Category: Travels


Ptarmigans hiding in Willow, 20x20in, Juried in the Federation of Canadian Artist’s show “Acrylics in Action. 

Click HERE to see the other works in the show

It doesn’t matter if the break is a month or a week (or longer) I seem to struggle to get my brain to get focused on painting again. Do you have the same problem?  I often wonder if my brain just enjoys not having to work so hard or if it is just basically loves being a lazy sod.  We went to care of our grandson last week…so now I am trying to get settled back into painting.

How do I manage to get back to work and try to get the flow going?  I have to admit that the first two or three painting days are really difficult. I find myself out of my studio and doing something mindless or easily distracted by anything that comes my way.  Oh I am thirsty.  Oh I need to do this immediately (what ever ‘this’ is).  Oh I forgot to bring that down to my studio…better go and get it.  Oh I am tired.  Oh bathroom break. And on and on it goes.

Then the second challenge is that I have to figure out where did I left off of on the painting.  I have found that is is much easier to have a painting in progress as this takes one more decision away because at least I don’t have to figure out what to paint next.

So I do have some things that help me to get settled.

1. I sort my space, turning on a podcast and making my studio habitable again is helpful.  This is a great procrastination technique that allows for contemplation time on the painting so maybe I will figure out what to tackle next. 🙂

2. I listen to Artist interviews on Savvy Painter podcast,  John Dalton’s Gently does it podcast, Suggested Donation podcast, or Eric Rhodes Plein Air podcast (just to name a few).  This helps to inspire me to get focused again.  I love listening to artists talk about their work and successes, their schedules, and their struggles.  Most of which I can totally relate too.

3. I tend to go out of my studio on all the various ‘errands’ that my mind comes up with, then I paint in between. I make sure to stop the artist interviews so I don’t miss anything.  I do that until I start getting cranky.

4.  At that point, I remember to use the next strategy which is putting a time limit on how long I am going to stay and not leave the room.  I will say an hour or two and then I can take a break.   Often at the end of the hour I am finding that my brain will be  more settled in. This continues on until I don’t even have to think about it.  I just can work for 4 hours straight through. Two of those sessions most days gets me the hours I need to get the work accomplished.

There are a few things I never do in my studio…listen to dancing music (or all I want to do is dance and I have found it hard to paint while dancing) or listen to things that require my undivided attention. I keep all food out of my studio as well as I don’t want to mix food and paint…seems like a bad idea.

I have 15 painting days left before I have to get all the details of my annual show accomplished.  Thanks for stopping by.  See you soon.








In April when the lakes were still covered with ice and there was a ton of snow still on the ground.

The day time temperature rose to be warm enough that I got this photo of me during my walk!05.28.16 April 18th and wearing a tshirt

This is not what I normally look like in April!  It can still be -20C.

Later that night we had the amazing thunder and lightening storm that went on for hours.  Incredible! So of course I thought I best do a painting!  It took me a while to get to be able to do it. But here it is.05.28.16 April Tempest Shawna LampiLegaree

‘April Tempest’, 6×6, Acrylic

We had a lovely visit with Burke.  Time to get ready for gardening.

05.28.2016 Burke 05.2016 Burke Grampa

See you soon.


I have some very exciting news at the bottom of this post!  🙂 But I will come to that in a minute

There a range of great sport competitions at the Arctic Winter Games.  I usually check out a few but I generally spend most of my time at Arctic Sports or Dene hand games.  This year with having our nephews in futsal meant that I spent sometime at Arctic Sports.  I love the atmosphere, the camaraderie among the competitors and the slow pace that leads to amazing athletic performances.

03.30.16 Sledge jumping Arctic Winter Games Nuuk

This one is a Russian introduction to the Arctic Sports.  It is called Sledge Jumping. It is amazing to watch the athletes bounce over these sledges, landing gently both feet at the same time and bouncing over then next one…10 in a row then land turn and go again! 03.30.16 One foot High Kick Arctic Winter Games Nuuk Greenland. jpg

One foot High Kick is amazing.  In the 1990’s I remember going and watching a fellow from Alaska called Brian Randazzo who holds the record in One foot High Kick since 1988 (before my time going to the games).  His record is 2.90 metres (9ft6in).  To successfully  complete the kick the athlete has to  take off on one foot, kick the seal ball, and land on the same foot!  Getting photos of this is very hard.  This is a close as I got.  It always amazes me how high they can kick.

03.30.16 Knuckle hop agony Arctic Winter Games

This Inuit sport is called Knuckle Hop.  It was and is about building pain endurance.  Head over to CBC to watch a video of Chris Stipdonk who won gold for NWT!  I can’t imagine doing this over the tundra like in the days of the nomadic inuit.  It is pretty tough on the hands and knuckles inside of a gymnasium it must be insane over the tundra.  03.30.16 Chris Gold medal knuckle hop Arctic Winter GamesHere is Chris as the start of what would turn out to be an amazing 54.8 metre run before he just ran out of steam.  Amazing.

So here is my big announcement!  Drum Roll please……

I have started to do YouTube videos.  The first one is of this painting.  Just click on the painting and off you will go to see the video.  🙂

04.07.16 Bonaparte Seagull Shawna Lampi-Legaree


Well I am off.  Thanks for dropping by. Have a great weekend. See you on Monday.



I thought I might be able to post while traveling but I didn’t even think about it. I had a great holiday!    I thought about art, I did drawings, I saw amazing sporting events and some fabulous scenery, I took reference photos and I learned about Danish Artist from the 18th and 19th century.

So today lets start with Nuuk Greenland and the Arctic Winter Games.  The first time Ian and I were in Nuuk was 30 years ago and then we came for the last Arctic Winter Games in 2002 (14 years ago).  It was wonderful to be back and to see the changes that have happened in the intervening years.

Here are some scenes around Nuuk.  We got there and the sun was shining…this was an unusual experience during our time.  We raced out and took photos to prove we saw the sun!  Nuuk is a very pretty city.  The houses are painted bright colours and against the backdrop of snow they were visual jewels.  I will be doing a few paintings from there!

03.30.16 Nuuk Greenland

03.30.16 Nuuk Greenland2

03.30.16 Nuuk Greenland3

Kid enjoying the fresh new snow after the blizzard that kept all the athletes away for an extra 24 hours.  It was a very unusual experience to have a full on blizzard (though not unusual for Nuuk or Iqaluit) to delay the various teams arrivals.  In fact the opening ceremony only had 1/2 the athletes there…the rest made it later that evening.  Every sport schedule had to be redone in a very short period of time.  The games folks in Nuuk pulled it off.  🙂 Below is a phone photo I took out of our hotel room window.03.30.16 Blizzard in Nuuk Greenland

This is a bronze statue of the “Mother of the Sea” (aka Sedna or Nuliajuk) that is on the beach by the museum.  The part of the story the artist captured is when the shaman made the journey to clean Nuliajuk’s hair.  She is the creator of all the sea life that the Inuit survived on for millennia.  But if the Inuit didn’t honour her and didn’t take care of the ocean, then the fish, seals, narwals, walruses and so on would be captured in her dirty hair.  This would cause great hunger to the Inuit and the shaman would take the transformative journey to the deep to clean her hair thus releasing all the animals of the sea.  It was an amazing sculpture.

03.30.16 Mother of the Sea Nulijiak SednaWe had two nephews come to play Futsal (international indoor soccer).  The photos of Judah and Levi are thanks to Padraic McCombe.  He got some fabulous photos! 03.30.16 Judah vs Greenland Padraic McCombe

Judah Legaree, Arctic Winter Games Nuuk Greenland

03.30.16 Levi vs Greenland Padraic McCombe.jgp

Levi Legaree, Arctic Winter Games Nuuk Greenland

It was so fun to have our nephews and our sister-in-law Terri at the games.  In all the years our family has been going it is the first time Legaree boys have competed!  🙂

03.30.16 Nuuk collage copy

There is plenty more to share but that is where i will stop today.  See you on Monday.  I hope to have something very special to share then!  🙂


Last week I shared a painting by Sir John Everett Millais called “Afternoon Tea”.  I have heard the term “Pre-Raphaelite” before but didn’t really understand what that meant.  But last week I read about the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood and the movement.  Turns out I have been attracted to this style of painting before!  I love the detail, the narrative style.  I adore the glorious fabrics.

07.09.15 JW Waterhousesm

“I am half-sick of shadows, said the Lady of Shalott” by JW Waterhouse 1916

…There she weaves by night and day / A magic web with colours gay. / She has heard a whisper say, / A curse is on her if she stay / To look down to Camelot. 
She knows not what the curse may be, / And so she weaveth steadily, / And little other care hath she, / The Lady of Shalott…

I saw this painting  in Toronto this summer at the Art Gallery of Ontario.  I loved the detail and the narrative within the painting.  But only as I start to do research to I discover that Lady of Shalott is actually from a poem called “The Lady of Shalott” by Lord Alfred Tennyson.  This poem inspired a number of the Pre-Raphaelites, including JW Waterhouse.   You can see from the dates that Waterhouse came back to this poem to explore the different stages of her curse.

7 800px-The_Lady_of_Shallot_Looking_at_Lancelot

The Lady of Shalott looking at Lancelot, 1894

… She look’d down to Camelot. / Out flew the web and floated wide; / The mirror crack’d from side to side; / “The curse is come upon me,” cried /  The Lady of Shalott…

7 John_William_Waterhouse_-_The_Lady_of_Shalott_-_Google_Art_Project

 The Lady of Shalott, 1888

…Down she came and found a boat / Beneath a willow left afloat,  / And round about the prow she wrote / The Lady of Shalott…
7 Lady_of_Shalott_edmo
Unknown Artist and date
…But Lancelot mused a little space; / He said, “She has a lovely face;  / God in his mercy lend her grace, / The Lady of Shalott.”
The last three images were from Wikipedia.
One never knows when they follow a string where it will take them.  I am enjoying looking into paintings and doing a bit of research on them.  I know that there is much that could be said but I think for today that I will stop here!
See you on Monday!  Have a great weekend.

Thursday – Girls and Boys


This past weekend I was in Winnipeg for a wedding in my family.  It was a wonderful trip.  While I was there Ian and I dropped into the Winnipeg Art Gallery.  They had an exhibit of Greek sculptures that was fabulous.  I will talk about them another time.   I want to share two paintings from the gallery.

02.11.16 Shawna at the WAG

Here I am in front of one of the paintings.

02.11.16 Afternoon Tea (The Gossips) Sir Joshn Everett Millais WAG

Afternoon Tea (The Gossips), 1889, Sir John Everett Millais, Winnipeg Art Gallery

What and how artists choose to paint a subject is always interesting to me.  These girls are in their fancy clothes having a tea party…that is fun.  I know that I have had tea parties with my nieces Natalie and Madeline and we have also dressed up in our finery.  🙂  I found the lighting interesting as they are in full light but not bright sunlight.    I don’t know many kids who would have a picnic under a cloudy sky but maybe this was staged in Millais’ studio.  , I see that the shadows are soft like a cloudy day, and the folds in the dresses are very well done.  I still have this fascination with fabric which  I suspect it will last a long time.  The pug is the only one looking directly at the artist.  There was no accompanying text with this painting. But there is an interesting story around this painting.

I got this off the WAG website:  “The Winnipeg Art Gallery announced the acquisition through gift by donation from the Honourable Douglas Everett of Winnipeg and his family in memory of his wife Patricia Everett. This is one of the finest paintings created by Sir John Everett Millais, a leading 19th century British artist…  This extraordinary donation is one of the largest gifts of an individual artwork to the WAG in its 98-year history.”

Then the news release continues about the artist: “John Everett Millais 1829–1896 won a place at the Royal Academy Schools at the unprecedented age of eleven for his amazing talent.  He founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848 with William Holman Hunt and Dante Gabriel Rossetti.  Millais has been called “the presiding artistic genius of his age.”

And here is what they say about the painting: “Afternoon Tea presents a captivating image of childhood-infectious and delightful-with an immediacy of impact, painted with great vivacity. It is the epitome of style that evolved over the last 20 years of Millais’ career, touching on a theme that is consistent throughout his entire career. As with many of his works, the artist endeavored to embrace the broadest possible audience in his celebration of the art of art’s sake aesthetic. Over a century later, the picture is now accessible to a new generation of audiences.” (with some editing)

02.11.16 The Story 1890 Gearoge Agnew Reid WAG

“The Story”, 1890, George Agnew Reid (Canadian), Winnipeg Art Gallery

The second painting is a group of boys. I love the lighting in this painting.  It is so dramatic.   Look at how only one boy has full light on his face.  I loved how the artist chose to highlight the light where he wants you first to look.  The first place my eyes went to was the ‘story tellers’ face.

The text under the painting revealed: “…In this painting the Artist transforms a banal scene of boys in a hayloft into a heroic statement.  Before beginning this painting, Reid constructed the actual hayloft in his studio (imagine having a studio large enough to do that).  He carefully arranged all elements, particularly the lighting, in order to best illuminate the narrative and express the desired sentimental effect.”

 So the last thing I want to say about these paintings…the names of them are very revealing.  Boys are story tellers…Girls are gossips. Really!?!  I know that these paintings were done in 1890’s but the sad part is that I don’t think that we have fully moved beyond that dichotomy yet. That is my little side comment beyond the actual amazing paintings.

02.11.16 Mom and Dad 54 years

Now I would like to wish my parents a very Happy 54th Anniversary to my parents!  Don’t you just love the smiles.  🙂

02.11.16 Waving to our boys around the world

Then on to the festivities that had us travel to Winnipeg in the first place.  I am texting to our sons who are in Alberta and Australia watching the live feed.  Ian is waving Hi!  There were people from all over Canada, Brazil and elsewhere watching!  🙂

02.11.16 The beautiful Bride

The bride was stunningly beautiful!  02.11.16 D&D

Congratulations to my brother and his new wife!  It was a joy to witness your love for each other.

See you on Monday.  I will have a painting to share by then.  It has been a busy time.  This weekend is filled with teaching, both Saturday and Sunday.


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.

Happy New Year


Well hello again!  Long time, no see. How is it that December always seems to get away on me!?!  I hope everyone had a great month while I was away.

We traveled to Edmonton / Fort Saskatchewan for the holidays. 01.01.16 on the road

We drove down this year.  We were late getting out of Yellowknife so the sun was setting before we got to Fort Providence, which is only 3 hours driving from Yellowknife.

01.01.16 Crossing the bridgeWe have had a very warm winter so far, this photo shows the mist still rising off the still open Mackenzie river.

01.01.16 Family Christmas

We had a lovely Christmas with Stephen, Cindy, Burke and Sean who all live in Alberta.  We missed Alexander and Tyson! 
01.01.16 Burke and Granny

I had a great time with Burke.  We read books, cuddled because he was sick, and he is a total delight.

This past year has a fair amount of ups and downs.  I haven’t really even mentioned the major down we had.  Last February we had an oil leak that required us to move out of our house in just a few days.

01.01.16 the last load

Moving that fast is not the most relaxed experience. Actually the whole experience has not be a relaxed-have-fun kind of experience at all.


01.01.16 July house destruction,jpg

Then a number of months later our house was demolished to remediate the site.  Things with insurance always takes a long time so it was July before the house was taken down and the soil remediated.

01.01.16 We got a PermitIt was nearly 10 months before we got a building permit!  So this is what it looked like when we left for our holidays.

So I can say very clearly that I am glad to see the back side of 2015.  It hasn’t been one of the best years I have lived through.  We miss Miss Meredith and Don (Ian’s Dad) a lot.

Even with the difficulties we had, I did pull of my annual art show and sale!  We had some fun trips through out the year and we had plenty to be thankful for!

May your 2016 be a wondrous adventure!

See you on Monday.




I was invited by Open Sky Creative Society to teach my Drawing 1 class in Fort Simpson this past weekend.

12.07.15 Fort Simpson 2

It was a great weekend spent with some fabulous people! I had a fun time sharing my drawing knowledge with this eager group of students.

12.07.15 Fort Simpson4

This is a very busy class…I teach one step at a time, each exercise builds from the last and adds more information.  I do keep them moving!

12.07.15 Fort Simpson students

Then we get to the final 3 hours and it is all about using the skills we have learned and just drawing! The room was filled with quiet concentration.  12.07.15 Fort Simpson ColinI was so amazed at the final drawings that everyone created.

12.07.15 Fort Simpson 5

I asked which drawing did they feel most pleased with.  Unfortunately I only had my cell phone and didn’t get the best photo. I always enjoy seeing which drawing that the students choose to share. Some decided to share their final drawing, but one found the lesson about lost edges to be the one that she learned the most from. 🙂

I haven’t taught this class over a weekend before, so it was very interesting to see how the hours flowed.  We were able to cover an expanded range of drawings because everyone was in motion already.  We even stopped 1/2 way through a lesson to take our lunch break and then we found it easy to swing back into the course work.  It was really interesting.

I would like to thank the Open Sky Creative Society for inviting me!  It was a fabulous busy weekend…and I am just a little tired today.  And I’m finished teaching for 2015. And I am back to painting for this week before I have to prep for Christmas!

See you on Thursday for Artist’s Corner.



12.03.15 Mary Pratt NAG in Ottawa


This is one of my favourite paintings done by Mary Pratt.  I love the reflective quality of the tinfoil.  Ms. Pratt had a display at the National Art Gallery in Ottawa.  It was wonderful.

12.03.15 Mary Pratt

I spent a long time looking at her paintings.  Painting red is not as easy as it looks and she does paint luscious reds.  I hope to someday do such luminous works.12.03.15 Mary Pratt Jam Jars

I think someday I might have to create my own take on a Mary Pratt jar painting.  She is so inspirational.  Her work makes my heart beat faster.  🙂

I am off tomorrow to teach a drawing class.  I have everything organized and ready to go. Just have to head to the grocery store to bring some fresh produce because their ice road is not in and if the weather continues to be so warm it may not be in until January.  I have to say I am longing for -25C weather.  I am missing the sunshine.

See you on Monday.