Plein Air at James Gardens

(Submitted by Karin Fediw/Wally Lush)

There was a great turnout for the plein air event in south Etobicoke.
Ten painters were present, as well as three non-painters who were
there for moral support. It was nice to see some new members. The
weather was warm and sunny, and a few of us had lunch together in the
pagoda at the top of the hill. There were watercolourists, sketchers,
oil and acrylic painters. A little bit of everything!




Plein Air at Ward’s Island

(submitted by Wally Lush)

On Tuesday, June 26, six artists took the ferry to Ward’s Island for a plein air session. The Weather was glorious with warm sunshine and balmy breezes wafting from the lake – a perfect day. The artists had a choice of locations. The Toronto skyline offered a striking backdrop to the sailboats moored along the water’s edge. The flower gardens included coral coloured geraniums and beautiful white peonies in full bloom. Cookies and coffee were provided by the Sunshine Center. The group met for lunch at about 12:30 and some even enjoyed BBQ hamburgers. All and all a very enjoyable day.

Friday Night with Michele Van Maurik – May 25

(Submitted by Ingrid Mueller)

From Van Gogh to O’Keefe, painting flowers has been a popular subject for centuries, and Michele Van Maurik has mastered the replication of nature’s magnificence.

The progeny of artistic Dutch parentage, Michele has been creating art since childhood and launched her artistic career as commercial artist and muralist.  However, her serious fine art career didn’t start until relatively recently in 2010.  Since then, she has blossomed into an internationally recognized oil painter, having been twice invited to represent Canada at the Societe Nationale de Beaux Art held at the Louvre. Her paintings Purple Rhapsody and Sundance were juried into the Artistes du Monde Cannes by Marina Picasso.

Her work has also been published in a number of international magazines including American Art Collector.

Having accomplished so much in so short a time, Michele came to our Friday Night Club with some very down to earth tips and tricks she uses in her studio that simply make her life easier, more efficient and productive. The following is a list of her top ten painting hacks:

  1. Magic Colour Palette Colour matching guide: Shows various pigments mixed with white and also darkened with black with cut out window.  Great for determining which pigment to use in your painting.
  2. Easel Brace: Make a simple easel brace using foam core and dollar store clamps.  Great for supporting a maul stick.
  3. Maul Stick: Purchase inexpensive dowel at a hardware store and make your own maul stick by putting a rubber stopper on the end.
  4. Plastic laptop cases from De Serres are an excellent alternative to a stay wet palette. Lightweight and portable, they keep paint fresh for several days.
  5. A music stand makes a great vertical palette stand.
  6. Grey Matters palette paper fits nicely inside the plastic laptop cases and comes with a colour wheel, greyscale and list of pigments printed on the cover.
  7. A mid tone grey pastel pencil is great for drawing on canvas, blends nicely away when paint is applied over top.
  8. Cotton swaps (Q-tips) are very useful when it comes to softening edges in a painting, also great for lifting colour.
  9. A partially rolled up towel makes a good brush rest.
  10. When viewing artwork or a painting with red glasses or red acetate, it helps eliminate the middle values and simplifies the shapes to determine the values in your painting.

Michele’s work is inspiring, as she works large and very smooth. Her passion is in detail, but not too much so as to prevent the viewer’s imagination.

A lovely evening with a great, Canadian artist.

You can see more of her work at

Plein Air at Evergreen Brickworks

(Submitted by Wally Lush/Vanaja Cotroneo)

Today’s plein air was attended by nine (or ten?) members, and we
gathered by the parking lot before dispersing in twos and threes, and
even solo, to find that “perfect” view. Or perhaps, it was to find
a “shady” spot as it was a gorgeous day, with the sun shining in
its full glory! The artists painted in a variety of media –
watercolour, pen & ink, acrylics, oils, watercolour pencils. We
gathered for a picnic lunch around 12:30, while a few went to the
restaurant. After lunch some of us left, while the more die-hard
continued to paint. All in all, it was a beautiful day!

Plein Air at Ramsden Park

(submitted by Wally Lush)

On Saturday, May 25, five artists braved the humidity to paint outside in Ramsden Park. In spite of promised rain, they settled in and planned, sketched and painted some of the interesting locations in the park. Hopefully, some larger art works will come out of the time they spent there.