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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.

I am back!


I am back in Yellowknife after our grand adventures this summer.  The weather is rather cooler than it was in Boston when I left Saturday morning but I am enjoying the lack of humidity.  :)

Today was a sorting day.  I spent the morning and afternoon sorting out my studio and putting all the stuff – like oil paints and things away.  Then I needed to find places for the new still life items that I found at various antique stores! Oh I can’t wait to play with them in the next few months.

While I was away I took many, many, many photos.  I haven’t had a chance to download them yet…that is a tomorrow job! I hope that I have a number of images to inspire me to paint.

The ultimate goal today was to get back to painting.  Heres the proof that I have started back at it.

08.24.15 Wild Rose centre

I am off back into my studio because I hear the painting calling me! I am back to my regular schedule of posting twice a week. See you on Thursday.

Meredith Ivall 1990 – 2015

It has been a very sad time in our family.  Two weeks ago today our dear niece Meredith passed away as a result of the return of the cancer she had been in remission for the past 2.5 years.

Sean Legaree and Meredith Ivall

Sean and Meredith were born in the same month.

Meredith Ivall Paige and LoreneMeredith with her Mom Lorene and big sister Paige
08.12.13 Meredith Ivall and Ian
08.12.13 Meredith Ivall and me

Over the years, every time we were in the neighbourhood, we would make sure we stopped by for a visit.  Our last visit  was on July 6 just weeks after the cancer had returned.  She was feeling pretty good on that day.  I wish I could have captured when her and her Mom were laughing at something her step-Dad said.  The joy in her eyes at that moment is what I remember.

Meredith we will miss you forever!  You are in our hearts!!!!






Bronze for Canada


I know I am a little late with this newsflash.  I waited until I got a little painting accomplished before blogging about what is happening here.

The other day I went to Gymnastics!  Wow to see it in person was very cool and I had a great seat!

07.17.15 Flying gymnast

The height that this Canadian got during her performance was AMAZING!


The pummel horse was very interesting.  It was so crazy how strong these men were.   But the apparatus that really caught the strength of these young athletes was the rings.  07.17.15 StrengthWow!

07.17.15 Brazil Wins Gold

The very last athlete from the rings group did his routine and just blew everyone else away!  Brazil was Gold!  There were a lot of Brazilians cheering him on.  Sorry I didn’t get the athletes names.

07.17.15 TORONTO

Here is my second little painting.  It is a 5×7 of the scene at Toronto City Hall.  The Toronto letters are huge.  You get a sense of the size in  comparison to the workers who were setting the letters up. The water was still and the reflection was very interesting to paint.

07.16.14 Ian

It is someone specials birthday…Happy Happy Birthday Ian!  :)

See you soon.  Have a great weekend.

Yahoo Canada!

07.13.15 Evelyn

My very special friend came in town today and we spent a glorious day talking and being tourists! :)  Thanks Evelyn for the fabulous day. 07.13.15 Waterpolo Canadian Women - Copy

The Canadian women’s water polo team getting ready for their game against Cuba.
07.13.15 Waterpolo goal - Copy

Just before the ball went past the Cuban goalie!  Cheer Canada!
07.13.15 Canada Team waterpoloThe team at half time.  :) Canada won and was off to the Gold Medal match on Tuesday night.  Good luck to all.

Yes i have been painting…but not a lot.  Here is the first small painting I accomplished.

07.13.15 Sandhill Crane

As we were leaving the NWT we came upon a pair of Sandhill Cranes with two chicks!  I got some great photos to work from.  So this is my second bird painting ever.

See you later this week.  Have a great week.







07.09.15 Exhibition

I spent a couple of hours at the Art Gallery of Ontario today.  This is my second visit since we arrived in Toronto on Monday.  The first visit was a scouting trip to see what is there and what I am interested in.  So today I went through the “Picturing the Americas” Art show. They had amazing works from the top of the Americas to the very bottom.

07.09.15 Shawna at AGO

I also found this painting. I have always liked this painting by JW Waterhouse – “I Am Half-Sick of Shadows,” Said the Lady of Shalott

07.09.15 JW Waterhousesm


I love that I can see she is tired of working on the tapestry, stretching back while she looks outside (the outside is reflected in the mirror behind her) longingly. Can’t we all relate on a glorious day when we have work to do but would rather be enjoying the nice weather.

Today I focused on getting decent photos of paintings and making notes about the compositional elements that I see that the various artists employed.  I will be teaching a range of old and new courses this fall and in January and February.  One of the courses will be on composition!  :)

I have been painting here. I hope to have a small painting finished here soon. It has a lot of details to paint! And we are having a good time here in TO.  Tonight we went to the dress rehearsal of the PanAm Games Opening Ceremonies!  The show is amazing but it is secret until after tomorrow night.

See you soon!



06.08.15 Robertson Davies' Whore Commission Shawna Lampi-Legaree

“Robertson Davies’ Whore”, 14×14 inches, Watercolour, Commission

On Sunday I brought over this painting to the person who commissioned me.  She is one of my biggest supporters and cheerleaders!  I am very pleased to say that the peony painting was very well received.  Nothing better than a very happy client/collector!  That made me smile for a long time afterwards.

Here is a little bit I know about why she named the painting “Robertson Davies’ Whore”.  William Robertson Davies  (August 28, 1913 – December 2, 1995) was a Canadian novelist, playwright, critic, journalist, and professor. He was one of Canada’s best known and most popular authors, and one of its most distinguished “men of letters”, a term Davies is variously said to have gladly accepted for himself and to have detested.

In  his novel “What’s Bred in the Bone” he had a young character become aware of the world

“The little boy nodded at the peony and the peony seemed to nod back. The little boy was neat, clean and pretty. The peony was unchaste, dishevelled as peonies must be, and at the height of its beauty.(…At this point in the text there is something about the flower being a whore) Every hour is filled with such moments, big with significance for someone.”

I hope to have it available at my Show in November so those who are close by can see it in person.

So how do you commission me to do a painting?  You can check out my website under the title of COMMISSIONS.

Ahoy Matie!




06.01.15 Pirate bdayAhoy!, 8×10″, Watercolour

I haven’t painted a new painting for my Celebration Card Series in a while.  Here is the first one of the new set!   I had fun using one of our very grown up son’s toys in this little still life.

I have been working very hard on the commission, which is nearly completed!  I hope to post it soon.

Now that summer is upon us I plan to post once a week.  Ian and I are traveling in just a few weeks so I am trying to get a few paintings accomplished for my November show called “Beauty in Moments”.  Oh I am sure that I will tease you with bits and pieces as I work on them. ;)

I hope you have a great week!


41505.26.15 Raman Stika How Old is God

Well it turns out that I am All About Them Books!  I received Raman’s book of poetry.  I have to say I have had the electronic version but I just struggled to sit at the computer to read it.  I received it in “real” book format and I have really been enjoying reading a poem here and there while I sit outside enjoying our magnificent weather.

A Canadian used book store, The Bookman, did a great parody of Meghan Trainor’s song “I’m all about the Bass”.

To honour that I am All About Them Books I hope you enjoyed the video!

I started a new painting.  I won’t be putting many photos up because it is a commission.  But here is a peak of a bit of it.

05.26.15 latest painting

See you on Thursday!




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