Monday, December 31, 2012

Art workshops posted for 2013 at the Broody Rooster

Well, that time of year has come again. Time to post the calendar of workshops for the 2013 year. This year I have kept the focus to art and there are workshops happening throughout the summer. If you are wanting to work with Acrylics, get some creative time with others and be inspired by some country air - make sure to join us.

For a list of the workshops, please go to for a full list of events.

All workshop participants are invited to show their art at this years Summer Art Show and Sale, August 15-18 at the Broody Rooster.  That way you can invite friends and family to share in your success and, if you want to add a price tag to it, you can sell it as well!  More information to come on that... but for now - sign up before all the spots are gone!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Artisan Tour a big success

This years Artisan Tour was a big success.  I had two guest artistans at the Broody Rooster Gallery - Marci Leighton and Lesley Lorenz. This was Marci's "coming out event" as an artist and she sold a ton of artwork! Congrats Marci.  This is Lesley's second year with me and her artwork commanded just as many kudos from the crowds.

We had folks come through the cottage like other years, but this year, they were also able to head out into the barn to find more artwork upstairs. I think extra space was great, and I know people enjoyed getting out to visit a farm and the critters around the place.

The art tour is always so much fun. I get to see all kinds of folks that I haven't seen for awhile, talk art, sell it but most importantly, it helps me grow as an artist. I can see my own work change each year and having people comment on their favorites is helpful and appreciated.

Connected - SOLD

Thanks to our visitors and to those that bought our artwork. We hope you enjoy it for years to come.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

My biggest canvas

This year my photography and painting took a bit of a break while I worked on my largest canvas ever - my new barn.  I have always dreamed of a new barn - a space where the sights and sounds of farm life abounds.  I love looking at century old barns on the landscape and wonder about what stories the walls could tell if they could speak.

Barns have been a treasured part of our landscapes for years.  Instead of castles and forts, the legacies of the agricultural history of our country belong in farm yards where the central piece was the barn. Larger than the homes on the property, these barns were often functional and beautiful. 

The old barn we inherited on this farm was built like so many of todays farm structures - cheaply and for temporary use.  It was a pleasure to burn it down and clear the land for a new structure. And now, after months of planning and construction, the new barn is what I enjoy first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

For a great story on the barn, check out the new Island Farm and Garden magazine where it made the front cover.  And, if you are available to come and visit during the Cedar Yellowpoint Artisan Tour - Nov 15-18, 2012 - come and see the art on the walls.

Cedar Yellowpoint Christmas tour 2012

Well it is almost upon us!  This year will be an exciting time for us as we open the doors to our cabin and also our new barn as venues for the studio tour. It has been a busy year for us around here but we are happy to host everyone here November 15 - 18th from 10 am to 5 pm.

This year I have visiting artists Lesley Lorenz and Marci Leighton joining me. Their beautiful art will complement the many pieces I have been working on.

What is on the tour at the Broody Rooster?
  • Lots of artwork - farm inspired including cows, pigs, sheep, hens, horses, flowers and old trucks... scenery and more.
  • Canning - Blackberry, Plum/Apricot, Spiced Pear, Saskatoon, Logan Berry, Cherry and Crabapple - all from fruit here on the farm.
  • Painted wine glasses of horses - hot sellers last year that are added again!
  • Sewing items from local gals
  • Horseshoe art from Dan Gogo
  • Photography by Davis Hammer
  • Soaps by Surf Girl - Sylvia
  • Art cards
  • Magnetic Chalk Boards (sold out last year with these popular items!)
  • Coat hangers (distressed with funky hangers)

So come by for some hot apple cider and enjoy browsing and buying.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Pastry Princesses Unite

I don't know about you, but perfect pastry has often seemed a mystery. Too tough, falls apart, sticks to everything... you know the drill. Thank goodness for frozen pie shells! Pastry making is definitely an artform...

Well not anymore! This afternoon four of us learned new skills - how to make perfect pastry by Mary Carr. When we entered her place, you could smell tarts cooking in the oven. She began by giving us a sample of what was to come - and asked us our issues with pastry. Well some eat it raw, others have pressure to live up to mom's, but clearly - we were all challenged (even to read the recipe!). She went over how she learned to perfect pastry - by experimenting and specializing in it at University and having to cook for hungry workers. After going over her tips (ah, you thought I'd share them eh? Not that easy! take a workshop because it's about more than the four ingredients!) we got to work making our own pastry.

We each made our pastry with enough for 3 pies each. Funny quotes during the process:

  • "Take it easy!

  • "Heh, don't be so aggressive"

  • "Do you want some nutmeg?"

  • "It needs embellishment"

  • "Help!"

  • "Nicole!"

A fun process but I also learned a ton! I hope to now make pastry that gets compliments. Thanks Mary and gals - its always fun when sage ladies get together to swap secrets. Interested in another one - let me know and I will keep a list together of folks for another one.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Pet First Aid Course

Today, Kerri Lynne Wilson delivered a Pet First Aid course to participants at the Broody Rooster. These fun-filled, informative Courses are the longest standing in Canada. Pet lovers earn a Certificate while they learn and practice dealing with cat & dog emergencies including:
· Bleeding, broken bones and other wounds
· Choking, CPR and Artificial Respiration
· Learn to recognize early signs of illness
· Learn ways to help prevent illness and injury

They also receive an extensive, 2011 edition manual and a “quick guide” for first aid kit
and get a Certificate provided upon successful completion.

If you want to know more about upcoming workshops or want to organize one with instructor Kerri-Lynne Wilson (trained by WALKS ‘N’ WAGS PET FIRST AID ) call her at (250) 619-0352 Or e-mail reveille(at)shaw(dot)ca

More information is available at:

The Broody Rooster can be rented for workshops and events - $10 per hour or $100 for the day. for more information see

Monday, February 13, 2012


Well, today I thought I'd follow up with the outcomes of the workshop. Some of the best results yet - am sure you will agree.

Kim and Lynn met me a few years ago at the first Horse Expo event in Nanaimo. They wanted to come for a workshop before but the timing hadn't worked out. So, I am so glad it worked for them this time. They are a hoot. Both of them did an amazing job (giving the high five) on a portrait of their horse (Tara and Maddy). I hope they enjoy them on their walls and get a few bragging rights for years to come!

Astri is a creative with an impressive art background (PhD - oh man!). If she wasn't such a charmer, I'd have been intimidated. She worked on three paintings for the weekend - one that she had a draft of before she came and was struggling with to add colour. The next was an image that she wanted to get out that was formed in her mind (in the photo). And the last she was just getting onto canvas before she left. She excels in her understanding of values - and I just loved her outcome.

Tammy is my most loyal workshop participants. She was bold at this workshop and started a new painting of her youngest horse Beemer to add to a Triptych of her horses. We had talked about her choice of image and colours to complement the other two. In between the drafts of Beemer, she began a fun painting of her cat VK on top of one of her horses. It is such a great photo and is coming along so nicely - I know it'll be one of her favorites.

So, once again, we had a great time in the process and ended up with great products. Thanks Deb and Launie for your hospitality at Twincreeks and thanks workshop participants for your open, honest, hard working, willing and fun loving nature. I hope to paint with you and ride with you sometime again soon.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Starting out and making the tough decisions

Today we spent the day digging into the workshop. I went over equipment and supplies in the morning and then we ventured outside to spend some time with the horses. Getting inspired to paint is sometimes easier said than done. The night prior we viewed a number of paintings of horses that Kim and I had downloaded so that we could talk about what sorts of paintings inspired us. We piggy backed on this today by looking at our own images of horses. Lynn and Kim grabbed their horses and then brought them one by one into the round pen to move around. I think the horses enjoyed it and it gave me a chance to get some great action shots of them with my camera. We even staged a photo shoot with one of the horses and Astri on the ground to give her a source photo to work from for a painting that she had been coming up with in her mind (that was an experience)!

Once the gals downloaded or chose the image they wanted to work from, we headed downstairs to get the main composition onto the canvas. Usually in workshops I spend a long time going over basic sketching techniques so that people can get their composition right and onto the canvas. This can sometimes take a long time and I know that it causes anxiety in people who are worried about getting it right. Like most things, if you don't get the composition right, you will struggle with everything else as errors accumulate. So, to help move this along - I brought the new projector I bought. It projects the image of whatever you want to paint onto canvas and then you can sketch around the image. I haven't used it before as sketching is pretty old hat to me now, but I watched the students use it and they loved it.

So, with the hard work done on decision making - tomorrow will be about getting colour onto canvas with the intent of leaving with a painting done. Based on what I see so far, these paintings will be some of the best yet. Stay tuned...

Come all ye cowgirls

This weekend was another one of my painting workshops, but with an emphasis on horses and at Twincreeks in Duncan. We had a great group of gals join in to learn to paint or to advance their skills in painting horses. One never knows who will sign up to these workshops and when you are going to spend three days together, you always hope they are fun loving folks. Well, we sure got that one covered this weekend.

Friday night we got acquainted over a beverage of our choice while we settled in. I then did a demo on a picture of a friends horse "Sterling" that I took a couple of years back. The image above is the outcome - to date - and I may fiddle a bit more with him before I post him on the site.

With every workshop, I learn something new that I want to do to enhance the experience for the participants. This time I did a demo and asked them their goals for the workshop, and told them a bit about what would happen over the next few days. The emphasis Friday was on getting to know one another and watching the first stage of the painting appear - from sketch to composition. I never do my best work at my workshops as I am more into the students work than my own - but this weekend was a bit different. As much as I hate the colour purple - which was my background choice - I have to say that painting the things I love the most - horses - with the colours I like the least - purple - was a good way to expand my palette.

More on the workshop in the next post... watch us unveil our masterpieces!

Fixing up a portrait

I have always shyed away from portraits. But my last commission was a portrait (with a horse) and I was nervous about representing her well. I recognize though, that moving into those fears is a good thing. So, this past weekend, I had a neat opportunity present itself to work on a portrait. A friend had a portrait of his daughter that he had commissioned years ago. He was never really happy with the entire outcome and showed me with an invitation to work on it. I was a bit reluctant, but our entire group strongly agreed that the "before" portrait looked a bit cartoonish - like a cute little head put onto a cut out like we see at the county fair! See what you think. He shared with me the original photograph where I saw her in a cute little pink sweater.

After sleeping on it all night, I decided to have a go at it - thought I'd give it a dark blue background to help her pop out and to contrast with the pink - and bring out her blue eyes. Then, I gave her a pink sweater like the photograph. Added more red to her hair as she was a strawberry blonde, and more definition on her eyebrows and her eye lashes. A few highlights and a button, and I called it "finished". It was a better outcome for sure, and it was a good lesson for my students about backgrounds and palette choices. They matter!

See what you think in the before and after...

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Foals first snuggle

Last year I saw a great photograph in the Pacific and Prairie Horse Journal equine photo contest of a young girls snuggling a foal. When I looked closer, I recognized the girl as one of my fellow BC Competitive Trail Riders' - Katie. The photo won first place in the competition, and rightly so, as it captured the moments we all want to keep in our memories forever.

The next time I saw Katie and her mom, I mentioned that someday I'd love to paint the picture -it would be a challenge, but I thought the inspiration from the photo would provide enough strength to do it. Luckily for me, Katie contacted me in the fall asking if I would paint it for them - and I happily agreed.

Once the rush of the holidays was over, I started on the painting and over the last two weeks it has come to a point where I feel it is time to go to its forever home. I was challenged to think of how I could get a brown hoodie, brown horse, light brown hair, and dirt forground to work with me and make the subject matter pop out. I used lots of transparent paints on it to provide depth and warmth - tones of reds, oranges and browns all to work off the color of the foals coat and Katies lovely hair. It is challenging getting a good photo of this one, but it looks great at night in a darkened room where the shading resembles a barnlight night. In terms of composition, I wanted to capture a circle with the eye traveling from the bottom left up to the foal, then over to Katies face - with the magic captured in the look between her and the foals face. I've become quite attached to it - and hope that this horse loving family will enjoy it for years to come on their walls. It brings back memories for me as a girl too with my new foals - and how I wish I had those moments captured.

So, off you go "foals first snuggle" to your new home. I enjoyed being a part of bringing little "All Fired Up" into the world.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Painting horses weekend Feb 10-12 at Twincreeks

Well, the time is here again for another fun weekend at Twincreeks. Last years workshop was a huge success and so we planned another one, for two nights this time!

So, get your calendars out and book the weekend. Two nights accommodation, excellent meals, acrylic art workshop and if you want to bring your horse - board is included too! You can have a well deserved weekend away, learn new skills, spend time with great folks AND leave with an original painting done by you! What could be better!

There are only 6 spots available, so book soon. You can pay online at the Broody Rooster Gallery but check on availability with a quick email first.

Hope to see you there!