Summer Exhibitions!

I'm showing works in pastel, acrylic and watercolour this summer.

I’m showing works in pastel, acrylic and watercolour this summer.

I’ve been busy preparing for a trio of exhibitions this summer. There are upcoming Instructors exhibitions at the Ottawa School of Art, downtown and at the Orleans campus. In addition to these two regular fixtures, I’m also participating in an exhibition at the Sivarulrasa Gallery in downtown Almonte – a collection of painting and sculpture titled “Unbound”.

I’m really excited to be part of each of these shows: Downtown at the OSA I’ll be previewing one of my new series of pastels. “With both hands now” is a combination of line work completed with my right hand, with colour and context using my (normal) left hand. At the Orleans campus, I’ll be showing 3 recent classwork demonstrations, continuing my “Sur le vif” theme…. one of my favorite approaches…quick studies on the spot, in acrylic, pastel, and watercolour. Over in Almonte, Sanjeev at the Sivarulrasa Gallery has chosen 5 of my expressive figurative works from a few years ago for the “Unbound” exhibition. I’m so pleased to show them the light of day once more. Art should be hung regularly!

Ultimately, sharing the breadth of my work this summer is what I’m looking forward to. I hope that you can join me in celebrating:

“Unbound”, Sivarulrasa Gallery, 83 Little Bridge Street, Almonte, July 22 – Aug 28. Vernissage Sunday 24 July, 2:00-5:00 pm. Information:

Downtown Instructors Exhibition, 35 George St, 28 July to 28 August. Vernissage Thursday 28 July, 5:00 to 8:00 pm. Information:

Orleans Instructors Exhibition, Shenkman Centre, 12 Aug to 18 Sept, Reception Sunday 28 Aug, 1:00 to 3:00pm. Information:

Here’s a preview of my work on display:


Summer in Wakefield

Everyone's raring to go!

A Plein-air session in beautiful Wakefield….we’ll be back again this year!

Last summer, France and I held a couple of plein-air sessions in Wakefield. With warm support from the Community Centre, Fairbairn House Museum and elsewhere throughout the village, we townies were as welcome as long lost Wakefielders!

We’re returning this year! Get ready with plenty of crimson to paint that famous covered bridge, powder tones for the colourful village and greens galore to capture the harmony of nature – not forgetting some deep cool blues for the Gatineau river.

Join us in our explorations: July: 26, 27 & 28, and
August: 23, 24, 25. Check out the details on the courses page of the website.

Browse our our photo album  – fond Memories of Wakefield 2015!


Another Hand…

A helping hand

Give that hand a rest!

Those who know my courses are not surprised when I have participants practice a few exercises using their other hand. That is, the non-dominant hand. This fairly well- established idea puts you outside of your comfort zone and can yield some great results, by slowing down the drawing process and increasing concentration. The focus becomes observation over dexterity –  and so much of drawing is about observation. I wrote about this previously, in my blog article ”on the other hand”.

Fair’s fair of course, so I often do a short demonstration. Perhaps it’s lack of facility that’s quietly freeing – it’s not me really drawing after all is it? I can relax, enjoy the path of the line unraveling, generally following someone’s bidding, surprising with interesting and random side paths. Here are a few of my recent other-handed studies! Try it!

Isobel Scott Kearn (1924 – 2016)

Mum and award-winning painting circa 1985

Mum and award-winning painting in the 1980’s

My mother painted and did so quietly. She started after I left the UK for Canada in the early 80’s and throughout my life over here, it did not really come up as a major subject of conversation. There was always lots to catch up on whenever I came back to visit and never enough time.

Mum was entirely self-taught and set out to capture the places and subjects that meant so much to her: the highlands and valleys of Scotland and the Lake District, flowers from her garden. She knew what she liked in a painting. These days, I’ve been enjoying her views of the places she and Dad once walked. Always true to the subject, her work has an unassuming sense of place and and an easy coherence.

I’m proud to share some of Mum’s work.


Slow to Judge

One that almost bit the dust...

One that almost bit the dust…

You won’t be surprised when I tell you that towards the end of term, I have a pretty big pile of demos waiting to be “dispositioned”, that is: either 1) keep, 2) rework or 3) “file under circular”. Whenever I demonstrate something in class, into the pile it goes, for a while.

At the end of the teaching day, I become a bit “art blind” – I can’t see what’s pleasing and what’s not. That’s why it’s good to be “slow to judge”.

Time adds clarity – here are a few recent pieces I was about to toss, but am glad I kept: