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So here I am…the day after my last class for the 2015/16 Winter Art Classes.  This weekend I taught a brand new class.  We painted fun pears, worked on a background for a flower, and then the piece resistance a still life with a donut!  🙂

04.18.16 Pears04.18.16 WC204.18.16 Watercolour 2 Lesley Susan and Me

Thanks Susan and Lesley for a totally fun weekend.  I do LOVE teaching!  🙂  I enjoy seeing my students confidence grow as we go through the various lessons.

CLasses Jan to Apr 2016 small

The above photo is all of the classes from January until early April.

I am still teaching Acrylic 1 at Range Lake North School.  We did a colour wheel last week and started the journey of figuring out the difference between cool and warm colours and what that means.
04.18.16 RLN Colour Wheel2 04.18.16 RLN Colour wheels

So now I turn my focus to painting and videos.  A new video will be out on Thursday.  See you then.


Zebra Shawna Lampi-Legaree DRS

Zebra, 6×6 inches, Acrylic

Here is my second painting video to

It has been a very busy week. I have been getting prepared for my Watercolour 2 class that is happening this weekend.  It is the first time to teach this class.

I am now officially an ART HERMIT! Doing these videos add another layer to my art learning.  I am working on getting the very basics figured out and then I will add complexity as I go along…like tips and tricks videos.

Have a great weekend!  See you next week.


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!  🙂

45702.22.16 Tulips

‘Tulips’ (the name for now), 5×7, Acrylic

I have these fabulous black and white patterned fabric. I had fun painting them.  But i have to say that this painting took longer than I normally spend on a small piece.  I realized that I have too much happening in the piece.  So the next one I do in this little series will be slightly different.  🙂

 I am a bit behind in producing paintings.  Turns out teaching keeps me very happily busy.

02.22.16 Drawing 1.part2 copy

So I have completed the first round of winter classes!  It has been such an honour to teach my students new skills in watercolour, acrylic and drawing.  🙂  Thanks for all the fun.  I have one more Drawing 1 class at Range Lake North School on Tuesday.  Then I am off until the end of March.

Ian and I will be taking a little trip. So I will post on Thursday and if I get a chance to while we are away I will try to blog.  No promises!  There will be a lot of photos when I return.

Thanks for stopping by.  See you on Thursday.




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.


02.15.16 Juno Shawna Lampi-Legaree

‘Juno’, 6×6″, Acrylic

I have wanted to paint faces but every time I thought about it I felt stress about it.  So I decided that I can’t go wrong practicing on statues.  So this was my first attempt.  I plan to do more just to make sure this one didn’t turn out great because of ‘beginner’s luck’.  🙂

This weekend was a hopping weekend.  I set up to teach on Friday night, taught the end of Acrylic 1 on Saturday, had an hour snooze before having to get ready to go to the Yellowknife Community Foundation Gala where we danced and ate and laughed. It was a fabulous time.  I taught again on Sunday this time the first group of Drawing 1.

02.17.16 Classes endingsm

After traveling and all the teaching I have been doing I was pretty much wiped out on Monday and Tuesday which is why my Monday post didn’t happen this week.

See you again in the next few days.

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.


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.