Monday, June 22, 2020

Cast is off, so now it is time to PAINT!


Hello all! I hope this finds you happy, healthy, and enjoying summer! I can hardly understand where the last months have gone, it is all sort of 'in a fog'! But Q3 is on our doorstep and it is time to get back down to 'brass tacks' as my dear Mom would have said (what does that even mean anyway??)

So, in case I forgot to tell you, I had surgery on May 11 to remove a bone in my hand, as severe arthritis was causing me a LOT of trouble. Apparently, removing the bone that my thumb was having trouble moving against, is the permanent fix for this type of thing. And I am right in the majority who need it: female over 65 who uses her hands for her livelihood. After 5 weeks in a cast, I am now castless, and no doubt overusing my hand! But it is gardening season (my garden has never looked better!), and I have SO many paintings inside me to come out!

I did get to do a few paintings in the last while, learning how to do things with my left, very uncooperative hand. I did the above painting ("Wild Beauty", 12x12" acrylic and collage) with one brush in my left (non-dominant) hand, and another in my right, stuck into my cast, using both hands at once -kind of fun, as long as I wasn't expecting anything to turn out. But I am pleasantly surprised how this one turned out. It will be available at the newly opened Leighton Art Centre, as part of their Summer Salon. In the meantime, I have the 5 paintings below in the Clothesline Sale -click HERE to see the show.


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Friday, May 8, 2020

New oil and cold wax demonstration -"Mountainside"

Hello all -hope you are all well and happy! I wanted you to know that I just published a new video with another demonstration of my oil and cold wax painting. I am posting it in this post, but if it will not play from here, then you will have to go to my Youtube channel to watch it (link is  I would love to hear from you with comments and questions, and would like to know if you are enjoying these free teachings. Any suggestions you have for content would be most helpful, and will help direct my future videos. Thanks!

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Monday, May 4, 2020

Mountain Painting Demonstration Part 2

Here is part 2 of my Mountain Painting demonstration in oil and cold wax. Please let me know if you have any comments or questions?

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Friday, May 1, 2020

Mountain Painting Demo -Video #1 -Preparation & Planning

Mountain Painting in Oil and Cold Wax -video number 1

Hello friends: I shot 3 videos live on Instagram that I am now posting here for posterity, so if you didn't catch them there, you can now see them here! You will notice that the video won't play from this email, but if you click the title, it will take you to Youtube and play the video. I will post part 2 and 3 in this next week.

I really enjoyed doing this video, although the learning curve was very STEEP. In the end, I had to learn how to go live on IGTV, how to edit movies in iMovie, how to set up a Youtube channel, and how to post video to my blog. That is a lot of learning in a short space of time, but I must tell you, I wasn't sitting around worrying about the state of our world, which was a very good thing.

I would be very interested to know how many of you are keen to follow some of this online learning with me, so please feel free to shoot me a note. As this blog is now part of my website,, you will notice that there is an opt-on page there. This is to give you the opportunity to sign up for my quarterly newsletter, where I tell you about what is coming up with shows and classes, some thoughts about life as an artist and my inspiration, as well as some of my new work. As a thank you for signing up, I will give you a beautiful painting to put as the wallpaper on your phone screen with each instalment. How is that for a good deal!!

Stay safe

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Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Harmonious Palette Creation

How to create a harmonious painting with a limited palette.

I am really enjoying creating videos to help artists with fundamentals of painting, and I seem to be getting good feedback, so I am going to continue here. In this video, I will show you how to make a harmonious painting from a limited palette, from a reference that you love! I chose this lovely abstract "Black Tangerine", oil on canvas, 2014, by Rose Marie Kossowan.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Online Art Instruction FREE!

I have begun to do some free online teaching via my Instagram Page (@sharonlynnwilliamsartist), and am going to store the video here on my blog, so that everyone can see it. Now I must warn you, I am strictly a novice when it comes to such thing. But I am a quick study, so over the past weeks I have had to learn how to do a IG live, then take that video and edit it in iMovie and then export it here -that is a lot of technical stuff for me, so I hope you will let me know if you enjoy it!

I began the series with a few tips and tricks to use with oil and cold wax, a medium that I am exploring further. Enjoy!

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Oil and cold wax tips and techniques

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Back in the saddle!

Hello friends, I realize I haven't been here for 3 years -wow that went by really fast! I have decided that in this time of Covid sheltering at home, I would like to connect with you all again. I hope that you and all those you love are well, and are finding your way through this strange time. My hubby Dave and I have been healthy, physically and mostly emotionally, although I personally feel like I am on a bit of a roller coaster, tossing between sorrow for those less fortunate than I am (think single mothers with little kids, women in abusive relationships, etc, etc...) and elation at how beautiful the weather is becoming and that I am SO grateful to be alive and have all of my needs met, and then feeling a bit guilty for that, rinse and repeat!

So I decided that perhaps I can bring a little colour and joy into your inbox. That was my answer to the question "What do you have in your hand that could help others?" So I hope you will receive it in the spirit that it is being sent!

I am not going to try to fill in what has taken place over the last 3 years artistically, but I will share my recent work. Over the last 2 years I have been on a search to find a more contemporary expression for the landscapes that I love painting so much, searching for a unique and authentic voice that I loved and also captured the hearts of people. So below is some of that new work.
This painting is a sort of summary of my new work.  "The Red Makes It", now in its forever home, captures my new approach to the landscape. Over the past 7 years of painting in oils 'en plein air' (outside in front of the scene) I have grasped an appreciation of how the sun illuminates all the objects it falls on, giving each part its own individual identity, as if each one has a solo part in a choir full of beauty. Words fail me, that is not my gift. So I take my brush and paint how I feel about the things I see. My adjectives are radiant, intense colours, my nouns the form that are devised to play and dance with the other shapes on the canvas. This is not the world you might see with your eyes, but hopefully it expresses what you might feel if you were standing in my painting.

I did "Embrace Of Nature" purely from my imagination this winter. I began with a ton of colour and texture, having the idea of wanting to paint a forest, and eager to see what would reveal itself. The yellow and blue bands felt like arms to me and as I 'painted away the parts that weren't trees',  I began to see the importance of Nature, enfolding everything in its arms, giving order to the seemingly wild and untamed.

And this last piece, "Rundle's Song" was an attempt to put my new philosophy into practice with landscapes that I have painted many times in somewhat more representational, 'realistic' ways. I think it expresses the joy I feel standing at the side of Vermillion Lakes, gazing up at the power that is Mt Rundle.

I hope that you enjoy these images -please let me know if you do!

(You can see more of my new work on my website at

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Monday, February 20, 2017

On Being An Artist....

"Steppin' Out", 9x12" acrylic on paper
$150 unframed

Today I thought I would write a bit about my journey as an artist. I hope you will find it interesting and inspiring! I posted it some of it on my Facebook page, so some of you may have seen it there.

I have decided to go back to doing some figurative work, revisiting an idea I explored almost two decades ago. I have begun again to go to live model drawing, weekly since June, skipping the summer months, and boy was I ever rusty! I had never been taught how to draw the figure or portraits (even in art school), so my learning has been up to me. It is exhilarating, depressing and exhausting, but I know my efforts will pay off if I stick to it. The internet has become a fantastic tool to learn just about anything by, often at little cost compared to live workshops or classes, and learning to draw is right up there. 12 years ago when I began to work with the figure, there was hardly anything online (heck was there even internet back then :)?) Learning figure drawing from books is a very difficult way to learn for a visual learner like me!

While I was looking for great figure drawing lessons, I came across two videos that I think are valuable to watch, not just for artists, but for everyone. The first is found here, called "How NOT To Be An Artist". Pretty funny and right on. The other is a video on "How To Practice -Improve your Art Skills (or any skills) the Smart Way". Find it here. Please let me know what you think of these when you are finished watching them!

Now, I am pretty insecure showing anyone my efforts thus far, but hopefully will begin to do so more as I become more comfortable with the process. I am showing you one of my latest explorations above -done from a 2 minute sketch done on a painted background I had from an old Jane Davies class, and then painted. I love how the background shows through -I used to do something similar, but in an entirely different way. 

Here is one of my old figure paintings. The figure was done from a photo rather than from life, and that is NOT what I want to do now!

"Too Loose", 12x12" acrylic and collage, 2002

My favourite thing is to combine what I have already 'mastered' with the new thing -always a challenge that allows me to continue to grow as an artist. So I want to PAINT the figure as well -Oil, acrylic, collage, watercolour, pastel -media that I have learned to use, by putting in all the hours and hours of hard work described in the video above. Oh, and there is abstracted realism, which I find fascinating and WAY more difficult and visually interesting than pure realism IMHO.

Never satisfied with copying anything, I need to find my OWN way to express what I see and feel. Now that significantly ups the stakes, as not only do I need to learn HOW to do something, I need to learn how it looks MY way. Of course that means LOTS of work, trial and error, and the subsequent MOUNTAIN of failures. Not for the faint of ❤️.

I have the following quote stuck to my studio door that you may feel inspiring:

Wish me luck (and sanity).

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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Winter Brings New Directions!

"Rae Glacier Abstraction ii", 30x40" acrylic on gallery canvas

I just love the winter time when it is too cold or miserable to venture outside to paint, as that gives me prolonged studio time to explore ideas away from the actual scene I am trying to interpret.

This is a much larger version of an original 11x14" acrylic and collage painting I did in 2007 during a Gerald Brommer workshop on Line And Shape (see image below). Wow, that was 10 years ago almost to the date!! I always say, and seldom do myself, that it is a great idea to revisit old ideas and to see how far your art has advanced in the interim. At the time I did several quick pencil sketches of PARTS of a photo I took of a hike we were on, and explored each of them in abstraction, choosing to focus on only parts of the scene in each one. I have been interested in adding line as a major element in my work for years, while continuing my interest in shape as a dominant element, which is why I just loved Brommer's workshop! By the way he is an incredible teacher of PAINTING IDEAS, and I highly recommend advanced artists to take a workshop or two with him. He is in his 80's now, so do it quickly if you can :).

In this current attempt, I wanted to focus on texture as well as abstract shape, so I kept the colour more muted. I also kept the element of line as a less dominant element, although it is still present. If you blare all the elements of design the result is a train wreck!
Firstly I drew the large shapes from the original painting onto the canvas with a large sharpie marker, gridding them up so that I maintained the composition. Then I spent some time texturing the large canvas using soft gel, self leveling gel, clear tar gel and gesso, and pressing different textures into the wet mediums and scraping with palette knives, sponges and brushes.
While that was still wet, I flowed on india ink and acrylic inks and let them do their thing.
When all that had dried, I played with the shapes I had drawn, trying to incorporate the random colour and texture that had happened, while still keeping to the spirit of the original.
I found it very useful to have this compositional 'playground' to play within, knowing that if I followed that, I would have a strong painting. Please click on the top image to see it larger and in more detail.

Original "Rae Glacier Abstraction", 11x14" ink, acrylic and collage. Tertiary triadic colour scheme (BV, YO, YG).

For interest sake, and because I hope that my posts will be educational, fun and inspirational for you, I will post the other paintings I did in this series at the time. They are all done on 1/4 sheets of watercolour paper using sharpie markers, india ink, watercolour and acrylic. Obviously the colour schemes are made up -the bottom 4 are all based on analogous colour schemes (another thing I was exploring at the time!) All are sold, so I am REALLY glad I had taken good photos of them :)

This is the first one in the series. Just watercolour and ink.
I think this was the second one. This one has random collage papers placed on a line drawing and then acrylic and watercolour was added, and more line. Some of the lines became trees and rocks. I was going for a V composition which framed everything else.

This is the third one, getting even looser. Here you can see the edges of the random collage papers, some of which were incorporated as objects and some just left to just be.

This was the last one. I wanted to keep the strong abstraction in the cruciform design, yet see how true I could get to representing what was actually in the photo -well, sort of! This was a  really valuable lesson for me!
 Enjoy and please feel free to SHARE!!

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Painting In The Rain -This Artists' Journey

Last week I spent four days at the most magical place on earth: Lake O'Hara in Yoho Provincial Park in BC. This is a place I have been to for the past 6 Septembers. The first time I went, we had 25 degree weather (celcius) and full sun each day. Since then we have had maybe 2 days of sunshine, but this year we had 4 full days of on and off rain -when I say on and off, I mean it changed every 15 minutes between sun, rain and sleet.!

On our first day, the sun came out for long enough to get us inspired to hike up to Opabin Lake. It takes work to hike your painting gear up the sides of mountains to reach glorious alpine lakes and golden larches. No sooner did I get set up and half the painting blocked in, when the mountain I was painting disappeared, shortly after which we were engulfed in freezing sleet. We were instantly frozen and it was all I could do to put my stuff away and back into my pack and run for cover in the forest below us.

The next day vacillated between snow and rain. So the question was: do I set up and paint in the wet and cold? I decided that painting is why I was there, so I set up beside a small creek near the Elizabeth Parker Hut where we were staying, and got in a little 8x10". One thing about the rain is that it brings out all the incredible colors in the landscape, where in the sun all those subtle colors are wiped out by the light. My plein air umbrella saved the day and kept the painting relatively dry. Luckily it wasn't windy -heavy wind is the only condition in which it is impossible to paint en plein air, as everything blows over, no matter how you try to anchor your tripod. I have made many monoprints on my painting shirts!

This is what my camera captured. What you don't see is the amazing array of colors in the creek and the foliage. THAT'S why I paint en plein air, rather than from a photo! The colours in the painting are what I actually saw with my eyes. Now I have to admit I have a highly developed ability to see colour. They are there, but most people don't notice them unless you point them out. 

"Rainy Creek", 8x10" plein air oil

On the third day the weather continued to be bleak and I opted to go hiking instead. We hiked up to Lake Oesa, passing Victoria Falls on the way -had to stop and make a small pen and ink and watercolour sketch. Then we took the alpine route via Yukness Ledges to the Opabin Plateau. I had never been up on the Ledges before and it was thrilling to scramble around the huge rock fall and look down to turquoise Lake O'Hara far below us. Without 30lbs of painting gear on my back, the hike was surprisingly easy. We explored the whole of the Opabin Plateau where there is wonder at every turn. As I already mentioned, photos don't do the area justice, but here are a few pictures from our hike.
On our last day the sun was peaking out a bit more frequently so I decided to give painting another shot. I set up in front of the cabins on Lake O'Hara, determined to challenge myself.

"On The Edge", 12x12" plein air oil
And what a challenge it was. The rain was coming from many different angles and I had my umbrella between my legs in an effort to keep the rain off my painting and off myself! But weather aside, the optical challenge was incredible. First, there was the reflection of the bushes and trees in the water (remember the color is saturated in the rain?). Then there were rocks that were sitting in the water, half of them were sticking above the water and which cast their own reflection onto the surface of the water, and the rest of the rock was below the water, influenced by the depth of the bottom of the lake. At depth the lake is a remarkable turquoise, but as it gets shallower, the colour changes to the red orange of the silt on the bottom. Now most artists would SIMPLIFY the scene, but I decided to see if I could capture what my eyes were seeing, rather than try to impose my own design and color sense into the painting. I don't know if it is a great painting, but I think I was successful in rendering what it actually looked like to be standing there at that moment. All that heavy thinking kept my mind off of my freezing fingers anyway :)


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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Bad Blogger with new work!

Hello there faithful followers! I really must apologize for my lack of persistence with posting to this blog. I have been busily painting away, but blogging has escaped my previous enthusiasm. I hope that you will bear with me as I post occasionally when I have something of substance to say.

So here is more than you probably wanted to hear about being an artist blogger. Part of the truth is that there is so much more involved in it than just posting a photo -firstly, there has to be a photo! So that means I need to wait for the work to dry (plein air oils) or they will photography with unsightly shine. Then I have to wait for an available sunny day in mid afternoon to cart all my work out and take photos. This often means having to repeat the process once I find that my photo did not capture the accurate color or texture. Next the photos need to uploaded to Photoshop Elements where I get rid of any parallax because I unintentionally didn't get square behind the camera. Also, there is usually other colour and value corrections to be made. Sometime, I realize that the painting isn't finished, so it goes back to the studio for updates, which may take weeks to get to. Then I have to save it in a lower resolution for placement on the mighty internet. THEN I have to think of something clever or helpful to say to you, my wonderful friends, about the work. It is sometimes (often, my failing) really hard to talk about my work. It is a very raw and vulnerable feeling to put one's work out there for all the world to see and judge.

SO, that is why I don't post that often any more. Truth is, I would much rather spend all that time painting! We are told by marketing gurus (the artists who are making their living by telling other artists how to sell their art -hmmm, why aren't they just selling their own art??? But I digress..) that in order to be successful in online marketing, one must post daily to one's blog, several times a day to Facebook, daily on Instagram and update one's website on a weekly basis. Gosh, I am exhausted just thinking about that! They say followers are everything, and imply that the quality of the artwork is secondary to this big marketing machine. I have seen that many have gotten on this bandwagon, and many are being successful in producing good sales of their art online. I am on Daily Painters (ha, I am certainly not a 'daily painter' as in one who produces a small painting every day and puts it up for sale for cheap), and I have sold a few paintings there, but mostly I renege on posting there either. My small work is usually done 'en plein air' and my galleries would really frown if I offered it up at a fraction of the price for online consumption. So my prices are much higher than many of those daily painters. So I sell less. Oh well, that's the way it is.

I am much more interested in using this blog as a forum for ideas about painting and all art in general, rather than as a marketing tool. Don't get me wrong, I would love it if you would buy a painting from me! But I just don't have the stamina to work that hard at the marketing end of things. Luckily I am blessed with a wonderful, super supportive husband, who also happens to have a wonderful pension, so I don't have to sell my work in order to eat (maybe that is why I am not as skinny as I used to be...).  You have caught me in a very wry sense of humour today, sorry.

To that end, I am delighted if you will share this art journey with me. Hopefully I can give you something of interest to enrich your life with. So here is a painting that I did while standing on the rocks in the water at my cottage this summer. Didn't even fall in, but I did inadvertently wash some art gear in the process!

"Tied Up",  12x12" plein air oil on board
$575 beautifully framed

I was really interested in the way the light hit the water and made it a golden glow in contrast to the cool shady areas, and in the reflected light on the trees. I am always a sucker for light effects, and I try really hard to capture them using colour and opacity/transparency to tell the story of what I felt as I was looking at the scene. Hope that comes through! I also did another 2 paintings at the cottage, but one is drying after a repaint, and I thought I would save the other for another time when I can think of something else interesting to tell you about.

As always, I invite you to comment on this post, and to share it on social media using the Share link below.


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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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