Build Your Skills One Brush Stroke at a Time!

From the seasoned advanced painter to the “I can’t draw a straight line” beginner…there’s something here for you.

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Hello from the Studio

Quotable Art Quotes

Paint-In Fundraiser Event

Look What I Found!

Featured Technique – Basecoating Advice

Recipes from the Studio


Me again! Can you believe it's the middle of summer already?

Most of you are winding down and spending more time outdoors in your gardens. Or sipping coolers and spritzers out on the deck.

I, on the other hand, am painting my heart out in preparation for the fall and winter. Wait until you see what I've got lined up for your autumn and winter workshops.

The best way to see what's being offered at the studio is to check what I've recently added to the Workshops section of my website.

As I paint the projects, I'll keep uploading the photos so you can have a sneak peek.

And mark your calendars for Saturday, September 8th... It's my annual Open House with Wine & Cheese.


Take the attitude of a student,

never be too big to ask questions,

never know too much to learn something new.

-Og Mandiga


On October 20 and 21, I am hosting a PAINT-IN at the studio. It's to help raise funds for Parents' Lifeline of Eastern Ontario.

PLEO is a very underfunded support group for parents who have children and young adults suffering from mental illness.

I am inviting you to come paint an ornament or two or more...The ornaments and paints will be here waiting for you brush strokes.

COYOTE WOODWORKS, upon hearing of this cause, immediately and very generously agreed to donate all the necessary wooden gift tags. For great wood surfaces at affordable prices, please visit Coyote Woodworks.
I'm encouraging any crafter or artist to participate in this fundraiser. If you can't paint at the studio, you can still help out.

Just paint or decorate or make an ornament between now and October 30, and mail it in to me.

Everone participating will be acknowledged on this website. Please sign your ornaments and enclose your address so I can contact you.

Also know that 100% of the funds raised will be used for PLEO programs.


You'd think this would be a simple step in the painting process... In fact, your basecoated background can make or break a painting!

My personal preference is to have a textured background. I like texture because I am very fond of dry brushing. To create the right texture, I will roll the paint on using a small foam roller. If I use an airy foam roller, this will leave more texture than will a denser latex foam.

If you do a lot of floating, you'll need a smoother basecoat. In this case, use a large flat brush, thin the paint a little with water and apply the paint in one direction. Let this first coat dry. Sand lightly with a brown paper bag and repeat.

Next, it is really important that you render the paint to an inky consistency.

The paint needs to flow freely from the brush tip, so it needs to be thinned with just the right amount of water.

Too much water and the lines are way too transparent, and not enough water means the brush runs out of paint too soon.

Load the brush by dragging it through the inky puddle. Do not twist the hairs but rather tap the bristles gently back into a pointed shape.

Now hold the brush at a perpendicular angle to the surface…in other words pointing straight up from your surface.

Hold the brush between your thumb and index finger, supporting the ferrule with your middle finger. Rest your pinkie down on the surface without leaning on your wrist.

The brush tip should touch the painting surface with minimal pressure. Be sure to hold the brush where the wooden handle meets the metal ferrule.

Pull the brush while maintaining even pressure on the tip.

You will use your arm rather than using wrist action to move the brush along. So it’s important to keep the wrist off the surface.

Practice this correct brush positioning while doing swirls and tendrils…and keep on practicing. In no time at all you’ll be painting like a pro!



Makes 6 1-cup servings Recipe can easily be tripled for a crowd!

In a large bowl, toss together:

2 cups cold cooked long grain rice (mix of wild, brown and white is best) 1 cup thawed frozen peas ½ cup chopped green onion ½ cup dried raisins or dried cranberries 4 tsp curry powder or more 1 tsp ground cumin

In a separate bowl or jar make a dressing using:

1/4 cup white wine vinegar 2 tbsp olive oil 2 tbsp water Salt / pepper to taste

Pour over the rice mixture and toss to cover evenly. Serve or cover and refrigerate.


Comments? Burning questions? Ideas? Feedback?

Come on let me have it! I’d love to hear from you.

Just reply to this e-zine and tell me what you think…maybe you’d even like to share a tip to be mentioned in an upcoming issue!

Special Workshops

Fall and Winter Decorative Painting Projects