I received the Charcoal Drawing paper and Nitram Charcoal….

I'm One

This morning I awoke with a renewed excitement.  I’m going to be prepping a painting panel for a new painting. I can barely wait to get started.  This is going to be so much fun! It’s going to be a fairly large piece. Life size. This is my grandson, Hunter.

I’m sealing my panel with Golden’s Gac100 and then four coats of Gesso.  Once prepped, I’ll prime with a lead white mixed some Titanium white and a dash of  burnt umber to a mid value. This is the first layer of paint upon which I’ll begin my drawing and underpainting. One of the predominant colors in the painting is turquoise. I’ll be mulling Prussian Blue and Pthalocyanine green to create the turquoise I need. These are two specialty colors I don’t usually use, but good to have for occasions like this.

I received the Charcoal Drawing paper and Nitram Charcoal I ordered and here’s my study for my painting. I’ll be transferring this image onto my prepped panel.

I will share my process with you, I’m excited!


Fine-tuning my drawing skills…..

Our studio building project came to stop. We put it on hold for now.  We were offered a gorgeous studio and we took it. I finally have a place to work. On time. I feel whole again and ready to take on a whole new perspective. I’ve been spending the last several weeks upgrading my drawing and painting skills.  I’ve taken a few online courses and purchased a few videos which in turn has inspired me.

There’s been a huge resurgence in the art of realism. Young and old alike, are no longer buying into “modern art”, they are more interested in learning to draw or paint realistically.  I would to inspire you to pick up a pencil or paintbrush and learn to draw or paint realistically. There’s nothing more satisfying than learning a new skill and completing a drawing or painting successfully. Talent isn’t just for a select few, it’s latent within each of us. The more you practice, the more skillful you become. There are tips and techniques on how to draw realistically. This is a pencil study of my partner, Marc.  He has a very interesting face to draw and paint and I used the same methods of measuring as one would learn Bargue plates.  I ordered more Drawing paper and Nitram charcoal, I’m so excited!


The sunshine is creeping back in…..

The past six months was a difficult time for me. I withdrew and sank into a depression that was hard to shake. Everything came to a halt. I dearly missed my old home and studio. We moved into a dark basement suite and that sank me. There is a shortage of housing on Salt Spring, we had no choice. Then we decided to move 6 months later after we couldn’t stand it anymore. We finally found a rural property to set up our little homestead. It’s been a month of glamping while we build our tiny home and studio. We’re really close, though. A couple of weeks ago I tripped over some tools and fell hard. I bruised my ribs, no break, thank goodness! It’s been a tough few weeks. I dislike taking medication, however, sleep is impossible without it. Every day is getting easier though. Yesterday Marc and I installed the half of the rafters, thank goodness the rain is holding off. The rest of the rafters, strapping, roofing, skylights, insulation, inside walls and then we’re ready to move in, I can hardly wait! I’m so hoping by next weekend.

In the meantime I’ve been upgrading my skills, learning new techniques and fine tuning my vision of things to come. I ordered some more pigments and can’t wait to grind and tube them and get back to painting. I look forward to sharing our progress pics. Soon 🙂


Painting outdoors….

The Oil Painter's Studio

Heading outdoors at day break, easel, canvas and paints in my trunk and driving in the direction of the ocean, music soothing my soul and my taste buds enjoying a cup of hot coffee. I arrive at my destination, a quiet spot on the beach, just in time to watch the sun rise over the ocean. Breathtaking. I sit there in silence taking it all in.

Seagulls fly overhead welcoming a new day. As I set up my easel on the soft cool sand, two little doorstep dogs and a tabby cat race by, chasing each other over driftwood, and yapping and playing, a smile warms my face, you dont see that everyday!
My gaze catches the perfect scene and I quickly sketch the shapes on my canvas with a piece of charcoal, dusting it lightly with a large soft brush to get rid of any dust. The ocean…

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Plein air painting a creek

I set out on another plein air adventure down by the creek in my yard, a different view this time. It was pretty cold, I shivered while painting and by the time I wrapped up and head inside, I was chilled to the bone. I made a toasty fire and a pot of spaghetti.


I thoroughly enjoy painting en plein air. It’s almost addicting. I can’t wait till tomorrow to do this again! I have a scene scoped and no, it’s not the creek again, hahaha! Hope you enjoy the plein air painting video

Happy painting!


Plein Air Painting – I know how easy it is to lose control of ones palette……..

I woke up the other morning, craving fresh air. I’ve held myself hostage indoors for way too long. It was time to get out and  do something exciting for a change. Marc worked on my easel while I prepped my canvas, mixed colors and readied myself for Plein air painting. After bundling up, we head out into our yard and set up my easel next to the creek. I’ve been wanting to paint this little creek since we moved here.


I had the most amazing experience. Yes my fingers were red from the cold, but it was soooo worth it! I went out again yesterday and today and it was really warm out. This afternoon I set up my easel right on the waters edge and thoroughly enjoyed painting in glorious sunlight all afternoon. I’m so looking forward to spring!


One thing for sure, is next time I plein air paint, I’m going to go fully prepared!

I know how easy it is to lose control of ones palette…..

In fact I had this experience yesterday, I should have filmed it to demonstrate how to lose control of ones palette, hahaha!

Experience taught me to always pre-mix base colors at home and adjust them as necessary later, so you can get to painting and not spend an hour mixing on location. Trust me, it really saves time. You only have limited space on your palette, so plan carefully where you are going to place your pre-mixed colors so you can have room to work.

You’re probably wondering what these piles of premixed colors are? Stay tuned!

I know I had planned on giving you a video on how to paint a still-life, unfortunately we lost some of our video footage. Too bad, because I put so much work and effort into it. I withdrew and painted quietly, posting on occasion. Ready to give up. It was all of your emails and notes encouraging me to keep at it. That you were so appreciative of all the content I had shared in the past and how much it helped you. It was all of you and all of your support that motivates me to share my passion for oil painting with you. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement and for sticking with me.

Here’s something you’ll Really Love….  a video I filmed while painting a creek in our back yard. 48 minutes of painting close up!

Still wondering about the premixed colors? Plein Air painting on Salt Spring Island with Naomi Grindlay



How do you manage your day?

I don’t know about you, but I find that I have to carefully manage my day and time. I must. A structured schedule is the only way I can function or I never get anything done. I’d be wondering around all day like a lost sheep. As an autistic, even more structure is required. I have to be very strict with myself. Then again I also need to be inspired to paint to create my best work. Painting with a heavy heart is difficult for me. Although some people can produce amazing work while in their darkest place. I can’t. Our heart and soul, all our thoughts and energy, negative and positive are ingrained into every piece. I also believe the person who views the piece, and has resonated with the energy of the painting, is thereby, moved to purchase it. So be aware of your energy and thoughts when entering your creative space. I find listening to self-help videos on you tube helps keep my own thoughts from intruding and ruining my otherwise awesome day.

How do you manage your day and what do you do to stay positive and creative?

Wish you a fabulous day and happy painting!

Artists block ~ What’s an artist to do?

Feeling Blah and uninspired? What do you do when you run out of creativity? Is it perhaps boredom? How do you get your muse to move back in and carry on like the good ol’ days when you camped out in your studio, burning the midnight oil, painting like a crazed artist? Now you wake up and stare blankly at your easel wandering how on earth you’ll ever survive since your muse left not even a spark of desire?

Do you think perhaps going with the flow and just doing something else creative for awhile would help? Like gardening? Spring is on her way, how can one not be excited about getting your hands dirty, planting some seeds and planning your garden? Perhaps plant seeds especially for painting as a subject matter. Monet designed his entire garden just for that purpose.

monet garden

How do you overcome Artist’s block and where do you find your inspiration?

A Wise man once told me…..

A wise man once told me to concentrate only upon the task at hand and nothing else. This way you give that task your full attention and the chance it deserves to flourish into something Extraordinary.


One of the best ways to improve your work….

Don’t you wish winter was over? I know I do… I’m more of a spring and summer kinda girl. I can’t wait to work on my garden and grow veggies and soak up some warm sunshine!

Back to my studio, I’m working on a project I can’t wait to share with you! It’s big and will probably take several months to complete. In the meantime, did you know, one of the best ways to improve your work… is to paint every single day. Set a time limit and do your best to stick to it. Start with four hours and then decrease your time limit as you improve. Start with a small canvas with one object and then add a few more as long as you keep it simple. Challenge yourself with a very limited palette like I did on with the bowl of eggs and water and the silver sugar bowl. When your time improves, challenge yourself with a larger piece. Anything is paint worthy. Coffee mugs, teacups, glass or even a rusty old pot. It doesn’t really matter. Pick something and go for it!

Begin with an underpainting using burnt umber and then add color. Try to stick with a very limited palette to challenge yourself even further.

I would Love to see some of your studies! Feel free to post your pics in the comment section below!

Silver sugar bowl

Painting eggs and water1

Apples for christmas



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