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The days are quickly passing. I have 26 painting days left! There is a bit of butterflies in my stomach most of the time now.  I just keep reminding myself that it will get done the way it will get done…it will be just fine.

I finished a painting yesterday and was drawing the next one today which meant I took a bit of a break from watercolour and working on an acrylic painting.  I have figured out what flowers we will be painting in the November class.  10.05.15 Wild Rose

I thought we could start with a wild rose.  :)

I am working on invitations…they have to be in the mail by Thursday!  I have a few left to do.  :)

I have the posters printed and will drop them off in 10 days or so to be put up around town!  So things are coming along quite well.  I am off to order more cards.  I also I have to find out if I can get my latest big paintings scanned or if I have to get the photographed…

10.05.15 New painting started

Here is the next one I am working on.  It is 25″ squared.  Another big one!

Well that is all for now.  I will see you when I see you. There is a lot going on in my world these days.

Thank you so much for dropping by!  Have a great week.


Well I have been painting, painting and painting.  I finished a large watercolour piece today…well mostly finished.  I will wait for a few days so that when I  look at it with new and rested eyes, which will help me to see what is not quite right.  09.24.15 Show piece

As I am preparing for my show I thought I would test out teaching a class at this time of the year.  The jury is out to whether I will do this again. I will see how it is afterwards.  I have 37 painting days left until my show.  I am starting to feel a bit panicky when I think about leaving my studio do to other stuff.  So I am now in shut down mode.  :)

09.24.15 Drawing 1 class

I finished a small painting today as I will be having a small display of 6×6 and 5×7 acrylic paintings at ‘Moments of Beauty’. These paintings will cover a range of themes.  Anything that interesting to me!  You never know what that will be. :)

09.24.15 Seagull1

‘Seagull 1’, 6×6, acrylic

I remembered my camera when I went for a walk in the spring and caught a great photo of seagulls standing in a wee puddle on the ice on Frame Lake.  Here is 1 of 2 paintings that fit together.

See you on Monday. I hope to have more completed paintings to share a little snippet of.  Happy Fall!




09.21.15 Canadas National Art GalleryWhen I was in Toronto in July, I hopped onto a train bright and early one morning. I went to Ottawa to Canada’s National Art Gallery.  They had a retrospective of Alex Colville (1920-2013), a prominent Canadian artist. You can learn more about Alex at his website and see more of his art work: Click here!

Years ago I remember watching a really interesting show about him.  He talked about his life long muse, Rhoda, his wife.  It is highly unusual for women of a certain age to be painted, or to be put on magazine covers.  Alex always painted his wife. Partially (or wisely, mostly) because she didn’t want him to paint other women. Rhoda had to have been very brave because he did quite a few nudes of her and she said she worried that people would judge her in a negative way, but she really didn’t want him to have other models.  
09.21.15 Alec Coville1

“Woman at Clothesline” 1956/57

But the gift that Rhoda’s decision to be his only model is that we have wonderful paintings of a woman who has aged.  Thank you Rhoda for being willing to be his muse all of the years you were married.  She and Alex have given us a wonderful view of woman through out her life.   The above painting was done when they had been married 14 to 15 years.  They had 4 children by that time. :) Life would have been very full for Rhoda, who was an artist and poet in her own right.

09.21.15 Alec Coville2

“Woman on Ramp”, 2007

In this painting Rhoda at around 86 yrs of age.  Isn’t she beautiful!   She died  before Alex in December 2012 at 91 yrs of age and he left in July 2013.  They were marred 70 years.  Can you imagine!?!

One thing I can say…Alex wasn’t the most original when it came to naming his paintings!  :)  But he had his own distinctive style and colour/value sense.

The other thing I remember about the tv show I watched was that he took us on a tour of his studio (I was a quilter not a painter at that point).  He stood at his painting and talked about his studio and painting practices.  I remember him talking about how he always stood when he painted.  So as a result I set up my painting studio so that I stand while both painting with watercolour and at the easel. :)

09.21.15 New piece I finished one painting and now I am working on another for the show. This one is the largest at 30×30 inches square.

Thank you so much for dropping by.  See you on Thursday.


2015 06 Moments of Beauty Postcard_HQ2

Save the Date!

As of today I have 44 painting days left. My 2016 calendars have arrived. I will be starting to fill out the Invitations for the “invitation only” part of the show.   I finished one of my very first square paintings! I am thrilled with how it looks.  And, I have started on the flower that is 20×30 sized painting the other day.   I am also working on some small acrylics as well.  Lots going on as I prepare for my 3rd Annual Art Show.

Time to hit the sack as my  to-do list is long!  So I best get at it. I will be coming every week to tell you what I have been up to.  Watch for updates.

Back to Boston


So on the very first day after I arrived in Boston I first found where I was going to be at for my course and the second thing I did was I took a Freedom Trail walking tour.  We started in the Boston Common area and ended at Faneuil Hall.

09.14.15 Touring Boston

I loved that the tour guide was in period costume and persona!  I think her tour guide name was Elizabeth or maybe it was Catherine.

09.14.15 Touring Boston2

We learned about the State house, we went to the Granary Burying Ground where there were some of the revolutionary movers and shakers were buried and/or honoured with a statue.

09.14.15 Touring Boston3

John Hancock has a marker here but I forget if he is buried here.  What I do know is that we say in Canada “Put your John Hancock here” meaning that we want you to sign this document.   :) It was interesting to learn about the rivalry between John Hancock and George Washington.

09.14.15 Touring Boston 4

This is the Old State House.  I loved the Unicorn and the lion.  Though now after all this time I don’t remember what their significance is.  I should have taken notes!

As a Canadian it was so interesting to listen to how the events that happened around 1773 are being retold over and over again to fellow travellers from the US and around the world.  I would highly recommend taking this walking tour.

There are 45 Painting Days left as I prepare for my “Beauty in Moments” show in November….Thanks for dropping by!



Ian is at his Arctic Winter Games meetings right now. I have returned from a short trip with him.  :)  Where were we?

09.07.15 Reykjavik 1

I will give you a hint.  It is green but has ice in it’s name.

09.08.15 Geysor2

The name for this comes from this place…09.08.15 Iceland2

There is lots of rain! 09.08.15 Tectonic Plates2

The North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet here09.10.15 Glacier life

Life finds a way to live in even the most difficult place…notice the black rock near the top of the photo.

09.10.15 Glacier2

This country has quite a number of glaciers…
09.10.15 Iceland1

I think mist is seen here more often than sunshine.
09.10.15 Iceland2 copy

The black in the landscape is everywhere.
09.09.15 Iceland

Can you guess where I have been?  :)

Feeding my soul


This summer was filled with art.  I loved the Art Gallery of Ontario.  I went back there a number of times.

09.10.15 Art Inspiration

“Jar of Apricots (Le vocal d’abricots)” by Jean-Simeon Chardin 1758

I found this wonderful still life painting.  There are not many still life paintings the art museums and you know how I love painting still lifes. As a result of the rarity of old master still life paintings I ended up spending a fair amount of time just looking at how he dealt with the various elements in this painting.   I know how long it takes me to place just a few items in a still life…I wonder how long he spend designing this so that it would be interesting enough to paint. Another challenge he had was that he had to do it all from life.  The bread would have just become hard but the lemon would have changed as time went on. I assume he would have also only painted this during the daylight hours which adds another constraint on how fast he got it done.

The write up for this painting:

“Here, we see a refreshing moment of pause, with steaming tea, bread, preserves, fruit and another treat – sugar- in a blue cone-shaped package to the right.  Many of these delicacies came from far away: apricots from the south of France, tea from Asia, and sugar from the Armericas.  The cups were inspired by Japanese Kakiemon porcelain and made in nearby Chantilly.”

Think of the cost of purchasing items that came from so far away.  We don’t even bat an eye when we see that our fresh fruit comes from the other side of the world.

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a great weekend.


So today I thought I would share some of the other student’s work!  It was AMAZING!

09.10.15 ARA Boston Amys half way
09.10.15 ARA Boston Amys

Amy working on her piece and where she was on the last day.09.10.15 ARA Boston Barb Beginning

09.10.15 ARA Boston Barbs

Barb early on in her piece and this is where she was on Friday.09.10.15 ARA Boston Frank Start

09.10.15 ARA Boston Franks

Frank just beginning to lay the first background coat and then what his piece looked liked on Friday…I think her nearly had it completed.

09.10.15 ARA Boston Robins beginning

09.10.15 ARA Boston Robin2

Robin, who I shared the still life with, working on her painting.   She really captured the scuffing on the tea pot much better than I did.  I was impressed!  09.10.15 ARA Boston Sandra beginning

09.10.15 ARA Boston Sandras

Sandra carefully putting on the beginning of the black background…and her piece that looks like it is nearly done but really is at 80%. It is the final details that make the painting sing.
09.10.15 ARA Boston Siri beginning

09.10.15 ARA Boston Siri'sSiri at the start of her painting. Siri brought in the paintings she did from the other times she has taken Christina’s course. They were so inspirational!

09.10.15 ARA Boston Davids painting

David traveled 2 hours each way to come to this class. He really did well with the first painting of the fabric.  :)

09.10.15 ARA Boston Student

I love the grapes!
09.10.15 ARA Boston Student2

Here are two of the other students…and I am very sorry but I don’t remember their names.

09.10.15 ARA Boston Christina

Last, but certainly not least, is Christina our intrepid teacher!  Of course she didn’t get to spend very much time painting but her first painting of the painting was amazing!

All the students, except me and Christina,  were local and all traveled back and forth and some of them were working at the same time.  Such dedication is very inspiring to witness.  Thank you all for such a special time.

Thanks for dropping by!  I hope you had a great long weekend.  Happy Labour Day!


I spend three full and very long days sewing new covers for my display walls. I thought I would do ivory coloured covers. Then I can compare it to the black fabric covers that I have used before. :)  I thought I would do that now before I am in lock down mode where I am painting, painting and painting more for my “Moments of Beauty” Show in November.

The sun has been shining and so I have been taking photos of flowers around Yellowknife.  I think I have some fun ones to work from.  Today I took a single photo of a white dahlia downtown at the dental clinic and when I downloaded it to my computer it turned out fabulous.  :)  Can’t wait to paint it.

So lets get on to week 2 of the painting class that I took.

Monday I returned after a fun weekend to a dry painting!   Time to be brave and work on the white fabric.  I have spent a lot of time with fabric over the years but it turns out painting it is not as easy as Christina makes it look!   ;)  I only got the right hand side of the cloth first painting completed on day 6.  I actually took a piece of the same kind of fabric and did a couple of drawings of it on Monday night as homework.  09.03.15 Day 6 ARA Boston

Day 6 done!

So after doing the drawings the night before I had a better sense of where to go with the fabric on Day 7!    There is so much detail and subtly in cloth.  Each fold, some sharp and some gentle needed my full attention.  I was really learning how to see the subtle shifts of value.  A new level of artist seeing. I got the left hand side of the fabric completed (at least for the first painting) and started a bit on the silver teapot.

09.03.15 Day 7 ARA Boston

Day 7 in the bag.

Now on to Day 8.  You can see that the first painting of the pot body has come along quite well.  I am challenged to “see” the various reflections.  Part of the challenge is that it is hard to see the little details from back where I was standing.  I would move forward and the details of course would be different.  Then Christina came up with a brilliant idea…she found me opera glasses.  I have to get myself a pair of those darling binoculars!  :)  They really helped me to study what was in front of me and when I looked without them I still could see where the details were. Very cool.

09.03.15 Day 9 ARA Boston Shawna Lampi-Legaree

Day 8 is complete.

I realized at the end of Wednesday (Day 8) that I wasn’t going to get this painting finished.  Others in the class stayed late to paint but I was in Boston and I just needed to go back to the Boston Museum of Fine Art!  So I did that instead of staying and painting.  When I arrived on Thursday morning I decided to slow down,  be particular and focus on a particularly difficult part of the spout.  So I “drew” it with my paint brush.  Back and forth I walked putting a stroke of paint down, backing up to see if it was in the right place, looking through the opera glasses to check the details, and forward to put another stroke of paint down.  This was what I did all day long.  I am super pleased with how the bottom of the spout turned out!  It is very accurate.

09.03.15 Day 9 ARA Boston Shawna Lampi-LegareeDay 9 finished.08.27.15 ARA Boston Shawna LampiLegaree8The spout detail.

Friday morning arrived and here we are on the very last day of the course.  It was such a great course but I was rather tired and very excited about heading home the next morning so I understood that my focus wasn’t going to be the best.  I had already decided that I wasn’t finishing the painting, so I just took it easy.  I worked on the pears.  Step by step I worked, Christina coming by to confirm I was on the right direction or to help me see where I needed to focus.  Thank you so much Christina for all your gentle guidance and help over the 10 days. I hope someday to be able to take another course with you. 09.03.15 Last Day ARA Boston Shawna Lampi-Legaree

Here we are at Day 10!

08.27.15 ARA Boston Shawna LampiLegaree9

Thank  you to the rest of the class.  I enjoyed meeting you.  I wish you all the very best in your future endeavours at the Academy of Realist Art!

See you soon!


This week has been about getting back to work. I spent all day Tuesday and most of Wednesday downloading images, preparing for my Drawing 1 course that starts in the middle of September, taking registration for the Acrylic 1 class,  getting my website sorted for my 2016 Winter classes, writing up my bio for two different kind of projects… on and on and on. :)

But lets go back in time… though I have to say that it is amazing how long it feels since I returned.

I arrived in Boston on Saturday evening which gave me Sunday to find where the Academy of Realist Art (ARA) in Boston was and a few other things – more on that in another post!

Monday I arrived just on time, very excited and rather nervous…just like any first day of school especially when one is the new kid! (Today is the first day of school for the kids in Yellowknife)

We got right down to talking about what Christina would be teaching us and we got our numbers and upstairs we went! Christina had done beautiful set ups, the ones taking the class for the first time had white fabric, those who have taken this class more than one time got a beautiful red fabric!  I called that group “The Red Brigade”.  Someday I hope to join them! :)

08.27.15 ARA Boston Shawna LampiLegaree3

This process is slow, careful and very methodical at each stage. The first stage is creating a drawing that is very accurate. Here is my drawing at the end of the first day. I was so tired that I went back to the b&b had a picnic supper and laid on the couch without moving for the whole evening! :)

08.27.15 ARA Boston Day 1 Shawna LampiLegaree

End of Day 1

When I got in for Day 2 I decided that i just needed to get the drawing going so I put in lines so that I would be able to measure from something.  Hard to do that without some idea of where one is going.  What I discovered was that one might not want a carpet on the floor because I put a line down and then I would step back 4 or so steps and “click in”. Back and forth, back and forth we all went!  We would have worn a hole in the carpet if there had been one.  I am surprised that the floors don’t have grooves from the pacing back and forth! I must have walked 3 km each day just walking back and forth.

08.27.15 ARA Boston Shawna LampiLegaree2End of Day 2


Day 3 and I am doing the final tweaks of the drawing still.  I get to the point where I can transfer the drawing onto the board that we put the campiturra layer on Day 1.  Campiturra is toning the board to a medium value with raw umber thinned with mineral spirits.

08.27.15 ARA Boston Shawna LampiLegaree4

End of Day 3

Day 4 & 5 was filled with starting to do colour mixing and matching what we were seeing in front of us.  We got these simple isolation cards which allowed us to only see the colour on the still life set up and the bit of paint that we put on the board to see if we had gotten the colour matched.  Well I was surprised at the colours in the cloth.  Amazing how those little squares of grey with a small hole punched out could clearly help with colour mixing.  So I  Dead Painted over the next two days.

Each morning we had to do a value string of paint with three of our colours and mixing one from black and raw umber.  I forgot to take a photo of my palette.  It was so pretty! Here is what it would have looked like each day.  Below is Christina’s palette that she uses all the time.

08.27.15 ARA Boston Shawna LampiLegaree4a

I was mixing the green for the pears when Christina came over and we talked about how I got to the green.  She had a very different way to doing it so since I was in her universe I watched in amazement!  Very very cool.  The Dead Painting was about blocking colours in a simple way but ensuring that the underlying value is correct.  It makes the First painting stage easier if the values are close to correct! 08.27.15 ARA Boston Shawna LampiLegaree5

End of Day 5 and its the weekend!

The weekend allowed the paint to dry so when we came back on Monday we could start the first painting.  I was off to check out Boston and the surrounding area!

I think I will end here because this post is almost as long as a novel.  I will finish the post about my experience on Monday.  Have a great weekend.

One last thing…tomorrow Meredith will have been gone for a month.  How is it that time seems to go faster when really we all want it to stop!?!Meredith Ivall Shawna and Paige Ivall Gascoigne

Here is a photo when we visited while she was doing her treatments in 2012 and I did her nails. It was a fabulous visit!!!

I miss you sweetheart.


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