Friday, 29 June 2012

Creative Composition Workshop

It's been a fun filled day at the Creative Composition Workshop run by Ona.

Petra very kindly allowed us to use her fabulous garden as a base for our workshop today.

Members and friends had the opportunity to discover and explore many different compositional rules that can turn the ordinary into the unusual, the everyday into something much more visually grabbing.

Here is Petra finding out more about about each of the rules outlined in Ona's introductory class.

The class were then given time to try out  each of the compositional ideas for themselves through sketching...

and photography

Ona encouraged us to look from unusual angles :)

to get fun, visually grabbing references

  There was plenty of fun and laughter too :)

Lastly we  came together to look at each others work and Ona helped us to see how the references or sketches could be modified and then used for possible paintings.

If you missed this event. Please keep watching this blog for news about our next summer fun day which will happen during July.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

BWS June fun day and workshop!

Come and join us on Friday June 29th for a fun and informal workshop/ day out in an idyllic setting.

Petra has once again offered her glorious garden as a venue for a fun filled couple of hours exploring the rules of composition led by Ona Kindgon and her daughter Rebecca.

  Learn about the Fibonacci Spiral, the Rule of Thirds and several more compositional aids. Try these out with support from your instructors and practice using your camera or your paintbrush/ pencil (The property is on well water, so no cadmium paints please).

Wander around Petra’s beautiful garden and mentally paint pictures with your eye as you become more familiar with the strengths of each compositional grid. Its informal, fun and there will be plenty of help and advice on hand. You will even go home with your very own compositional grids acetate sheet to help to compose future reference photos and paintings.

 There will be a small fee for the compositional workshop $5 for members $10 for members friends payable on the day (all money minus cost of materials will be going to BWS)

 Please feel free to bring a picnic lunch and spend the whole day having fun or just drop in for a couple of hours. Tea and coffee will be provided.

We have a rain date of Sunday July 1st should the weather not be suitable on Friday 29th. Please watch the blog and your e mail for any last minute changes due to weather.

 If you are planning to attend please let us know by e-mailing either Ona or Rebecca, by adding a comment to this thread or by e-mailing so we can make sure we have a grid sheet ready for each person

 We will e mail directions to all members. Any new members who wish to join in our painting day who do not receive directions please e-mail

We will be having an activity like this each month throughout the summer so please keep watching the blog for more information. We will try to vary day of the week and times of day for each activity so that all members and their friends can enjoy at least one of the activities offered throughout the summer.

Hope to see you on the 29th and remember you can bring a friend :)
Ona, Rebecca and Petra

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

 "Artists Against the MegaQuarry" invites you to attend our '2nd Annual en Plein Air Paint-in: At the Headwaters on Saturday, June 30, 2012

We will be setting up our easels at a lovely property near the proposed mega quarry site. Bring a lunch, sun hat and your supplies. The art produced will become part of an exhibit and sold to raise funds to fight the mega quarry. Hope to see you there!

Place: Wallyngton 132 Main Street, Hornings Mills (a private lakeside villa including formal gardens and stables) adjacent to the proposed MegaQuarry site 

Date/Time: Saturday June 30th 10-3:00pm (the public will be invited for 11:00am-3:00pm) 
Bring your own picnic - drinks will be available for purchase 

Note: registration is free, however please RSVP to Sandi ( or Laurie (, as soon as possible.

If interested in showing finished works for sale, a tented venue with limited space is available, so let us know.  

Monday, 18 June 2012

TWSA Watercolor Celebration!

Over the weekend I attended the TWSA 36th Anniversary Celebration and the Celebrate watercolor dinner and awards presentation In Kenosha Wisconsin.

It was an amazing couple of days. To be able to see such magnificant paintings in person and be able talk to artists such as John Salminen, my fellow Canadian Harold Allanson, Robin Berry, Ken Call, Cheng-Khee Chee, Lennox Wallace, Debbie Rankin, Joe Garcia and Donna Jill Witty to name just a few was inspiring to put it mildly. Kelly Kane Editor of Watercolor Artist magazine was also there and came and chatted to me. To be presented with my award by Donna Jill Witty was pretty cool too

The awards dinner was in the evening but before this TWSA had organised two demo’s. The first was by Donna Jill Witty. She began by masking key areas of the painting to preserve the whites or lighter areas. It was so great to see another queen of masking

The next step however was so unlike my style. She mixed bold colour onto her palette and working wet into wet boldy and quickly covered the paper with it.

While still wet she added in a darker mix to begin to develop the values in the painting.

She would often use the spray bottle to keep areas wet and encourage paint flow by gently tipping the board in various directions.

Once this was dry (ok she put this first one aside and took out another very similar just dry and with the MF removed to work on next. ) A couple people asked about the brand of MF she uses and like me she uses Incredible white mask as it dries clear so doesn’t hinder your eye while working on colour and value in those early stages. I know too that it is the only MF that you can safely use a hair dryer with with no effect)

She then worked on softening the edges in some areas with a scrubbing brush and pulling some of the surrounding colour into the areas that were light but not white.

She then began adding in the details to the painting and strengthening the values in some areas.

She then discussed using ref photos not copying them. Looking for parts the interest and have meaning for what you want the painting to say and even using more than one ref to reach your finished painting.

This is her finished demo completed in about 50 minutes.

In the afternoon we had a demo by Joe Garcia, a very well known wildlife artist. He painted a sea scene with a sea bird in and demoed various techniques for lifting/preserving the whites. He used brushes, paper towels, palette knives, craft knives and even sand paper with very interesting effects. I have used all but the sandpaper and was initially shocked by how vigorously he attacked the paper with a medium grain piece of sandpaper but the finished effect really helped to create that feel of the spray created by waves as they crash against rocks. Below are a couple of photos showing his process of painting and then lifting. He used no masking fluid at all.

Both used Arches 140lb cold press paper.

Hope you enjoyed a taster of the day


Thursday, 14 June 2012

Richmond Hill Heritage Village Festival

Last Saturday several members of BWS took part in the Richmond Hill Heritage Village Festival. We hope you enjoy this short video which gives you a flavour of the days events.

Thank you to everyone that helped to make the day so enjoyable for residents of Richmond Hill and surrounding areas.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012


I do hope you will be able to come to this show. Please feel free to pass this along and bring along friends and family. Tell everyone!

I will be in attendance on  Wed 20th 10-5    Thur 21st 5-8     Fri 22nd 5-8     Sat 23rd 10-8     Sun 24th 12-5

See you there!

Friday, 1 June 2012

June's Artist of the Month Diane Morgan

I just want to say a huge Thank you to Diane for being our artist of the month. 

Hello members of BWS and readers of The Waterfront,

I'm thrilled to be part of this wonderful blog.  The work here is truly wonderful.

I started painting in oils, majoring in design at the University of Michigan.  About 20 years ago I took up watercolor to try something new with easier clean up. I took a watercolor class at a local community college.  I immediately was hooked.  The instructor suggested I enter one of my pieces in a show at the Palm Springs Art Museum.  My entry won a $100 award.  I thought....this is fun!  That was the beginning of my continued passion for watercolor and my enthusiasm for entering competitions. I think competitions give you a goal and an incentive to keep working.  Rewards are nice too :-} 

I paint almost everyday.  The only way to improve is to keep working. It has been suggested that if you want to learn to paint...go paint a hundred paintings.  One challenge I created for myself was to do a painting a day.  For six months I completed a small painting every day and sold them on eBay.  I quickly passed the 100 mark. This daily self-imposed assignment increased my productivity, improved my creativity and painting skills and opened up several opportunities for me that would not have happened.   I highly recommend the daily challenge.

My watercolors begin with very detailed pencil drawings. I prefer to work on Arches 300# cold press which is strong enough to hold a lot of water without buckling. My preferred paints are Windsor & Newton. I always spend a great deal of time mixing paint to make sure I have the right colors and enough paint to complete each area. If it’s a very large area I will store the paint in an airtight container for use later as needed.  For slight variations in shading I will mix on the palette as I go. I work on several pieces at a time, allowing time for washes to dry and to reflect on the next step toward completion.  

            I envision a painting in almost everything I see.  Adding drama and mystery through the use of powerful lighting effects, reflected surfaces, exaggerated contrasts and unusual compositions, I strive to transform simple everyday life into  un-ordinary, not-so-still life. I like to take an ordinary subject and enhance the perception of it, invite the viewer to take a closer look.  If you look closer, you may discover something new about yourself.

I love the freshness of watercolor. I love the challenge.  I love how the medium takes command. The artist starts the process, but the paint takes charge and leads the work to a sometimes unintended outcome.  It’s always exhilarating.

My work is currently featured in the June/July issue of International Artist magazine and will also be in Splash 13 which comes out in August.  You can read more about my style and technique there.

Thank you for inviting me to be a guest artist.  I look forward to hearing from all of you.