Sunday, May 22, 2016

Sedona Paintings by Sharon Lynn Williams

"Cathedral Rock -Sedona", 7x12" plein air oil on board
$195 unframed

I see that I forgot to post some plein air paintings that I did in Sedona at this time last year. I am revisiting them because these paintings will be available at the Leighton Art Centre Annual Clothesline Sale coming up this June 6 & 7.

This is a great opportunity to get some wonderful unframed artwork by many different artists in many different styles, and at great prices to boot.

 "Cathedral Rock From Crescent Moon Park", 9x12" plein air oil
$225 unframed

"Chapel Rock, Sedona", 12x16" plein air oil on board
$250 unframed

Plein air painting in the gorgeous red rocks of Sedona presented this Alberta girl with some unique challenges, as we have nothing like this anywhere near here. The red rock has glowing vibrant shadows, which all contrast nicely with the green and grey green foliage surrounding them. and the brilliant blue of the sky -such a riot of colour really makes my heart sing.

I chose to portray the shadows with a transparent violet in the last two paintings, and I think it really conveyed the cool yet still warm shadows well.  There was a real challenge in painting these intricate mountains as the shadow shapes kept changing. The only thing to do is to block in the shapes as they are at the beginning of the painting and then stick to them for the duration. Chasing the sun is never a good idea in plein air painting.


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Friday, April 8, 2016

New bird painting by Sharon Lynn Williams

"Robin & Mountain Ash", 6x6" oil on panel

I spent Friday painting with my friend "Marjorie Mae", aka Marj Broadhead. I had prepared a couple of photos and we set the timer for 1 hour for each 6x6" painting. It was so much fun! (You can look on her FB page to see her interpretations). This was my first one. I was sure happy that I had set the timer as it kept me from picking it to death! I like the subsequent looseness.

"In The Tree Tops", 6x6" oil on panel

Here is my second birdie. You might be interested in the support I used. I got my dear hubby to cut up some 3/4" hardboard into 6x6" squares.. Then I put one layer of GAC100 on tops and sides to seal them from the lignans escaping and discoloring my painting (see support induced discolouration or SID).Then 2 coats of gesso followed, sanding in between and at the end to make a smooth surface. I find this very similar to the Ampersand boards at a fraction of the cost. If the painting is successful, my DH just drills a hole in the top middle on the back to accommodate a nail on the wall, I paint the sides of the panel black, and tada, I have a hangable art piece. That way I can sell them inexpensively, a deal for the customer, and easy with no framing for me. Please feel free to steal this idea for yourself!!

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Saturday, March 26, 2016

"Afternoon Tea", new oil painting by Sharon Lynn Williams

"Afternoon Tea", 12x12" oil on panel
$575 beautifully framed

I painted this from a still life I set up. The teapot gave me great grief, but I am happy with it now. Sometime that's just how it goes. There is a bit of glare in the darks in this photo, sorry.

I want to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy Easter -He is RISEN!!

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Thursday, March 17, 2016

"Fall Remnants", encaustic painting by Sharon Lynn Williams

"Fall Remnants", 12 x 24" encaustic on panel
$895 beautifully presented in a hand crafted frame

This is my latest encaustic painting, which captures the scene on one of my daily walks. Here, the weaselhead area of the Elbow River is seen through the large aspen trees growing on the cliff above. 

I am planning some encaustic classes for this spring to be held at Swinton's Art Supply here in Calgary. I will let you know the details as they are finalized.

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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

New Encaustic Paintings by Sharon Lynn Williams

 "A Walk In The Park", 12x24" encaustic
$895 beautifully presented in a hand crafted frame

I have been in the encaustic studio a lot lately and have found a method that really works for me. I saw this scene on one of my daily walks, and came right home and painted it. In this painting, I made an underpainting in complementary colours using gouache on the raw panel. So under the burgundy trees, there is green and under the green trees there is red. Bits of that underpainting shine through in spots and gives a nice sparkle to the painting. Gouache is compatible with putting wax on top, unlike acrylic or oil paint, and isn't affected by the heat used to fuse the wax.

"Montana Gold", 18x24" encaustic
$1225 beautifully presented in a hand crafted frame

I did this painting at a friend's cabin in January. On our drive to Montana, we passed this scene and I knew right away I had to paint it. I began without an underpainting, but put the first layers of colour right on the raw board without putting several clear layers of wax first, as is the 'normal' technique. I find this makes the colours float around less when fused -a definite aid when trying to paint representationally, albeit impressionistically. There is a good amount of texture in this piece. The only problem with encaustic is trying to capture the colour and luminosity with a camera! You really need to see this work in person to appreciate it.

These two paintings will be in the upcoming FCA show this Saturday, as well as the previously posted "First Snow II", which I am thrilled to say, won an honourable mention. I will also have 2 plein air oil paintings at the show. I am doing an oil demo from 1-3pm, so please stop by and say hi if you can.

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Friday, February 26, 2016

"Evening Light-France" new oil painting

"Evening Light -France", 9x12" oil on panel

I was fortunate to have some time to paint today. This is from a photo I took in 2014 outside Le Vieux Couvent in Frayssinet, France, while I was on a Dreama Tolle Perry workshop -so inspiring!!

I am teaching a "Colour Mixing Made Simple" class this coming Monday night in Calgary from 6:30-8:30pm. The cost is only $35 and includes all supplies and a glass of wine. Go here to register.

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Friday, February 19, 2016

"A Seat For Beauty", new oil painting by Sharon Lynn Williams

"A Seat For Beauty", 9x12" oil on panel
$495 beautifully framed

I know I have been derelict in my duty to post, but I do have a good excuse this time. I came down with shingles a week ago and it really knocked me out. I am happy to say that I caught it early and was put on antiviral meds, plus I was directed to a new cream that has done wonders on the healing of the rashes. I am now on the mend, and hope to make more of an effort to post. Not that you aren't already inundated with things to see online, but I hope I can bring some beauty into your lives with my paintngs.

I am taking an online class with the wonderful Dreama Tolle Perry, and our assignment for this week was a blue chair in France with geraniums growing from it. Well, it turns out that I was right there in that place taking photos with Dreama as part of my France workshop in 2014. So I chose to paint from my own photo, which is quite different from the one the class painted. If you can possibly swing it, I HIGHLY recommend taking Dreama's online course which will open again in September. I have taken 13 days painting with Dreama in person, and I must say that this course is an even better experience than the live workshops. You get to see everything she does close up, but more than that, Dreama has opened up her heart by adding so much more besides painting, going into attitude, perseverance and painting with JOY. Go to her website and take a look.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

First Snow i in new frame style

"First Snow i", 12 x 24" encaustic
$895 beautifully framed

What a blessed lady I am to have a wonderfully supportive and creative husband!! He just finished this gorgeous frame for my new encaustic painting. He designed the frame to be a shadow frame with 1/4" show around the edges, so that none of the image is cut off. It is set back into the frame which will protect the wax from damage due to rough handling. We went through a bit of a learning curve trying to find the correct finish for it, and ended up with a satin black that just makes the painting glow. The painting was done on a standard 2" thick cradled birch panel, which he sawed down to a 1" cradle on his table saw -YES this was risky but he is meticulous so I had no almost no fear. And just in case you thought that was all, with the remaining 1" cradle he made me a new panel!

As I want to be as helpful to other artists as possible, I am including a photo of the back of the frame so maybe you can make one for yourself (or if you have a significant other who is handy).

It is wrapped up for delivery to my gallery in the morning, but you get the idea. He used 1'3" Radiata Pine for the top and then he glued and screwed on a lip of hardboard on the back to screw the painting in. It is all very secure and sits flat to the wall. His next project is to make me a similar frame for the 24x48" version.

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Friday, January 22, 2016

"Coming Home", encaustic painting by Sharon Lynn Williams

"Coming Home", 12 x 12" encaustic on panel
$450 framed

I just returned from a wonderful trip to Montana to paint with friends for a week. Unfortunately we were plagued with problems: a death in one of the families plus power outages on two days (spells disaster for working in encaustic!) However it was a rich time of bonding, sharing art techniques and sharing our faith. I did this painting first there, and was able to do one more which I will share later, once I am sure it is finished.

If this weekend taught me anything, it is to expect the unexpected, and that LOVE really does hold us all together.
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Sunday, January 17, 2016

new encasutics First Snow i & ii

"First Snow i", 12 x 24" encaustic on cradled panel
$895 beautifully framed

So now that it is winter and it is too cold to paint outside, I am back in my studio working with the wax. I painted this in my friend, Tracy Proctor's beautiful encaustic studio. When I brought it home my hubby said "I REALLY like this -wish it was bigger!" He immediately went out to the lumber store and bought me a 24x48" piece of baltic birch and made a cradle for it so it wouldn't warp while painting. It took me 16 hours, but I just completed it, the largest encaustic painting I have done to date!

"First Snow ii", 24x48" encaustic on cradled panel
$2895 beautifully framed

It is really different working this large. I found I needed to make small containers of a bunch of colour variations so I had enough of each colour to cover a large space. My usual practice is to have one griddle with large containers of a few key colours that I use to mix other colour variations from, as well as a large pot of clear medium and a container of soy wax to clean my brushes in. I use the other griddle as a mixing palette, where I put out small amounts of colours from manufactured or home made wax pigments and then add small amounts of other colours to get a huge range of colour options. In my work I love to have a range of lights, mids and darks of equal value so that I can get colour variation =life. If you click on the large painting image, you can hopefully see what I mean. For example in the snow shadow area there are 5 different values (light to dark) of blue grey. I bought some small stainless steal condiment cups at a local restaurant supplier, so I could have a container of each of those values. Add to those multiple cups of lights including creamy whites, yellows, greens and blues that appear in the sky behind the trees, as well as multiple mid-value cups containing yellows, oranges, reds, blues, greens and violets. But I think all those colour variations is what brings pop and life to the painting, so it is well worth the work. I was thrilled to find some silicone mini-muffin cups at the store, so now I can put the colours that are left over into those, allow them to cool and add the blocks to my collection of colours, rather than having to throw them away.
My son commented that I need to do a series of these, so I think I will take him up on that idea -stay tuned to see more .

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Monday, January 11, 2016


Saturday January 16, 2016 from 10-4pm at Swinton’s Art Supply, 7160 Fisher Street, SE, Calgary 
 Come and join me to learn about the benefits of using fluid acrylics in a watercolour manner. Some of these include the ability to move into translucent and opaque effects, superior glazing ability without the possibility of making mud, and outstanding clarity of colour in the final result, not to mention no glass is required when framing.
Class size is limited to 10 students
Cost: $110 plus GST. Call Swinton’s at 403-258-3500 to register, or contact me at 403 238 4744

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Saturday, January 2, 2016

Jane Davies Monoprint Collage Online Workshop Review

In November I signed up to take Jane Davies online workshop called "Monoprint Collage" with two of my students. We decided it would be fun to take the class together and have weekly joint painting sessions in order to spur each other on to greatness finishing well. I thought I would share some of the paintings I made over the 6 week class and some observations I made during the process.

The class began with 2 lessons on making collage papers with the Gelli Plate.  We learned all kinds of techniques to use with the Gelli plate including using stencils, rainbow rolls, manipulating paint, using resists such as string, and multiple layerings. Here are just a few of the papers I made, out of the nearly one hundred we made. You will have to click on the link to see the papers at a larger size. All papers were made on 80# Sulphite Drawing Paper.

In lesson 3 , we made paintings with our collage papers, cut into squares or rectangles. The challenge was to balance the positive and negative spaces, and to use the pattern in a way that would encourage the viewers eye to roam all over the page. Here is an example of 3 of my finished collages.

I was pleased to be able to make a successful composition with only 4 collage pieces!

In lesson 4 we used 'orb' shapes out of our collage papers and the challenge was to paint an interesting background behind them, and add elements (scribble or more collage) to make a finished piece. Here is my favourited of the bunch I made -all 8x8":

In lesson 5, we began by printing directly from the Gelli plate onto our substrate. either before or after adding collage, and playing with opaque and transparent paint layers. So it was print, mask, print, glaze with opaque or transparent paint and then do whatever it took to make a finished work.  These are 3 of the ones I did, all 8x10":

In the last lesson, we began by printing and then adding collage, stenciling, glazing and opaque layering as well as adding linear elements and whatever else we felt led to do. Here are process shots of 4 of the 7 paintings I made.


A goal I had at the start of the workshop was to get more minimalistic in my approach, which you can see I failed miserably at. This goes to support my mantra that my body of work is called "Products Of A Busy Mind"!! Jane did a wonderful job of presenting the class, with a PDF of instructions along with 1-2 videos per lesson. The class had a private blog page so that we could post our work, which multiplied the learning seeing what other people did. It was fun to comment and receive comments on each others work, as well as Jane commenting on each of our posts. I learnt so much in the class, and I now know my Gelli plate will not be relegated to making papers for collage only. If you have an opportunity to take an online (or live) class from Jane, I highly recommend it. You can view Jane's great website which contains her wonderful artwork, an amazing blog and tons of free tutorials on her methods.

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Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

"Cold Call", 8x8" encaustic on board

I know I have been gone for a long time, but I hope to return in the New Year with lots of new paintings, artistic insights and tips, and maybe a video or two if I can get that all figured out. I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate you reading my blog posts and generally being an engaged and generous viewer. You mean the world to me, and I am so fortunate to have you as friends.
I wish you the happiest, healthiest and loving Christmas imaginable.
Blessings my friends!

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

good post on plein air painting

I subscribe to thw wonderful Lori Putnam's blog and guest blogger and the famous daily painter Carol Marine wrote a wonderful post there about the difficulties of the plein air process and how she tried to overcome them. Give it a look here.
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New Encaustics by Sharon Lynn Williams

"Indigo & Rust", 24x24" mixed media encaustic on finished cradled panel

As you know I have been playing with wax for the last few years, so I wanted to share with you two of my more recent paintings. This one has a piece of collage paper in the bottom that I made. I rusted some metal objects and printed them onto japaneese paper, then I folded the paper into patterns and dipped it into a vat of indigo. The paper was then collaged onto the panel with wax and wax added on top. The middle band is roofing ashphalt, and the top part is wax and pigment stick using a technique I learned from master 'ruster' Pam Nichols. There is also some collage paper on the upper right side.

"Sienna & Rust", 24x24" mixed media encaustic on finished cradled panel

This is the second piece I made in this series. Another piece of rusted, indigo dyed piece of paper is used in the lower section (this time the rust was from a large old gear). The ashphalt was used on the edges and the upper part was done in the same way as the first piece, and another piece of rusted paper was collaged to the surface. Then I incised the circles and filled them with orange and blue encaustic paint and added metalic copper to the outside ring.
One of the problems of encaustic is trying to get a good photo which shows all the depth in the work, and I think it is impossible. You really need to see these in person to appreciate them!

I am off in the morning for a private 3 day encaustic workshop with a hero of mine, Dale Roberts, in Philadelphia. Dale has several wonderful videos on Youtube that are accessible from his website, so if you are interested in encaustic and how it's done, you should check them out.  After the workshop I am off to the Big Apple with my son Evan for 4 days of art museums and live theatre. I know, poor me!

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Monday, October 5, 2015

Mountain Plein Air by Sharon Lynn Williams

 "Rundle Fall", 12 x 12" plein air oil on panel
$575 beautifully framed

I had the pleasure of painiting at beautiful Vermillion Lakes in Banff National Park last week. This is the iconic and world famous Rundle Mountain.

"Borgeau Fall", 12 x 12" plein air oil on panel
$575 beautifully framed

This is the view at the other end of the lake from Rundle. It was a gloriously warm day and the fall colours were brilliant.


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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Plein Air: Fall in the Mountains, by Sharon Lynn Williams

"Rundle Ridge Fall", 9x12" plein air oil
$495 beautifully framed

I had the pleasure of painting in the mountains of Canmore, AB with two of my best painting buddies this week. The fall colours were astounding and the sky cloudless, which made it easier on the artists.

"Quarry Lake Fall", 12x12" plein air oil
$575 beautifully framed

This was actually the first painting of the day. This is called "Little Sister" because it is the lowest of the Three Sisters, but it is the biggest mass-wise of the three.  No wonder I keep getting them confused!

These are my 'partners in crime': Dee Poisson on the left and Patti Dyment on the right. Both are great painters and make me laugh!

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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Bear Grass Trails, plein air oil by Sharon Lynn Williams

"Bear Grass Trails", 9 x 12" plein air oil
$495 framed

This is a painting I did at Lake OHara, and it is one of the many on offer this weekend at the I Love Art Fundraiser in High River. The proceeds from the show go to update the Cancer Room so that people don't have to travel great distances for treatment. I am happy to participate in such a worthy cause.

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Friday, September 18, 2015

Painting at Big Hawk Lake, Ontario

"Hawk Lake Shoreline", 12x12" oil on panel
$575 framed

My hubby and I spent the last two weeks of August at our family cottage on Big Hawk Lake, which is about a half hour south of Algonquin Park in Ontario. This is a small slice of heaven, and I love to take my paints and set up a floating plein air set-up in our paddle boat with an anchor (tried the canoe but it was too tippy and subject to wind drift!). This year the weather was cool, windy and often rainy so I had to resort to taking photos to paint from in the protection of the cottage. This was the first one that I did -the spot is just around the shore from our place.

"The Island -Big Hawk Lake", 12x12" oil on panel
$575 framed

My second painting was done at one of my favorite spots on the lake, that I call "The Island". I have painted this island many times and it always looks different. You can see the scattered showers advancing here. The water was quite high for this time of year, usually much more rock is visible.

"Feldspar, Moss & Lichen", 12x12" oil on panel

This is the directly across a little path of water from the painting location above. I am always struck by the coral-pink feldspar in some of the rocks on our lake, which is particulary prominant at this spot. I love how it contrasts with the yellow-green moss and the blue-green lichen that share their glory here.

"Colours Of Hawk Lake", 12x12" oil on panel
$575 framed

This is another view of the same spot, just from a little further away. All the rain made the colours just sing! No chance of forest fires getting out of control in this area of the world. While in Ontario I kept reading about how the smoke from forest fires was keeping my friends in Calgary locked up in their homes. I really didn't mind the rain!

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Monday, September 14, 2015

Return to Lake O'Hara, and weather!!

"View From Sargeant's Point", 12x12" plein air oil on panel
$575 framed

I had the great pleasure to return to Lake O'Hara in Yoho Provincial Park last week, which is my favorite place to paint on the planet. Unfortunately the weather was not ideal and we arrived in 4" of snow. The above painting was done on our last day as the weather was just beginning to clear.

"Along O'Hara's Shoreline", 9x12" plein air oil on panel
$495 framed

This was the painting I did on our first day. All the peaks were socked in, but the colour in the shore was incredible against all that gray. I was intrigued with the red moss that grew with the yellow-green -don't know why, but it was beautiful!

"Mt. Shaeffer Reflections", 12x12" plein air oil on panel
$575 framed

This was my effort on our third day. I love the way the reflections play on the colour of the lake, with the lake bottom showing up particularly in the areas of dark reflections. Hard to catch at the best of times and extremely challenging when painting plein air. But that's the kind of thing that challenges me and makes me coming back for more.

The first time I went to paint at Lake O'Hara in 2008 it was 25 degrees and sunny and we hiked and painted in our shorts and tee shirts. I have been back 5 more times since then, and haven't had that kind of luck again. Maybe next year...

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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

I'm back with artists who have inspired me

I am very embarrassed that my last post was in March! I haven't forgotten about the blog, but life just got too busy and I had to let go of something, so the blog posting went. I have often thought "I should post..." but then the longer I was away from it, the harder it was to begin again. Then last week I was informed by Patience Brewster that August is Artist Appreciation Month, which was news to me. So in the spirit of that 'holiday' I was thinking about ALL the wonderful artists who have inspired me over my 30 year art carreer, and that is a very long list! Off the top of my head I would say these people began something new in me:
Brian Atyeo -I have taken 5 workshops with Brian and have learned something new each time, even though the basic principles of what he teaches remains the same. You can only grasp what you are ready to grasp! Brian also changed his way of painting while at the height of his carreer, fighting to retain his galleries. This was a huge risk for him and his family, and I think this speaks to his dedication to creating his work.
Stephen Quiller- I had the pleasure of taking a weekend workshop with Steve as well as a 10 day painting trip to Scotland in 2010. I learned all I know about colour from Steve, and spent 2 years just going through his wonderful books and experimenting with colour schemes.

Virginia Cobb was my first abstract teacher and has remained an inspiration to this day. (unfortunatley she doesn't allow her paintings to be coppied)

Dale Roberts and Willow Bader are my encaustic inspirations. I was fortunate to see Willow demonstrate this summer in her studio in Seattle, and I am super excited to take a semi-private workshop with Dale in October at his studio in Philadelphia!! Believe it or not, these last two paintings are done entirely in encaustic (pigmented hot wax)

So that is just a few of the excellent artists who have inspired me in my art carreer.
I will begin posting a couple of times a week again naow that I have started. So stay tuned, we have a lot to catch up on!


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