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It has been such a busy time with teaching and trying to get as much painting done as possible.  I have switched things up a bit this January.  I actually sat down and planned for the next 6 months, ideas for blog posts, Facebook, Pinterest, and so on…  One of the big changes I made was that I committed a full day each week to sitting at the computer and getting things done ahead of time as much as possible.  I think that the Wednesday computer time will start to lessen as I move beyond the teaching phase of the winter.  :)  I  really enjoyed teaching and it is great fun to meet people who I wouldn’t cross paths with in my life here in Yellowknife.

This week I teach the 3rd (Tues) and the final (Sat) session of Acrylic 1, Sunday I teach the first group of Drawing 1 with the second part of the group coming in on Saturday the 20th.  Then I am done teaching adult art courses until April when I have two weekend classes for Watercolour and Acrylic. I continue to teach in the grade 8 class until the end of the month.  Then I will be back there from April to June!  :)

01.2016 Course Collage

Last week Wednesday I also started to organize for classes in fall and the 2017 winter sessions.  I am just figuring out my life…more information will come later in the summer when I have my website all up to date and registration will begin on September 1st.

Thanks for stopping by!  See you on Thursday.



02.04.16Young Woman IroningMFA Boston

As I go through art museums and galleries there are different things I am looking for at different times. Sometimes I look for how an artist has set up the space and the subject matter. Other times I look for how the artist uses different kinds of light. This painting was all about light, what I would call bright and quiet light. The painting held my attention for a long time when I was at the Museum of Fine Art in Boston. I loved how Louis-Léopold Boilly rendered the various pieces of fabric (remember when I was Boston I was discovering that painting fabric was really challenging). In fact he really did load up the room with glorious fabric.

To me it feels like the young woman is in the centre of a still life (which completely appeals to me).   Each item carefully placed to capture a viewer’s attention. Painting the items on the shelf against the back wall to the right of the young woman requires an amazing depth of understanding on how to render the subtle values required of each item. The fabric of the dress and apron that she is wearing are so well done. Notice all the subtle wrinkles that the artist is able to capture.   Then the two pieces of red draped silk fabric are just glorious.

In this painting it was the young woman who first caught my eye but really she is the hook and then there is so much more to see around her. How I wish I could go to the MFA again to just sit and examine this work again.

The text next to the painting was interesting. “Boilly’s laundress – at once prim and inviting in her pressed apron and plunging décolleté – irons in a curiously well-appointed kitchen. Contemporary critics complained that the girl was too elegantly dressed for her station, and the great swaths of drapery that decorate the furniture would have been out of place in any room used only by servants. Boilly included these details to showcase his gifts as a painter of textures and to invite comparison to the seventeenth-century Dutch masters whose work he himself collected. “

Critics are always so interesting! :)

Thanks for stopping by.  I will see you on Monday.

Monday – Crazy week!


Well what a whirl wind my life has been. I taught 5 times last week!  How to keep one hopping!  :)  On Saturday I finished teaching the Watercolour 1 class.  What a blast!  I really enjoy teaching in so many ways.  I get to spend time with some fabulous folks.  I get to share the information I have accumulated over the years. And I get to spread the joy of creating art.01.30.16 Watercolour 1 Lesley Peggy Erin Ruby Mellissa Susan

Thanks Lesley, Peggy, Erin, Ruby, Mellissa and Susan for being such great students.  :)

02.01.16 Tyra painting

Tyra came to visit and I finally organized myself enough to get her some paints and her own brushes!  She was having fun learning how to mix colours.  She is as cute a button.

02.01.16 Drawing 1 session 3

Drawing 1 – session three finished tonight.  The two hours just races past so quickly.  Lots of learning and being challenged!

I forgot to take photos at the acrylic 1 class last week. I will remember tomorrow night! :)

So with all this teaching painting hasn’t been happening much.  I did get this one accomplished and its twin will be done in the morning.

02.01.16 Week 5 Two sides of the same coin Shawna Lampi-Legaree

“Two sides of the same coin 2”, 5×7, Acrylic

It has been fun painting this potato head!  Sometimes it is good to be playful.  It brings me such delight.

See you on Thursday.  I am just sneaking under the wire here…15 minutes until Monday is done!  :)


I enjoy reading Fairy Tales.  There are so many artists who have been inspired to creating amazing pieces of work as a result of reading these stories.  I was going through images I have taken at art galleries during my travels when I found this painting called “Little Red Riding Hood” by Gustave Dore, 1862.

Red Riding Hood

The text read: “This painting is a more detailed rendition of one of the designs made by the great French illustrator Gustave Dore for the fairy tales of Charles Perrault (1628 – 1703), which were reprinted in Paris in 1862.  Here Dore has illustrated Perraults’ original Little Red Riding Hood of 1697 – rather than the later, sanitized versions – and depicts the story’s penultimate moment, just before the triumphant, and satiated, wolf bites off Little Read Riding Hood’s head.  Terror was often a key component in fairy tales which also had a moralizing element or subtext.  Romantic artists were drawn to the darker aspects of tales written for children.”

“My how big your teeth are Grandma”…and then he chomps off her head…no woodsman coming to save this Little Red Riding Hood in this early version of the tale.  I wonder if the kids in the 17th century had nightmares.  :)

I thought I would see if any artists here and now are still being inspired by the folk tale of Little Red Riding Hood.  Well indeed there are many renditions of Red still being painted and illustrated.   Over the past 300 + years these folk tales have been a source of inspiration for artists.  01.28.16 Red Riding Hood Paintings

I spent all day yesterday at the computer.  I started at 9 am and didn’t finish until after 1 am. The bulk of what I did yesterday was  I prepare for 5 classes which took most of the day.  This week and next week are the busiest for teaching. Then it starts to come to an end, which will leave me only teaching once a week.  I am having a blast.  I really enjoy the students and the whole process.  Tonight is the 3rd session of Watercolour 1 with the 4th (and final) session on Saturday.

Thanks for dropping by.  See you again on Monday. Have a great weekend.


So I had a bit of a panic attack last week.  I thought “what if I run out of ideas of things to paint!?!” Which is a real concern when one decides to paint 100 little paintings.  I don’t want to do the same thing in different ways, but then I do want to do a bit of work in a series (which is doing the same thing in different ways).  :)  So I am painting and fussing about this not having enough ideas.  Finally I decide to sit down (which I am not doing much of these days) and start to write down the ideas I have percolating away.  Shake my head…I don’t think I will run out of ideas.   The problem may be is that I have too many ideas.

01.25.16 14 of 100 Raven

“Stake Out”, 5×7, Acrylic

This week I have painted my very first raven.  I don’t know why I have never painted one before…but there you go, now I have.  I have a load of great photos from living on the 4th floor this past year.  I need to get more photos to work from though.  I think this could turn into a little series.

My painting time has become a lot less with teaching this week. I taught session 2 of Drawing 1 tonight, tomorrow I teach Acrylic 1 Session 1, Thursday and Saturday I teach session 3 and the last session 4 of  Watercolour 1, and Friday I teach at the school!  Life is hopping and I will be tired on Sunday!  :) The next few weeks will be very busy and then I will only be painting.

01.25.16 Drawing 1 session 2

Here are my students learning how light forms an object.  :)

Well I will see you on Thursday.  Have a great week and thanks for dropping by.

Thursday – Artist Inspiration



The Virgin and Child Jan van Eyck 15th centurya

The Virgin and Child, mid to late 15th century, Oil on wood panel – Jan van Eyck (possibly)

As you know I am working on 6×6 and 5×7 boards.  I was looking through my photos that I took when I was at the National Art Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne.

It is interesting to see the fine workmanship on this painting.  The detail is incredible.  Below is a closer up detail photo.  Pay attention to the fact that it is painted on wood panel and the oil, which is 5 centuries old and is only crackling a bit.  Painting on a ridged substrate is one of the best ways to ensure longevity with oil.  Acrylic hasn’t been around long enough to see how it will stand up over time. It is movement and moisture that does the most damage to a painting.

The inspiration did I drew from this small masterpiece is how the artist made the red fabric look so sumptuous and the gold appliqué  in the tapestry was rendered so well.  I only hope I can get to be 1/6 as good at painting as this.  I had a late start…so time is not on my side. :) Look closely at the pages of the book.  Amazing.  His understanding of light is so well developed.  I can imagine how small his brushes were.

01.21.16 Virgin and Child detail

What was really interesting is the text that was with this painting: ” The Early Netherlandish master Jan van Eyck unrivalled skill in oil painting enabled him to achieve a refinement of illusionistic detail never seen before.  A number of motifs present in this image are identifiable in the manner of van Eyck (c1395 – 1441), and or many years the painting was attributed to him.  However, as most scholars of the past century have acknowledged, there are numerous inconsistencies of execution and compositional planning, which are uncharacteristic of van Eyck…” So after all this time we still can’t be certain who painted this little painting as the information is lost in time.

Here is a bit more information about Jan van Eyck on Wikipedia.    It is amazing what they know about Jan van Eyck, not when he was born or where he trained, but other notable happenings in his life.  He left the world some truly amazing paintings as his legacy which continue to inspire generations of artists.  This little painting was bequeathed to the NAV in 1923.  I am curious as to where the painting was between the time it was painted and until it was donated.  Don’t you wish that paintings could talk and tell their tales. Well at least I wish for that.

I found another website that must be linked to China because it had the size as much larger than the painting actually is…that is why I put my hand beside the painting to show how small it actually is.  But this website also allows you to order your own hand painted version of this 1433 painting though a bit larger than the original one.  I decided not to link to the site…best not to encourage this practice.

See you on Monday with a new little painting for my 100 paintings show in June.  Thanks so much for dropping by.


So I have been trying to be as focused as possible.  I have one day a week that I do a lot of computer work, updating my life, organizing for classes and so forth. That day is always a very long day.  Then I am trying to have 3 to 4 days a week that I paint for 8 hours and hopefully I am getting in 4 or 5 hours in on the days that I can’t do more than that.

01.18.16 Glass of Water Shawna Lampi-Legaree

” Quenched” 11 of 100, 6×6 inches, Acrylic on board

I have a few series ideas coming through as I work.  I start with one painting that has a kernel of an idea that leads to different ideas using the same subject matter.  It is really fun to change things up and yet have a feeling that these paintings belong together.

I have already begun to prep for my show in June.  I ordered the invites and I’m just waiting for them to arrive.  My son Alexander is my graphic designer!  I appreciate having really different invitations and posters for every show and sale.

See you on Thursday.  I teach tonight, Thursday night, and Friday afternoon.  :)  Life is hopping along.



I saw this really interesting documentary about an English artist named Sargy Mann. He lost his sight incrementally over a 35 year period until he was completely blind. Then he did what he had always done…he found a way to continue to paint.  He was asked to do a talk for T.E.D Talks but sadly he didn’t live long enough.  His son Peter did a recent video, as a result of the TED Talks invitation, that you can watch HERE! .

The video below is from 2006 just as Mr Mann was figuring out how to live and continue to work without his sight.

Did you hear the part where Mr Mann mentions that he has found he is willing to paint subjects that he wouldn’t have done when he was sighted.  There was something liberating about this predicament he found himself in over the years.  I found that really fascinating.

Some people are truly resilient and Mr Mann was definitely optimizes resiliency.  This set of videos is so inspirational.   It is a reminder that even when life is not easy there are ways to continue to paint and to express one’s experience.

I also found watching him work through his painting of two people looking out to the ocean completely  amazing.  He changed the sky colour a number of times, making it lighter and so on.

01.12.16 Sargy Mann Painting

Here is a still from the video.  I don’t think it is the final iteration of the painting.

This week I begin teaching Watercolour 1.  I spent Tuesday getting all the watercolour paper cut and lined in preparation for tonight. There was about 4 hours of prep time for tonights class.   I am looking forward to teaching.  This afternoon I head over to the school to do session #2 of the Drawing 1 course.  It is a busy day.

Thank you so much for dropping by, see you on Monday when I will be prepping to begin to teach Drawing 1 that night!  January and February are going to be a lot of fun!



01.11.16 Teaching at School3

Well I am back to teaching!  I sure enjoy sharing the knowledge I have acquired over the years.  This January to June I am teaching in one of the local schools. I teach on Fridays for 80 minutes with a grade 8 class.  The first session is just a get to know about me and starting to get to know about them…also about getting going and we did get going.  :)

01.11.16 Step by step of diamond painting web

Step-by-Step we go! I had to put tape around it to create the sharp crisp edge that a diamond has. And it worked very well!

01.11.16 6 of 100 Diamond

“Potential Happiness”, 6×6 inch, Acrylic for 100 Painting Show and Sale later in the spring.

Painting 6 of 100 complete.  Well I am so pleased with how this painting turned out.  :) My oldest son is a photographer and when he lived in YK he work for a diamond mine and he was able to take photos of raw diamonds. He used them in work publications and I get to use them for painting!

I have had these images waiting in the wings for quite a while.  Now it is time to dust them off and see what else I can paint.  I plan to do this painting again but sized up much larger.  I love exploring a range of different subject.

Thanks to Chris Cook for naming the painting “Eonian Conversation”  1 of 100 painting. The cards are in the mail!

I will see you on Thursday.  Thanks for dropping in to see what I have been up to.




01.07.16 Richard Schmid ArpeggiosAll the paintings in todays blog post are from Richard Schmid’s website, they are all painted in oil.

With Ian away on a business trip I have completely immersed myself in art.  I am painting A LOT!  5 paintings done…only 95 left to go (more on that below).  Also I am reading an art book by Richard Schmid which is called Alla Prima 2.  My darling husband gave it to me for Christmas.  And he was so surprised at what he gave me! :) As I read it I hope to share some of the insights that I am having, only some not all…or I will be rewriting most of his book.

I am completed fascinated with how other artists work.  How they approach their paintings, their time usage, as well as expectations of others and their own need to continue to explore.  Mr Schmid has been painting for almost 70 years and that length and wealth of experience is why I wanted to read this book.  He is an elegant writer! I have had plenty to think about.  01.07.16 Richard Schmid figurative

(His figurative work is just so inspirational)

The first page of chapter 1, apply named – Good ideas and Free Advice, he talks about ‘Talent’.  “The exceptional skill we label as talent is not a single capability.  It is a complex mixture of motive, curiosity, receptivity, intelligence, perception, sensitivity, expert teaching, perseverance, problems solving skills, timing, sheer luck…”  He thinks, and I agree whole heartedly, that talent isn’t a “natural endowment”  like the colour of one’s eyes or hair or how tall you end up being. With the exception of the ability to sing beautifully, that is one of the arts that is a “natural endowment”.  In my own small experience, I have been drawn to painting for a very long time before I actually took decisive steps to create a learning environment that on only included me but others who were and are feeling the same way.   From this very strong interest I gain the skills I needed to actually get to be the  painter I dreamed of being.  To me there seems to be a nebulous something that tugs and pulls at a person so that they want to learn how to draw, how to paint, how to sculpt,  or how to play an instrument.  Then once a person is hooked, they find a wide variety of ways to continue to expand and learn and live a more creative life.

01.07.16 Richard Schmid landscape

(I love his depth of knowledge about values)

Learning to paint or draw can be a deeply satisfying (though somewhat stressful) experience.  I love the fact that when we are first learning to draw or paint  we are actually discovering how to look more closely at a subject matter.  We learn to  look beyond the name of the item to the shapes and patterns of dark and light that make up what we are working hard to render on paper, board or canvas.  I have had the experience, twice now, of all of the sudden seeing “more”.  My experience has been that I am happily painting away when the jump happens from one painting session to the next.  Then I do a painting where I can ‘see’ more. I am so surprised that I  have gone back to look at the other paintings that I have completed to discover all the information that I hadn’t even known was there.  It is a very interesting, and somewhat exciting, experience.  And according to Mr Schmid this happens over and over again through out one’s art career.  I was excited to read that!   :)

For me the many mental and physical facets that one requires to be a painter keeps me completely engaged.  My brain loves the constant expansive learning.  I know that there are so many ways to paint a subject.  This week I have launched into painting 100 small paintings (6×6 and 5×7 paintings)  for a show in the spring.  I will be exploring a whole range of subjects.  Some will be from life, others from images that I have taken over the years.   This week, so far, I have done two still lifes (from life), and 3 birds (from an image)…and today I started one from an image that my oldest son gave me to work from. I will post it on Monday once it is complete.  I have a story to share with it!


01.07.16 Richard Schmid still life

(My still life’s are small in nature as I am working on small boards…can’t wait to expand up in size)

I will come back to Richard Schmid’s book again I am certain. But for now I have to get ready to teach.  I teach tonight (two students who are finishing the Acrylic 1 class from November) and I start teaching at a local school with grade 8 students tomorrow.   We start with Drawing 1 on Friday just after lunch.  I can’t wait!  Wish me luck.

See you on Monday! I will have lots to share.


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