Painting was on my ‘life list’ – this was something I wanted to do. It wasn't until 2001 that I had the opportunity to attend a watercolour workshop at Emma Lake, Saskatchewan. This was my introduction to this challenging medium and I loved it. On taking early retirement in 2003, I knew that I wanted to paint more seriously. Since then, I have continued to explore various media, and now work almost exclusively in oils.
In July of 2004, I had the great good fortune to attend a workshop in France with Kiff Holland, an internationally known artist. There, I learned more about watercolour painting and about egg tempera. This latter medium is an adaptation of a very old way of painting that uses egg yolk and watercolour pigments to create intense and transparent colours. I also learned about art and being an artist. I was able to return to France again, in September 2005 for another workshop. Throughout the fall of 2006, I took a class in painting with oils, with Iris Hauser. This was my introduction to this medium and I have enjoyed learning how to work with this very different way of painting and now work in it most of the time now.
I have continued to take workshops through the Federation of Canadian Artists in Vancouver. They provide top-notch teachers and support art through their gallery on Granville Island. Through these workshops I have learned from Kiff Holland, Richard Nelson, and Alan Wylie, to date. In the autumn of 2011, I took a plein air watercolour workshop with the Uraguayan painter Alvero Castagnet. This was a very exciting workshop, painting around Vancouver. Then to broaden my horizons, I took a mixed media workshop with Miranda Jones (in photo above). This provided me with the fundamentals to incorporate metallics into works.
I am interested in the idea of chiaroscuro, that is, the effect of light and dark, and I continue to explore how this can be depicted in paintings. I particularly enjoy painting still life and look for items in the landscape that are like a still life. I like to work both on site and in my studio using photographs and sketches of objects and places I have discovered.
I currently paint with the Artists' Workshop group. From 2012 to 2014, the Artists' Workshop took part in a new venture in Saskatoon, an in-town studio tour called Art Trek which showcased artists at work in Saskatoon.
More recently, I have explored classical atelier type drawing and learning about the Munsell colour system with Craig Berry here in Saskatoon. Craig is a classically trained artist and for four years had his own atelier where he taught drawing and painting. I took the drawing workshops and learned the kind of drawing taught historically and being brought back again through the current atelier movement. This is my first completed drawing based on the Barge plates. I went on to do 2 more completed ones, and one I still need to finish.
The Munsell colour system is a way of identifying colour that you want to use in your painting, by chroma, hue, and value, to give you more accurate colour. I took a four day workshop recently on this to get the fundamentals, and now I need put it into practice. A summer project.
Below, a current photo of me in my studio.