Allowing for a transformative experience

I asked Elizabeth why she thought we do what we do and what we hope to teach in our upcoming workshop.  I am moved by what she wrote:

“I went on a walk and tried to get words around it. It’s hard because it involves a way of thinking about life as well as a way to practically get more art into every day.

What we’ve been able to figure out with practice has to do with allowing for pleasure, for contemplation, for meditation, for beauty, for, and I believe this with my whole heart, a transformative experience.

What we are really doing when we draw every day is to see and interpret and transform our experience of the everyday. Elevating it and us with it. “

In an ideal world I would have worked a bit longer at this sketch, found more information, this is what I made with the time I had.

This is a corner of my Dad’s study at the Jackson House, it gives a taste of the density of stuff in his house.  I like the contrast between interior and exterior and the pice of pottery thrills me.

Here is a link to our quick sketch workshop in the DC area April 28&29.

Using a photo reference

I prefer to sketch these days from life, but I thought it might be useful to post something about how I think in paint using a photo ref.

I usually get a few lines down to see  what I am looking at and to figure out what it is about this that I really want. This is important. I’m not trying to record the whole thing, but, rather, I’m selecting out bits I like best and the things I think I might be able to best get a hold of in paint. I think Margaret said this about painting, when we were teaching; that unlike the photograph itself, a painting is not a democratic record of a thing or event.

With that in mind, I zeroed in on the cosmos and and zinnia and let the rest of it go.

Also, because I am an oil painter, I usually go in there and get the darks first. This isn’t what watercolour painters usually do. They lay in the lights first. I like to know where my darks are and how the thing is going to be anchored and this is also my oil training. Also in this little sketch the darks are mostly abstract shape and I just love that.

Okay out the door again!


You’re so invited: sampler Art Class with Elizabeth this summer:)

I am teaching a little bit of everything for a week this summer in a beautiful part of the world. Here’s the little ad I made this morning to post.

This will be a lot of fun. We’re going to let loose with lots of different kinds of art making materials and we’ll have a figure model for two of the days which, of course, is just heaven.

In addition to the course, I’m counting on some pretty good swimming up in Haliburton as well great spots for more painting outside of class hours!

So here’s the  ad:

Are you interested drawing and painting but not so sure where to begin?
Here’s a great course to try a little bit of everything for a week in glorious Haliburton this summer!
All levels of art experience are welcome☺

Click here to register


TEL: (705) 457-1680
TFN: 1-866-353-6464
FAX: (705) 457-2255

This is a great drawing and painting sampler course suited to all abilities. In an easy, relaxed classroom atmosphere you will create artworks using a variety of mediums such as pencil, watercolour, acrylics and soft pastels. Each day, using the step-by-step instruction style, a new medium, technique, colour theory, composition or design element will be introduced. The basic elements and principles of art will be incorporated into the lessons. In addition to creating artworks using the step-by-step method, you will be given an opportunity each day to create your own artwork using the newly introduced technique and design element in the ‘artist choice’ time slot.


Start:Monday June 27, 2016
Ends:Friday July 01, 2016
Instructor:Elizabeth HutchinsonProfile


Length:47.5 hours
Day/ Time:Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday (9:00am – 4:30pm)
Price:$340.58 (Canadian dollars)
Note:There will be a $50 material fee payable to the instructor.


informal watercolour sketch classes available this summer

I’m offering eight informal watercolour sketch classes this summer in Prince Edward County, Ontario. Below are the dates and spots still available. Please email me at: for more information and to register.

Here’s a link to a video to see a little bit of my painting process.



8 Informal watercolour sketch classes


Wednesday June 24, 9:30-11:30am

3 spots

Wednesday July 1, 9:30-11:30am


Wednesday July 8, 9:30-11:30am


wait list (1)

Wednesday July 15, 9:30-11:30am


Wednesday July 22, 9:30-11:30am


Wednesday July 29, 9:30-11:30am


Wednesday August 5, 9:30-11:30am

2 spots

Wednesday August 12, 9:30-11:00am