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Online workshop for the Winslow Art Center

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Saturdays, July 11 - August 1 10 am - 1 pm PST
I'm very pleased to be teaching a 4 week, online workshop for the Winslow Art Center in July.
The workshop will take place on the Zoom platform.  I've been noodling with Zoom over the past week and I'm happy to tell you that it's not difficult to use.  Workshoppers will not only be able to watch my demos but they'll also be able to converse with me and each other via video and text.   And none of us have to leave our home studios!   
If you'd like to find out more, check out the Winslow site.  I hope to see you online in July.
Happy painting!

Your brushes make all the difference

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I taught a limited palette workshop over the weekend and thoroughly enjoyed myself.  The painters were a keen bunch who worked hard, asked good questions and were as excited by the magical effects of hue, value and temperature as I am.  My kind of people!

One thing that came up repeatedly - as it does in every workshop - was brushes.

I paint in layers, often wet-in-wet and not every bristle type is capable of doing that.
To apply the layers of heavy oil paint cleanly, one on top of the other, my brushes have to be strong and flexible.  Soft or floppy brushes just won't work; they won't hold enough paint or release it cleanly on top of a wet paint layer. 

Most brushes meant for acrylics fall into the too-soft category when they're pressed into service for oil paint.  They don't have the strength to spring back under the weight of oils and are often ruined by the cleaning solvents.

The bristles I use are the most common one among oil painters who like to work with thic…

Last minute openings in Cochrane workshop next weekend

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"7 Tubes Are All You Need"
A 2-day workshop
Jan 18/19
Cochrane, AB
Imagine making every colour that you need with just 7 tubes of paint. Now imagine knowing exactly which colour to mix to create the effect that you want, from  glowing passages to receding planes. 
Simplifying and understanding colour are the subject of my 2 day workshop in Cochrane, AB  next weekend, January 18 and 19, and there are a couple of last minute spots available. 
Hosted by the Cochrane Art Club, the workshop will be held at Beaupre Hall and run from 9:30  - 4:30 on both days. 
If you've always felt uncertain about colour and find yourself buying paint with names like  "flesh tone" or "sky blue", this workshop is for you. 
For information and registration, contact Rose at the Cochrane Art Club. 
I hope to see you there!

Workshop in Kelowna, June 2020

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Composition to Completion Workshop Ellis Art Studios June 26 - 28, 2020 Kelowna, BC
Last year's Composition to Completion workshop in Kelowna was such a success that I'll be teaching it again in June, 2020.   But, since I don't believe in repeating myself completely, I'm making a significant change.

Instead of focusing solely on landscapes as we did last time, this workshop will see the workshoppers tackle at least 2 genres.  They may be figurative, floral, landscape, urban landscape... you name it.

My aim is for painters to become comfortable in composing any subject into an interesting painting.

What will remain the same is the in-depth exploration of colour and paint application methods.  I especially enjoy seeing the students' excitement on the day that we focus on colour.  They realize that there is a logic to colour and that they can figure out which colours to use for greatest effect in any situation. 

If you're interested in more information or would like …

Alternative mark making

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Family 12 x 16 (probably still in progress)


I love the flourish and looseness of alla prima brushwork, but I'm also interested in making paintings that don't rely on the brush for their marks.

Inspired by one of my favourite painters, Philip Buller, this piece was an experiment in a rather laborious process of screen painting.  I stretched aluminum window screen material over a frame and laid it on top of my canvas.  Then I pushed paint through it with an old brush and a palette knife, aiming for an approximation of the placement of each colour shape but no accuracy.  I was really pleased with the look of the patches of colour, even the machine-like grid that's transferred to the paint.  It's ambiguous but rich in pigment and colour because I pushed quite a lot of paint through the mesh.

I can achieve vague edges with brushes, too, but the effect isn't usually so heavily pigmented.  Instead, the paint is thinned and layered at edges, resulting in a weak colour sta…

Answers to your questions about my upcoming oil painting course

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Some of you have asked me to clarify details about this course and I'm hoping this answers any questions that you have.

When and where is the course held and how much is it?

The course runs every Thursday for 12 weeks at Swinton's Art Supply studios in Calgary.
Dates: January 9 - March 26
Hours: 9am - 12pm
Price: $432 + gst

Do I need to have experience in painting to join?

No. This is a comprehensive course that is suitable for beginners and painters in other mediums who want to learn oils from the ground up. You also don't have to have taken Foundations 1. I'll review and reinforce concepts from F1 and will make sure that no painter is left behind.

I've painted in oils in the past. Will this course be too basic for me?

Experienced oil painters have taken this course and they tell me they've learned an enormous amount about paint, colour, composition and brushwork.

The course will fill in any gaps in your basic technical knowledge while also addressing higher conc…

New 12 week painting class in Calgary

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Foundations of Oil Painting 2
Thursdays Jan. 9 - March 26, 2020 9am - 12pm Swinton's Art Supply Studios  Calgary, AB
I'm offering a 12 week oil painting course at Swinton's studios in Calgary beginning in January and I hope you'll sign up!

In it, you'll learn the ins and outs of oil painting from mixing colours using a versatile 8-colour palette to constructing a painting from beginning to end. 

My goal is to teach you how to tackle a subject with a logical approach, bold and varied brushwork and edges, and accurate colour. As well,  you'll learn how to use the paint to create rich and interesting surfaces.

I'm a paint nerd so my instruction will cover both the technical and aesthetic aspects of oil painting.  We'll work with either a low or no solvent method and I'll emphasize safe painting and studio practises throughout.

The majority of the course will be taught from life using still life objects, but I'll use still life to teach concepts that y…