Visions Adjoin' exhibition in California US. As both a signature member of NWS and an Elected member of CSPWC it is an honour to be selected to be part of this exhibition.

For those of you who are unable to see the exhibition in person in the US or can't wait until it comes to Canada later this year, here is an online view of the paintings.

Thank you to all the people of NWS and CSPWC for making this exhibition happen.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Gifts for the Creative Mind

I thought it would be fun to use some of my artwork to create these fun and useful gifts. They could be used in a number of ways but are especially useful for us artists.

 The versitile zipper  'Carry All' pouches can be custom ordered in sizes from 10 inches to 16 inches wide to best suit your needs. They are made with vibrant printed durable canvas and have a hard wearing denim lining.

I have also designed smaller zippered pouches to keep your pencils, paint tubes or a small travel palette and brush neatly packed inside.

Lastly I have designed 2 special books. The design on the front of these spiral bound notebooks  is protected by a frosted polymer cover. You can choose from acid-free sketch or drawing paper and use your books to sketch in or to write your art notes. Each book has a high quality reproduction of one of my paintings on the front of the book and information about the painting on the back.

Visit my Store on Art of Where to choose your favourite designs and customise your order.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!

I had full intentions to embrace winter again in the first couple months of this year but as the snow covers  the ground here in Canada, I find am longing for spring and just can't get motivated to paint 'winter'.

A few weeks ago, before I last big snowfall, when our garden was briefly snow free I spotted a very brave woolly bear caterpillar wandering around. I guess the slight raise in temperatures woke him up and sent him in search of some food. He found a dandelion leaf which he happily munched on and then he crawled back into a large hollow log where he is spending the winter. This encounter gave me an idea for a painting.

Woolly Bear caterpillars are fascinating to watch, especially for young children. Looking after one is a great way to teach them about caring for a living creature too. I painted my woolly bear with a nice wide orange band as folklore says this means we will get an early spring.

'Small Wonders' Transparent Watercolour 15 by 21 inches

Sunday, December 22, 2019

I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus!

'I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, underneath the mistletoe last night' 
Transparent Watercolour 23 by 17.5 inches

I couldn't resist painting this one for Christmas. Have a look into Isla's eyes. Can you see the silhouette of Mommy kissing Santa?

 I hope you have a wonderful Holiday Season. I am going to be taking a break now for a couple of weeks. Hopefully I will have lots of  new ideas to paint and share with you all next year.

Sunday, November 10, 2019


Very happy to be able to share this news: I am so honoured that 'Puzzled' has been awarded 2nd place in the PREMIO TLÁLOC exhibition in Mexico.

Thanks for the photos Michael Solovyev and for accepting the award on my behalf.

Monday, October 28, 2019

2nd Place NFWS International Exhibition of Transparent Watercolor

I received another exciting e mail today to say that my painting 'Tigantai-the butterfly'  won the NFWS Second Place Award in their International Exhibition of Transparent Watercolor.

Thank you to the NFWS board members for all their hard work organising the exhibition and to juror Iain Stewart. Congratulations to all the other award winners.