Painting Reveal – Nature’s Urban Goddess


Nature’s Urban Goddess – acrylic on canvas – 4.5′ x 3′

As promised yesterday – here is the first painting inspired out of my summer photo shoot with the beautiful and talented Jayli Wolf!

For some reason I like to make things hard for myself… I decided to use a large canvas for this one – 4.5′ x 3′ to be exact – eep! Hence, this piece has taken me almost four months to complete – not only because of the size but because it was a whole new concept for me as well… I don’t often paint people and then the act of adding them into a landscape painting in my style was definitely a new challenge.

IMG_0510a_SmallThis photo above was my first choice although I was tempted to use the one below as well (it will have to be my next :) ). I was drawn to the tall cathedral-like trees and really looked forward to creating a landscape using those. While the final painting was never meant to be an exact likeness of Jayli it was an attempt to capture her spirit and the relationship of that spirit to nature. We might know Jayli as a musical urban goddess but I feel like she also belongs here as well. The furniture and the window props create a “home” for Jayli and I find she appears both earthy and ethereal – like she stands apart and belongs at the same time. It was fun to try and capture this in the painting.IMG_0581_SmallI photographed the progression of the painting and it took sooooo long to complete. Such large surface area to cover… Apparently I’d make a terrible a muralist! However, I love the physical presence that this large canvas brings.

IMG_0228_Small Small IMG_0539_Small IMG_0541_Small IMG_0542_Small IMG_0563_SmallFinished_CollageThanks so much for stopping by and checking this out – I’ve been super excited to finally share this, especially after so many months of work. We artists are always the hardest on ourselves and since this is my first attempt at a person in a landscape I feel happy with many parts but also a bit insecure about others – my constant drive is the chance to improve with time and practice. :)
Hope you all have an amazing weekend friends! xo

The Ultimate in Mixed Media Art

IMG_0650_SmallBefore I begin to explain what I’m up to here I must say that we artists can get crazy projects and ideas into our heads! And sometimes we can’t always pull them off alone – we need others – this is why having close creative friends is such a gift. My fellow artists and friends, Hayden and Jayli Wolf have helped me with several projects over the past few years. These two are full fledged artists in every respect; art, writing, poetry, photography, design… I could go on but at present their music is their first love and passion. So before you continue scrolling you’ve got to head out and peek at what this husband and wife duo are up to –> (Pssst… Click here!) When I introduced my idea to them this summer they willingly sacrificed time and energy, during their holidays, to help me make it happen. Jayli modelled for me and Hayden helped as my photography assistant – I am unbelievably grateful to them – thank-you guys SO much!!!

IMG_0727_SmallThough I closed my photography business years ago I still love taking photos – especially the kind where I get to imagine and design the details and then bring them to life. Jayli helped me plan this shoot and the intent was for this series to turn into a painting or maybe even a series of paintings afterwards. I often use photographs for art inspiration but I have never deliberately created a photo with the intent that it become a painting… I got excited about the idea because in my mind it was a form of mixed media; fashion and beauty, staging and design, photography and modelling, people and nature – all mixed together with the singular goal. Maybe that’s a loose interpretation of mixed media but I like it. :) The focus aside from this was on portraiture in nature – old masterpieces come to mind, people in the landscapes, I wanted to see how I could translate that in a modern way. (I say modern but I guess I really mean in my way.) ;)
So my plan is to share my favourite shots (yep, there were many more) with you today and then tomorrow I’ll post the first painting I did inspired by this series. I hope you enjoy these!
IMG_0494_Small IMG_0629_Small IMG_0581_Small This was the storm brewing during our shoot – so beautiful but a tad bit windy! IMG_0530_Small Jayli’s beautiful headpiece and ring were created by T.Lane designIMG_0492_Small IMG_0524_Small IMG_0654_Small Hair and make-up was styled and designed by Lindsay Floer from The Salon at Cranberry Manor. (Thanks Lindsay – you are such a talent!)IMG_0496a_Small IMG_0694_smallIMG_0652_SmallIMG_0510a_Small

Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for my painting reveal!!! IMG_0683_Small
I think Jayli would have loved to do the painting with me. ;)IMG_0689_Small

A few “behind the scene selfies” pictured below – you can see how much wind we had to contend with – ha ha!

IMG_0606 IMG_0612Windy but joyful! Can’t wait to show you the painting tomorrow!

At Some Point Every Artist Should Paint Monet Style Water Lilies

Just to clarify, I’m in NO way comparing myself to Monet – ha ha! However, I’ve never painted water lilies before and I couldn’t help being inspired by Monet and his beautiful impressionistic style. I worked side-by-side today with one of my new students (She had a lot of work to do so I figured she might not feel comfortable with me just sitting beside her and staring while she worked. ;) ) It was awesome to paint alongside someone and talk about art the whole time – now that’s a fun day!


I also completed a little mini flower painting as well today. It was an impasto experiment that I had prepared beforehand. I had painted the paste medium on first in random strokes and the after drying tried to draw out an image from those thick shapes and brush strokes.


Both these little painting are now available in my ETSY SHOP!

Last year one of my youngest students also painted some water lilies – couldn’t help sharing her work again with you! IMG_1742

Puppy Love – Pet Portraits

After my exploration into digital art portraits people began asking me whether or not I would be willing to do animal portraits as well.  I wasn’t 100% sure I could pull it off… So before I accepted an official pet commission I thought I should practice. It wasn’t as hard as I thought and my friend, Jen Worrall, who is a portrait photographer in Ontario generously allowed me to use some of her beautiful captures! Her business, Gotcha! Photo Studio focuses mainly on pet portraiture. I’m in awe of her work, somehow she makes these furry friends sit pretty and look in the right direction! When I did portrait photography I experienced times when I could barely get a person to do that for me! (Maybe I needed to bring more treats hey Jen?) ;)

Anyways – a huge thank-you to Jen at Gotcha Studios for allowing me to reference and work from her beautiful photos! ISRULIK_small MISHMASH_ISRULIK_WM

You can now order your very own pet portraits in my ETSY SHOP!

A little More Wonder

Jae_SmallOkay – just one more today! This drawing/portrait is inspired from a small photo series I did a couple years ago called A Tiny Bit of Wonderland. My girlfriend’s beautiful little girl modelled for me – she was ultra adorable!!! How could I NOT draw her!?!idea11_smallHave your own portrait created – you can order through my Etsy shop!

The Pink Hat – More Digital Portrait Fun

Kids Portraits_SmallFor those of you who have followed me for awhile you know that I used to work full-time as a portrait photographer. The advantage to this is that I have a HUGE stash of people photos to use as inspiration for portraits. This photo here is one of my absolute favourites, I had to try my hand at drawing it. :)0011_s_robbins_july09Have your own portrait created – you can order through my Etsy shop!

Something Greater Inside

IMG_3281I did the dramatic smudge your brush all over the canvas in frustration act this morning! Yep, I did. (My daughter watched me, I looked very grown-up indeed.)

It was just not working out… <Growl>

At some point every artist experiences frustration and yet there remains a choice, either we give up and believe that we are terrible at what we do or we take these moments as evidence that there is something greater inside of us!

First Digital Portrait Commission

Cox_SmallSquareI think every couple should have a fairytale portrait like this – don’t you?! After posting my digital portraits last week I received this commission – it was SOOOOOOOO much fun! Seriously – I am in LOVE with this kind of drawing – (did I mention that before?) ;)

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset


Impasto Painting Fun

Impasto Sunflower_SmallImpasto is the technique of applying paint very thickly to your painting, I find with acrylics you need to use a moulding paste for this to work well. With these two small pieces I randomly applied the moulding paste first with a palette knife, once the paste was dry I gessoed over the paste, let that dry and then began to paint. I had no plans for either canvas, the challenge was to just find my image in the thick palette strokes of paste. It was an interesting experiment and kinda fun to watch what evolved out of those shapes.IMG_0045IMG_0047IMG_0057IMG_0058IMG_0074IMG_0070IMG_0073ImpastoTrees_SmallIMG_0078
Both of the pieces are available for sale in my Etsy shop!