Friday Night with Gail Williams – January 26




(Submitted by Ingrid Mueller)

Gail Williams brought her jovial good nature and love for creating and experimentation to our January 26th Friday Night Club and shared a new technique she had learned recently at a workshop with Alice Van der Vennen

Hailing from northern Ontario, specifically Thunder Bay, Gail was encouraged to create from an early age.  Inspired by the “sleeping giant”, Lake Superior, Gail’s work will often include whispers of the giant water, and has found that the copper greatly enhances her contemporary landscape paintings.

Working with copper foil is a collage type procedure that is simple but creates drama in just about any painting.

Supplies she used are:

15mm copper foil sheet

Canvas or wood substrate

Gloosit adhesive

Spray fixative to preserve the foil


Weekend Workshop with Artist Margaret Ferrara

{submitted by Christine Hanson and photo by Louise Spiritcougar Lefebvre}

The “Introduction to Pastels” workshop began with Margaret giving us a thorough explanation of different materials for pastel and why some are much better than others. Then she demonstrated various techniques for pastel: stroking, hatching, cross hatching, scrumbing, pointillism, blending and dry wash. We moved on to color wheels, color values and tint, tone, and shade. The second day we picked a favorite work and recreated it using six colors. It was a very informative and enjoyable weekend.

Friday Night with Artist Joanna Gresik

{submitted by Brent Arlitt}

On Friday evening Jan 19, 2018, Artist Joanna Gresik presented her art, her personal journey, and her unique art techniques to a large number of club members. Her unique dynamic cityscapes show the beauty, colour, motion and depth of feeling the she sees around the city. Joanna paints in watercolours, acrylic, oils and pastels.

Joanna, who is an OCAD and Humber College graduate, first studied and practised interior design, where she gained an inherent capability to convey perspective and depth. But, her most transformative activity was when she joined “A Year of Creative Habits”  which she used as a tool to create one artwork each day for a year. She usually works to a music background, which she feels stimulates her creative process.

Joanna’s painting demonstration used high concentration watercolour pigments(Dr. Ph. Martin’s Radiant Concentrated Water Color Bottles) on 40 lb watercolour paper to generate in 45 minutes a beautiful cityscape with depth colour and action. She enhanced the scene using pastels and pencils.

See Joanna’s work at


Weekend Workshop with Artist Laura Culic

{Submitted by Eva Johnson who also organized the workshop}

On Nov. 4 and 5, Laura Culic led us in our first workshop of the year. Fifteen fortunate participants learned how to mix cold wax with oil paint to create layer upon layer of colour and texture. Laura compared her paintings to archeology as she scratched into the surface unearthing the beautiful colours that revealed themselves. There is always an element of surprise in this method of painting.

Laura showed us how to apply paint with wax paper, and how to use a bowl scraper, brayer, sticks, combs and many other devices to discover the hidden underlayers of paint. Our artists used their own creative juices to paint abstracts, landscapes, flowers etc. We went beyond our comfort zones and were all greatly inspired.

Laura was a very generous, inspiring, talented artist who shared her enthusiasm for her medium with all of us grateful artists.


Friday Night with Amy Walsh-Harris – November 24

(Submitted by Ingrid Mueller)



The last Friday Night Club for 2017 was a packed house…almost standing room only. We were all fortunate to have Amy Walsh-Harris join us for a presentation and demonstration, and she didn’t disappoint.

Amy Walsh-Harris is, admittedly, obsessed with Toronto. Born and raised in T.O., she “is inspired by the history, life and movement through the city streets”. As Amy seems to have lived in just about every neighbourhood in the city, each area has inspired her to paint the local life and architecture. Bars and streetcars are also a favorite subject. She also loves looking at vintage photos of the city, which inspire her to paint neighbourhoods and allies that most of us tend to overlook. Here is a link to some vintage photos:

Amy admits to taking hundreds of photos of neighbourhoods around the city yet will select, perhaps, ten that capture the vitality, colour and movement that she seeks when planning a painting.

As she plans and draws out her scene the tools she uses for perspective in her cityscapes are remarkably simple: a T-square and acu-eyeball. Once she has selected her images she tends to work on numerous paintings at the same time, claiming she may have ADHD when, in fact, she actually allows time for each to dry, as she works in oils and tends to put at least 4 layers of oil on each painting.

After spending hours actually drawing out her composition her first layer is acrylic, where she will start with her darks, lay in the primary colour and work towards the mixed colours.

Amy is also a prolific, professional painter who produces dozens of paintings every year and has had good success selling them.

After a few fruitless hangings at galleries, Amy decided to market her art herself, thus eliminating the 50% gallery commission and allowing her to price her work at a price suitable to her market/customers.

Art fairs, including the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, are among the promotional tools Amy uses to market her art. However she is also very active on social media like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, as well blogging, recommending the use of hashtags to draw attention to your work.  She also sells directly from her website and recommends posting prices for your work, as it eliminates the need for customers to seek information. (Links below)

Pricing is an issue for all artists and Amy recommends pricing that is not only sensitive to her customers but takes into account not only the size of the painting but the amount of work and hours she puts into her paintings. She has written about this subject in her blog which is available for viewing in the link below.

Amy grew up in the Beach and as a child enjoyed meals with her family at a restaurant called Good Food, affectionately known as “The Goof”. Nostalgia drove her to do a painting of this well known eating establishment which became an instant hit. Demand necessitated the need for prints and this is how another profit center evolved. Prints are a good source of revenue for artists and Amy uses the best materials and offers a selection to her customers.  Experience has taught her to use reliable suppliers that provide the best quality product in a timely fashion. Currently her supplier of choice for giclee prints is QSQ Giclee Boutique. (Link provided below).

It was a fabulous evening and refreshing to spend it with a young artist who has a gregarious personality, limitless talent and energy and zest for life.

Giclee supplier:


Facebook link: