Sunday, 22 January 2012

Colour Stories with Children

"A Party with Glowing  Red, Shining Yellow & Deep Blue"
Watercolour, 8"x10" Workshop Demonstration for the kids:)
View photos of workshop at the bottom of this post.
Here's the story:  
"One day tippy paintbrush got out of his blanket ( terry cloth for mopping excess water off tippy) and cleaned  his feet in a warm bath (clean water jar).  He was so happy because it was a beautiful day and he couldn't wait to go outside and play with the warm  sun.
So tippy dipped his feet in shining yellow and the sun came to play.
The sun danced here and shone there and tippy(the paintbrush) moved his feet around and around. 
This made tippy feel so happy and wonderful and warm inside. 
He dipped his feet again and again and the sun was shining so brightly.
(the paper is getting yellow) 
Then tippy decided to call on his friend glowing red and ask him to come play so tippy washed his feet and dried them on his towel which he always does before he visits another friend and then he dipped his feet into glowing red and they all went outside to play in the sun.  Red jumped here and danced there and held yellow's hand as they ran  across the meadow.  Glowing Red and Shining Yellow  were the best of friends  and so they decided to ask deep blue, and to their surprise orange and purple came out to play too, ...
and so  the story goes......"

On Friday, I did 2 one-hour long workshops with children Age: 6 and under.  The youngest about 2 and a half.  The classes were held at the local recreation centre and I have to tell you it was the highlight of my week (maybe even the month!)
This class is not about producing pictures or showing children the right way to paint: it is about the sensory experience of a young child playing creatively with paint.
 Pure watercolour pigments are pre-mixed in small white custard bowls, 140 lbs  cold pressed arches watercolour paper pre-soaked in water - painting wet on wet. 
They are given big brushes and mason glass jars of water so they can see the colour come out of the brush when they rinse it. 
All the materials are of the same quality that an artist would use. 
The children tell their own stories there is no right or wrong way. Some  just went back and forth with one colour only and watched the paint move others put colours side by side and mixed them on the paper.  They use their own imagination and the colours tell their own story to them, a wonderfully creative experience for children.
 I  would love to do more workshops like this and do them for adults too!
 Tippy is not my creation but used by a Waldorf teacher I viewed on YouTube.
Rudolf Steiner who created the Waldorf School used Goethe's colour theory and all the concepts used above are from this philosophy.

The later class had children aged 5 and 6 and a few of the moms were present.  These moms expressed an interest in painting with their children so we set them up and they did it too! We all had a lot of fun.  

Saturday, 14 January 2012


Rose #3
4"x4", Mixed Media
 I had a dream last night that I was snow-shoeing through the bush and came across some beautiful rose hips and yarrow. In the dream, I painstakingly picked them and brought them home and painted them - I felt a deep sense of satisfaction.  When I awoke I intended to go out and find them only it was so bitterly cold today that I decided to stay indoors. 

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
of night and light and half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
W.B. Yeats  
"He wishes for the Cloths of Heaven"

Thursday, 12 January 2012

100 PAINT... oops! I mean MORE ROSES

Well, Fellow Bloggers, Followers, Friends and Peanut Gallery 
I need your opinion!   Two Rose Paintings 
Which One (I won't tell you  which one I like and don't)
Any comments feedback that you have would be greatly appreciated!
Roses #1
Roses # 2
Both are done on 4"x4" canvases  No.1 is smooth no texture 
No. 2 has lots of texture (globs of paint actually)

"There is nothing more difficult for a truly creative painter than to paint a rose, because before he can do so he has first to forget all the roses that were ever painted."
Henri Matisse

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Love is the Flower of LIfe

The language of love is centuries old. Shakespeare had lots to say about it and about Roses too.  Red is a very passionate colour so there you have it -maybe I felt like drawing roses because Valentines Day is around the corner. There are many kinds of love (so the ancient greeks told us) and it is nice to celebrate them all.
I like the concept of philia  love which is close friendship or brotherly love. 
I think I am going to paint a few roses in the next little while. 

I drew these roses with Coloured India Ink, and used watercolour pencil to accent the colours on  Hand-Made Tibetan Hemp Paper. The card is a deckled ivory, acid-free,  creative card complete with envelope. It was nice to play with the ink and pencil and not paint a landscape.

"Love is the flower of life, and blossoms unexpectedly and without law, and must be plucked where it is found, and enjoyed for the brief hour of its duration."
D.H. Lawrence

Sunday, 8 January 2012

100 PAINTINGS IN 100 DAYS #100

"Lapie Lakes, The South Canol, Yukon"
6"x8", Acrylic
"What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from."

I have reached my goal: 
100 Paintings in 100 Days  is now a done deal!  
I decided to finish with what I started with which is the South Canol.  I have really loved doing this project and I want to take a deep breath and just be in this moment and feel that I have accomplished something.   I have had mixed feelings about it being done; I can hardly believe it because you'd think I'd be relieved that it's done but I feel a little sad. 
It may be an ending but it is also a beginning, 
on that note I will say good night!

Saturday, 7 January 2012


"Summer on the Alaska Highway"
5"x7", Acrylic
 I have painted this scene in watercolour, you can see it in the post for August 11, 2011.
It sold from the Yukon Artists At Work Gallery in Whitehorse.  It really is a typical Yukon scene with the fireweed and mountains and all.

Friday, 6 January 2012


"Behind the Magundy River"
5"x5", Acrylic
Two more paintings to go and a Hundred in Hundred is completed.
It is a good feeling to have gotten this far.
I appreciate all my friends who have supported and listened to me as I have been rather consumed with this whole project - thanks for being there!

Thursday, 5 January 2012


"Morning LIght"
6"x8", Acrylic

We are getting a little more sunlight now in the morning but not enough yet for me.  
The sun is still so low in the sky.
I thought I'd warm you all up!

"Elsewhere the sky is the roof of the world; but here the earth was the floor of the sky. The landscape one longed for when one was away, the thing all about one, the world one actually lived in, was the sky, the sky!"
    Willa Cather
Death comes to the Archbishop

Wednesday, 4 January 2012


"Sunset on Little Salmon Lake"
6"x8", Acrylic
"We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time."
T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

Tuesday, 3 January 2012


"Hiking above the Magundy"
6"x8", Acrylic
"I want my paintings to "grab" you when you look at them. I want to take you to another place... make you feel something, move you, inspire you.  My process is joyful, playful, imperfect, messy, busy, amateurish, impassioned, impatient, experimental, sublime .... some paintings miss the mark but if just one can achieve this.... then I have succeeded. 
My life is a work of art in progress."
Jackie Irvine
(Note:  The last line I am not sure if I am the first to say this I hope I authored it!  the rest I am sure these words are my quote!)

Monday, 2 January 2012


"Summer on the Magundy"
5"x7", Acrylic
"The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare to let go.
Our true work is this voyage, this adventure."
Richard Bach

Sunday, 1 January 2012


"Yukon Golden Sunset"
5"x7", Acrylic
 I am living a  fulfilled life and I am grateful for this.
I am contented with where I am at. 
 I am not sure what my destination is but I am  enjoying the journey.  When I look back over the last year, I see that it really matters little what I do with my painting - what matters is that I create.  That's why I did the 100 in a 100.  I do not feel that I possess any special powers or abilities over people that are not artistic, we all have things that we are naturally talented at and we can decide to show up for them or not.
I don't have any goals right now and I feel ok about this.

What matters is that I show up on a daily basis in my life and do the things that I need to do with my whole being, with gusto, with love- the best I can.
 It may be washing the dishes, sweeping the floor, working out, painting, singing, praying, chopping wood, lighting a fire, snowshoeing, cooking, reading, teaching, working, being and more.  This may sound like a no brainer but I don't think it is because for years I was dissatisfied with where I was at- I thought it wasn't good enough.
This didn't feel good for obvious reasons.
If I can do what is naturally before me mindfully, in the present, the best I can it will create something spectacular in my life.
Happy New Year all!