At the University of British Columbia Botanical Garden

Saturday, Sunday, June 16/17, 10am-4pm

Register with the garden

cost: $130 garden members; $150 non-members



 OTHER CLASSES I TEACH, in my studio in Protection Island or in other venues



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 




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: $200 




As always, Kelley Aitken and I will be returning to France to teach two workshops in September:


The talented Toronto artist, teacher, and writer  Kelley Aitken  and I are excited about returning for the seventh year. In September, 2018, we will be offering a workshop in the beautiful city of Lyon. 

We're taking a break from our workshop in southwest France to scout possible new plein air sites to add to our repertoire. Follow this page for updates or 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.