Guest Artist Janet Read – Friday April 13, 2018

{submitted by Brent Arlitt}

Janet Read does not work from plein air studies nor from photographs, but internalizes the landscape as she views it. Her color-saturated work has an aura of mystery.

Janet paints on canvas, board and Mylar (also called Dura-lar), using acrylic, oil. She is drawn to watery subjects. Her use of pouring medium allows her to reveal the layers of paint and light, and gives an impression of depth. Using large palette knives, the artist achieves structural effects by dragging the paint. There are many additional techniques that she uses. For example, to create a watercolor effect she scrapes top layers of paint to reveal the colors underneath, she uses a breyer or spatula to create structure, and she imbeds a drawing or other image into the painting.

Janet is experimental in her approach and believes that mistakes are opportunities for learning and advancing her art. She often paints with her surface resting on the floor, and makes sweeping movements to apply the paint, in what might be described as almost a dance-like movement.

One of the artists who has influenced Janet is Howard Hodgkin, the late British artist and printmaker.

Janet demonstrated some techniques for using pouring medium and promised to send to Don Valley Art Club members further information from Golden about the use of pouring medium.

For personal details about Janet Read, and her extensive career as an artist, writer and musician, see Janet’s website:

Friday Night with Ernie Francis – March 16

(Submitted by Ingrid Mueller)





Ernie Francis is not only a talented artist but an eloquent speaker. Sharing his journey from his place of birth in Indonesia to his final destination, Canada, Ernie showed how truly eclectic his art expression is.

Working in a variety of mediums, his training in graphic design and having had a successful career as a graphic designer and illustrator, is very apparent in his use of calligraphy in his paintings and his attention to composition. His love of literature and poetry is also evident in his calligraphic paintings. Having said that, he suggests that although detail is important, artists should strive to keep the viewer interested. Use detail to the point where they still have to use imagination.  Otherwise, the artist is really just a technician.

While Ernie has produced wonderful work in watercolour and acrylic, the technique he demonstrated was one he discovered while investigating encaustic painting. While encaustic produces wonderful results, the method is somewhat toxic and requires special equipment and ventilation. In search of an alternative, Ernie discovered the genre of cold wax painting. Cold provides the artist with the ability to experiment with texture and the physicality of paint layers.

Cold Wax Painting is any type of painting that heavily utilizes Cold Wax Medium into oil colors. In its own way, Cold Wax Painting blurs the line between oil painting and encaustic painting. (ref:

The best substrate to use is something rigid like a wooden panel, otherwise the wax may crack on a canvas surface. Ernie recommends that the maximum ratio of wax to paint is 50/50, but it depends upon the amount of transparency one desires. It is much like glazing, but the effect is a matt finish and almost velvety.  Ernie works his painting in layers which gives depth to the subject and provides interesting colour qualities that one cannot achieve by premixing the oil paints not to mention the interesting textual effects that can be achieved with wax.

His experimentation with this medium has resulted in two series of paintings that speak to the great results obtained only by using cold wax.

As a full-time artist, Ernie produces new work regularly, which can be viewed at

Friday Night with Victoria Wallace – March 9

(Submitted by Ingrid Mueller)






Victoria Wallace has an impressive CV and a list of exhibitions longer than your arm, but what is most impressive is her signature technique she has taught at Haliburton School of Art, and other workshops called 21st Century Grisaille.

Victoria has created some wonderful work in a variety of mediums. Oil was her original medium of choice and still is when she works in encaustic, but the technique she demonstrated tonight requires acrylic paint.

She has modernized Grisaille and developed a technique that achieves stunning results.  Grisaille is described as painting in grey monotones, often used in paintings of stone sculpture.  Victoria has taken the technique a step further. Using dry medium like charcoal, one sketches a scene or subject on the canvas of paper. In order to seal the charcoal to eliminate smudging, you paint the drawing with acrylic medium.  She notes that ALL of the lines must be coated with medium, as the black will, otherwise, darken the colour you paint on top. It’s much like doing an underpainting without using black. Once this stage has dried (pretty fast because it’s acrylic) one paints a wash of desired colour over the painting. The results are impressive, leaving the painting with an almost ghostly, soft appearance.

Victoria promised to send us an image of this painting once finished.  We look forward to seeing it.

You may visit this website to see more work by Victoria Wallace:

DVAC Artists Volunteer for the Sunnybrook Ceiling Tiles Project

On Saturday, March 10, 2018 twenty DVAC artists volunteered to paint 24 ceiling tiles (each on 24 inches x 48 inches) for Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.
The Hospital places the tiles in procedure rooms throughout the hospital, and finds a sponsor for each tile. The painted tiles provide a calm distraction for patients, as well as raising funds for the hospital.

Special thanks to Susan Abbott, DVAC member and Sunnybrook Volunteer Associate for organizing, transporting, priming. setting up, taking down and bringing treats for the artists!



Friday Night with Ted Hamer – March 2





(Submitted by Ingrid Mueller)                                                                 

Ted Hamer brought something new and different to the March 2nd Friday Night Club and it appeared to amuse, entertain and inspire our group.

As an artist/educator and OCAD graduate currently teaching at Cedar Ridge Creative Centre in Scarborough, Ted has worked in a variety of mediums; oils, pastels, sculpture and as a muralist.  His love for wildlife has led him to become an accomplished pet/wildlife portraitist and sculptor. Ted’s favorite sculpting medium is polymer clay, specifically Sculpey.  It is a product that is available in most art supply stores and comes in a variety of colours and remains fairly pliable until baked in the oven.

Ted suggested that quick thumbnails of your desired outcome are a good idea, especially if you decide to sculpt a figure.  This drawing will be helpful when creating your armature. Selecting a base is important, and as it will have to be baked with the sculpture, a thick wooden base is recommended.  The wire for the armature can be aluminum or steel.  Both are available at Home Depot or sculpture supply stores.  Ready made armatures can also be had, but it is easier and cheaper to build your own and make it to your specifications.  Balls of aluminum foil can be used to fill out what are supposed to be larger areas, then covered with clay.

Ted recommends applying the clay in small balls and smoothing.  Although it can be applied to the armature in large sheets, one tends to spend more time spreading and smoothing than is necessary.  Depending upon the size of your figure the first layers can take many hours and then come the details.  Simple wooden sculpting tools that can be purchased at any art supply are recommended.  One can also purchase detailing tools that will be used for fine details, particularly faces, hair and clothing detail.

For Sculpey III, preheat to 275 degrees F (135 C). Bake for 15 minutes per quarter inch of thickness.  For example, a piece of 1/2″ thickness should be cured for 30 minutes.

Ted is currently working on a series of animal/human characters that he intends to mold and make copies for sale. Ted is a professional artist specializing in murals.  His company is called Cre8tive Painting.

You may follow Ted at