Here is a page of typical classes I have offered this year. I will be posting fall classes soon. 





One of the challenges of painting with acrylic is to avoid the flat “paint-by-number” look. The key is creating lively surfaces, which draw the eye closer, even when the passage is large (i.e. a sky, a wall). In this popular workshop (appropriate for both beginners and experienced painters) we will work on canvas with simple compositions to create interesting surfaces with layering and glazing, resist, and transitions of colour and value. We will also introduce texture using applied papers and acrylic mediums like modelling, molding pastes, and gels. Students should bring two small canvases (8” x 10”, 10” x 10”, or 12” x 12”). (Check Opus online for an idea of costs). All other materials provided.

Cost: $220 




Anyone can learn to draw! A drawing practice is good for your brain, relaxing, and can provide a foundation for other media. This class is designed to help you jump into drawing, to teach you some quick and simple ways to improve your drawing, to help you draw more quickly and accurately and to SEE the world in a different way. We will cover basic drawing technique including contour, line, and something I call drawing from the outside in.

$190 All materials provided




One of the most common comments I hear from students is “I’d like to loosen up in my painting.” 

This class is designed to introduce you to some exercises, techniques and materials to help you break out of old habits, loosen up your work and find the fun in painting again!
We will work with graphite, pens, and watercolour in day 1 and acrylics in day 2. Bring two small wooden cradles (ie. 10” x 10”, 6” x 9”)
$220 All materials provided. 


painting by Anne Sedola




An illustrated journal is a wonderful way to keep a record of day-to-day life as well as travel. A quick illustration can capture a memory in a unique way. In this class we will go over materials (journals, watercolours, pencil crayon, pens), and techniques (basic watercolour and pen and ink). We will learn how to simplify a scene to make a quick sketch, using some basic rules of composition, as well as review specific techniques of landscape painting. Finally we will explore creative ideas to get started on your own illustrated journal. Paper, pencil crayons and pens provided. Each student will also receive a custom bound journal. Students can bring their own watercolours or pay a $10 materials fee for paint. 

Cost: $220 



France 2017

As always, the talented Toronto artist, teacher, and writer  Kelley Aitken and I will be returning to France to teach two workshops in September:

Urban Sketching in Paris  and Plein Air Drawing and Painting, in the tiny village of Espedaillac in southwest France. 



Be a flaneur, stroll the boulevards of Paris with a paintbrush in hand.

Workshop: Wednesday, August 30th to Wednesday, September 6th
– eight full days of instruction with a farewell dinner on the 6th.


Shakespeare and Company, Kelley Aitken

Some student comments on their Paris workshop:

This was a grand experience! I had such a good time being with you and the group. The art instruction and the museum experiences were invaluable for the future. I appreciated, as well, the warm regard you both had for the group and the sense of humor and good will that prevailed throughout. Lisa Zucharelli

I absolutely treasure the time spent in Paris and feel the trip was indeed worthwhile to me and I hope you both feel inspired to carry on and share your talents with others who will discover the joys of France and outdoor sketching....Giverny-Absolutely magical. I was very moved by the gardens it was just like walking through the paintings and the village and museum were wonderful.  Vida Newington


Sunday, September 10th to Tuesday, September 19th
—9 days of instruction with a farewell
dinner on the 19th.

Contact me for more information 


 Some student comments on their Espédaillac experiencew:

Thank you to you both for making the entire 8 days another amazing and memorable experience for me. You were a dynamic duo with an abundance of knowledge, skill and experience  that you so willingly and generously share with such grace and humour, Sally Fisher, Vancouver BC

This experience was memorable and exceeded my expectations from the location in the picturesque village of Espedaillac, the accommodations, our drawing and painting instruction and projects, the field trips and projects, the opportunity to meet local people... the wonderful local cuisine in the restaurants that we went to, and most of all the caring concern for our welfare and our learning by both of you Kelley and Alison. Thank you for this incredible experience. I loved it, Corine Clark, Vancouver BC

Have a look at the blog to see what we and our students were up to.

Where is Espedaillac?:

Espédaillac is in the Lot region of the Midi-Pyrénées:
25 kilometers from Figeac, 40 kilometers from Martel, 45 kilometers from Saint Cirq la Popie, 30 kilometers from Rocamadour, 20 kilometers from Peche Merle, 50 kilometers from Cahors. An hour and a half from Toulouse airport. Five hours by train from Paris.

This region is known for its traditional rural heritage, medieval towns, castles, villages, fields and orchards.
You can visit a couple of websites to get a feel for this beautiful area:

page3image18152 page3image18312


Espédaillac is a charming village set in an area known for its natural and architectural gems, fortified towns and villages, hiking trails, Romanesque art, cheese, wine and typical markets.

The perched medieval town of St. Cirq Lapopie






Nanaimo, Vancouver Island BC Painting Lessons

I teach painting workshops primarily out of my studio on Protection Island, near Nanaimo B.C. Students enjoy the studio's intimate setting, nestled in the garden of my waterfront home, as well as the small class sizes (maximum 8).  Visit this space for updates on offerings.

"Thank you very much for creating a warm, encouraging environment, for teaching me so much in so short a time and for making me feel I can't wait to learn more, and have more fun!! and get better."

 -Margaret Litch, Nanaimo, BC








A small foot passenger ferry leaves the Nanaimo boat basin near Cameron Island at ten after the hour and returns on the hour from Protection. The trip is 10 minutes and the cost is $9 return.

The nearby Dinghy Dock floating pub is a great place for dinner.