Friday Night December 7, 2018 – Dalia Elcharbini

(Submitted by Brent Arlitt)

On December 7, members were treated to an entertaining presentation on
the use of graphite powder and gilding by Dalia Elcharbini.
Dalia, who works in graphic arts, shared her results of creating
dramatic art pieces using graphite powder and gold leaf. (the REAL
thing!) She showed two of her completed pictures, about 30” x 40”,
and demonstrated on a third. All pictures are done on a heavy
illustration paper and featured a face that was drawn with graphite
powder and then highlighted with solid gold leaf.
Dalia who is influenced by Salvador Dali includes symbolism in her
drawings. She does not “duplicate life” and her faces come from
imagination and experience.

To find out more about Dalia you can visit:



Friday Night November 16, 2018 – Andrew Cheddie Sookrah

(Submitted by Ingrid Mueller)

Abstracting the Figure in Landscape

Andrew Sookrah is an experienced illustrator and designer, having spent the first part of his career in the advertising business. But his passion for fine art and painting and ability as an experienced instructor shone through on this Friday evening.

“Sookrah is a raw colourist whose free brushwork is confident and powerful. His strengths can be seen in his strong sense of design, exquisite use of effective composition, confident presentation of bold colours… and in his figurative and portraiture work, his capturing the essence of the human spirit.” Ref.

Andrew maintains that all painting is abstraction in varying degrees.  He suggests that when one paints, no matter the subject, it is an abstraction of a form, shape and colour.

Andrew spent most of the evening demonstrating Abstracting the Figure in Landscape, where he started with an interesting reference photo and using a canvas which had been prepared with a loose sketch of a figure in a boat, and using paints based on value rather than colour, produced a remarkable semi-abstract painting.

A video of the full demonstration can be viewed on the DVAC Facebook page in the VIDEO section.

You may find out more about Andrew Cheddie Sookrah, his work and workshops at




Friday Night Nov. 23, 2018 – Nami Ueno

(Submitted by Brent Arlitt)

Nami Ueno presented an absolutely delightful demonstration of her unique artwork on Friday November 23. Her several artworks showed the precise yet very creative dreamy quality of her art pieces – that vary from spiritual to whimsical and many combinations in between that illustrate the depth of feeling Nami puts into her artistry, that is rich in form and colour. She states that ” Colours and Shapes are my inspiration”. This she combines with her varied experiences and extensive art education in Japan since she was 15 years old, which included her graduation from Kyoto University in Art and Design. Many of the art works shown included a rich depth of story line. Many included Iede, a small black bird who leaves home to explore the world, and to find his true self. A story line is often included in a series of paintings she produces. The depth of story included in many of the paintings prompted several DVAC members to encourage Nami to write the beautiful stories that are backgrounds to her work.

Nami’s demonstration started with a typical varied blue background (She sometimes uses up to 5 different blue colours in one painting) with a subtly varied texture. She often spends a long time at this stage where she lets the canvas stimulate her imagination and tells her what shapes and colours should be included, as she proceeds. She then used a variety of techniques to add the background and to pick out the shapes that will be in the final painting. She often uses glazes, such as Prussian blue, to allow some of the shapes to recede. The attached photos show the variety and depth of her works.

Nami also provided 2 handouts to attendees that explained a bit of her creative methods and the importance of practicing self compassion to allow ideas to proceed from the depth of your being as an artist.

Anyone who wants to be thoroughly enchanted should look on her website:

Instagram: @uenonami (spiritual Art)

@nami_dreamartist (Dreamy Art)

Nami_art_techniques (Flowers and drawings)


Friday Night Club November 9 – Plein Air Show and Tell

(Submitted by Ingrid Mueller)

It was really lovely to spend the evening with the enthusiastic DVAC Plein Air group hosted by committee chair Wally Lush.

The Don Valley Art Club is a dynamic club with activities for just about every art interest, however Plein Air seems to be making a renaissance and this group heads out to pre-arranged locations more than a dozen times per year, weather permitting.

The evening commenced with introductions and explanation of how the group works by Wally and then a number of members showing some of their finished plein air paintings. They discussed their work and what was involved in the process. It seems that many paintings are not finished on the spot and often photos are taken of the scene in order to capture the current light and finished in the studio.

It became apparent that weather is a very important factor in combining art and the outdoors. Capturing the light is probably most important explained Georgia Bowen. Selecting just the right subject would be another important issue as one can become distracted by your surroundings. A remedy for this is the use of a view finder which helps one focus on a specific subject.

Georgia Bowen and Brent Arlitt demonstrated the types of easels they use and the pros and cons of each.  However, it would appear there are many options from which to choose as well as price points.

The idea of plein air is attractive to many landscape artists but they hesitate because they don’t know where to start. The following is a basic list of some standard plein air equipment: collapsible easel, lightweight paint box and tripod, folding stool, small clamp-on umbrella, paints, brushes, palette knife, solvent, water and painting medium (dependent on medium used), wet-panel carrier, paper towel or rags, canvas/panels/paper.

The following is a link to a blog by Charley Parker about plein air equipment:

While plein air seems cumbersome to studio painters, this type of painting reconnects a person with the spirit and energy of nature and with the opportunity to become completely engaged with natural landscape, not to mention the opportunity to simply enjoy the outdoors. For those who are hesitant, perhaps a good way to start is to simply take a sketch book and pencils and go from there. If the experience is rewarding, purchasing more equipment will ensue.

The following is a link to a blog written by Timothy M. Joe that may help getting started:














Friday Night Club What You May Have Missed November 2 – Darlene Kulig

(Submitted by Ingrid Mueller)
DVAC was lucky to find Darlene Kulig to fill a cancellation, as it was an insightful evening with a very talented artist.
Darlene Kulig was awarded the CSEA/Berol Prismacolour National Art Scholarship awarded to six Canadian students entering Fine Arts based on outstanding potential in visual arts.
Graduating from the Ontario College of Art and Design she quickly moved into a commercial setting and within four years of graduating was running her own successful design studio.
Darlene began painting full time ten years ago. Her work utilizes synthesis or stylization – an approach that came into Eurocentric art from Japan in the mid 1800’s. Many of Canada’s great landscape painters (Lawren Harris being an obvious example) have done this. Darlene makes her approach her own by using strong (high key) colour and uniting smaller shapes into larger more powerful areas by controlling her values. Her love of the beauty available in the Canadian landscape is clear. What is especially impressive is that she has developed a unique very personal approach that “feels” Canadian. (Kulig website)
She describes her work as semi-abstracted spirited landscapes.
From her artist statement: “The designer in me loves simple shape and bold colour while the painter in me explores light, rhythm and personal connection. I continue to play with a careful balance between my intellectual and intuitive self.”
We were very fortunate to have Darlene share a few of her secrets to creating such striking landscapes:
1. Work with negative space. Don’t paint things, paint the difference between things.
2. Pay attention to the elements of design: colour, line, shape, value and intensity
3. Don’t worry so much about the colours you use, just as long as the values are right
4. Review your work checking things like: unity, harmony, balance, repetition and transition.
Darlene shared her biggest secret as to how she attains that great distinction between the shapes in her paintings.
She starts with a sienna underpainting. She then uses a pastel stick (green) to create the lines between her shapes. After painting the shapes she erases the chalk lines. The result is an equal, balanced outline between the shapes in her landscapes. The result both draws the entire painting together with the sienna line, but distinguishes the shapes. A remarkable, signature style Darlene has developed.
Currently, Darlene is focusing her creative efforts full time on developing a recogn, signature Kulig Canadian landscape as well as traveling with an eye for her next painting series. A member of the Etobicoke Art Group and Neilson Park Creative Centre where she studies and paints, you can find her work in galleries across Canada and the United States as well as private collections around the world.
You may see more work by Darlene Kulig at: