I love it! Your painting is the best thing in my house, except for me, my wife and my daughter.
- Executive Chef Raphael, Vago,


Try Seriesfor Growth - December 2020

Took down the library show yesterday: 26 abstracts hanging for almost two months. Feels good to have taken part in something.

Also finished two works that had been lurking in the studio for months, part of the Dots series. Working in series allows for creation, reflection, adjustment, experimentation and, hopefully, growth.

Interesting to see colours or strokes or patterns that come up time and again like the flurry of white marks in the upper left corner - was doing that a decade ago!

Happy to see the brightness in this work. It is a happy piece. Hoping to create out more.

Be well!


Show time continues - October 2020

UPDATE 28Oct20: Art is back at the Alexandria Library starting with a two-month show of 25 of my abstract works. Usual library hours:
Mon 15:00 - 20:00
Tue -Wed 10:00 - 15:00
Th. 15:00 - 20:00
Fri 12:00 - 17:00
Sat. 9:00- 14:00

Be well!

All kinds of creativity - September 2020

I've been pouring creativity into the kitchen & garden this past month. Created four kinds of tomato soup! A Thai-inspired sweet potato soup is in the slow cooker now & goat curry is braising in the oven. Miss being served surprises in restaurants but certainly creating variety at home.

A new 30-foot garden bed meanders south from an 8-foot cedar trellis. For now it contains three miniature pines, a little quick fire hydrangea & a few perennials. Irises to be donated by friends will be installed as well as mine from under the crab apple.

I read about art, watch art videos, think about it A LOT! But, for now, a fallow period as we transition into fall. Feeling arty. Maybe by next month new production will fill this spot.

Be well!


Showtime! - August 2020

Creatives often work alone so it is grand when we can share our work with the public and each other. Covid has put a stop to much of that now, but The Glengarry Artists' Collective has been invited to mount a bricks-and-mortar show again at the Glengarry Pioneer Museum. It will be our 3rd year there but a rare "real" event for the Pioneer Museum during the pandemic.

Twenty-seven works will be in the Big Beaver Schoolhouse, many of them created during this time of isolating & distancing. Folks can simply drop in at the GPM but will have to wait if a group is already touring the exhibition, so reservations are recommended (Tel. 613.527.5230).

You can also see examples of creativity in the time of shutdown here, https://cagac.ca . Every four days we feature artists' reactions to the situation in a Covid Creativity column: inspiration and examples from our members with 33 editions so far.

Yep, art is often a solo task/joy but so much beauty and growth can come of it.


Selling Your Children - July 2020

The pandemic allows me time to paint, fight with the canvas, despair, attempt something new &, occasionally, succeed. Flowers for Vincent is such a case.

I'd recently painted over several older works I've never been satisfied with. A 10x8" canvas spoke to me as the likely recipient for an image of the irises in glasses & vases ranged along the dining table. I've painted irises many times.

But this time was tougher. There were too many flowers so I painted some out. Then not enough, then the light changed. I had the background colours right - or did I? The chalky sage green ground wasn't working. At the end of the 2nd day I took a break to review Vincent van Gogh's flower paintings, particularly the irises.

I discovered a well-known work of many irises against a white background has changed colour over the years. He'd originally painted them, as he wanted them, against a pinkish ground. Aha!

I overpainted the sage walls to disconcerting pinks & reinforced outlines. I made another pass, with thicker paint, reinforcing the flowers. It was done! I love it. But it sold immediately, almost against my will. It's like selling one's children.

Fortunately the pandemic also allows me time with the painting, until the owner can pick it up or I can deliver. Each time I pass it I stop to learn again what worked.

Just because - June 2020

Because there is time to risk
Time to wait

Time to revisit

Time to reconsider, to look, to question.
To appreciate . . . and then decide

Yes, that's done.

Time for Tea? - May 2020

Not a lot has changed in a month: playing in the studio is ongoing. I received a couple of books on Hockney's work to feed my painterly soul. The physical distancing required by COVID-19 creates lots of time to paint, experiment, play, consider & adjust.

Time for Tea is a statement and a query. I look forward to sharing a cuppa, face-to-face with friends. In the interim this colourful work is a gutsy, whimsical virtual tea party

Silver Lining - April 2020

The physical distancing required by COVID-19 creates lots of time to paint, experiment, play, consider & adjust. I've finished several works in March, mostly abstract, intended for a local show. Of course, like so many events, that show has been postponed.

I've managed to learn, work & play. Ampersand is one resulting work, continuing my interest in dots, gesture, layering & depth.

My studio hasn't been so busy in years. Unfortunate circumstances though a wonderful opportunity for focus-a silver lining.

It's Me! - March 2020

The February Glengarry Artists' Collective show featured about 30 self-portraits in various media, styles, concepts.

Folks were resistant to submit at first-portraiture is demanding. As John Singer Sargent said, "A portrait is a painting with something wrong with the mouth."

Once we explained we wanted self-portraits, however they interpreted that--traditional, cartoon, abstract, collage, stained glass, ceramic, carved, written word-the entries poured in.

Inner Sanctum is my take on that challenge: serenity within & some of my truths on the outside.

A really big show - February 2020

The Collectif offers a free two-day art extravaganza, open to all. From wine & cheese to coffee with artists, the 4th annual opportunity to engage with visual artists, writers & live music at our usual unusual venue--a funeral home.

The Show At Brent's Place 2020 [Glengarry Funeral Home 580 Main St S, Alexandria.] Viewings are:

. Friday, 21 February: a grown-up evening with four large rooms of distinctive art. Wine & cheese with entertainment by singer/songwriter/recording artist Katie Ditschun. From 6 -9 p.m.

. Saturday, 22 February between 9 & 1, families are encouraged to view the almost 200 works - paintings, sculpture, carvings, clay, bronze, writings. Have coffee, chat with the artists: find out what all the fuss is about.

Special this year
1. The 2020 Challenge to Artists: Self-portrait, however that can be interpreted! Traditional, cartoon, abstract, collage, stained glass, ceramic, carved, written word. Can you find the creator in their work?

2. Celebrating our writer members in two ways:
. Original one-page stories or poems distributed throughout the venue
. Techno-drabbles, 50-word originals scrolling across screens. Testing writers' abilities to express ideas in a very confined space.

3. Guest artists: students taking part in programs at Community Living, will be exhibiting with us because art is for everyone. A Collective member is their instructor. Also 10% of Collectif sales go to Community Living.

What is The Collectif?
Founded in October 2016, The Collective is 94-members strong & growing. We're a not-for-profit assembly of artists creating community-building programs. By artists we include the visual, musical, and authorial.

Our third mural, fêting Alexandria's 200th anniversary was installed in fall. We hold local museum shows & generate other community projects.

Creative use of resources is one of our mantras.

A new view - January 2020

Sometimes simplicity captures an image admirably.

The colours, composition & shadows of Hamlet bring it alive, creating an interesting & restful space for the eye.

Festivities - November 2019

Fully in the festive season: Diwali a few weeks ago, Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanza are coming very fast.

1 December The Festive Show opens in Alexandria, part of the Bright Nights display in our park. A month of freedom and painting, whoo hoo!

Happy holidays to all!

Translate the arts - October 2019

2 November, amazing! Local musicians, chili & cornbread, cash bar. Enjoy the music, ambiance & try your hand at painting. We'll have materials on sight so you can express how the music inspires you.

Come to Alexandria!

Apples and Art Tour, 28 & 29 September, 10-4 each day - September 2019

Next weekend, the first in fall, is looking good. Travel to the Alexandria region to see many fabulous artists & their works. Enjoy the weather, the changing leaves &, if you come on Saturday, a great lunch in Alexandria. More details & a map here https://www.applesandart.ca/contact/

I'll be with Bobi Leutschaft Poitras & Jen McDonald, The Leaf Lady in The Art Garage, #30 on the map.

Hope to see you!

Lifetime Learning - July 2019

Most aspects of life benefit from learning, honing skills, developing awareness, trying something new. Artists, too, can learn new techniques & approaches. The internet offers lots to choose amongst, good & bad.

Last week I attended a live Funky Landscape workshop in Brockville with Jesse McMahon. Drove down with Collective members, Kerry & Lynne, for a 9 to 5 of high-energy painting & pushing beyond our comfort zones.

We almost completed three works in that time, using colour combinations & "tricks" we hadn't tried before. We three were so uplifted by the day that we're bringing Jesse to Alexandria to offer a Funky Pets workshop to our people on 17 August!

Non-figurative work - June 2019

Working on abstracts is a challenging change from figurative art. One cannot check the light on the side of an object or focus on reflections. Creativity begins with the first glimmer of an idea & continues through composition, colour choices. Also title.

This is the third in the Dot Dot Dot series. All are on mid-sized 24x30" canvas & incorporate dots. But there the similarity ends. Each work develops its own integrity & reason for being.

So far 2019 has been an abstract year, with the Jazz series & now the Dots.

Those who can -- teach! - May 2019

One aspect of being a professional artist is sharing knowledge. I've been teaching creative acrylic classes for a few years in my little town, predominantly to newbies from 12 to 80-something years old.

It is challenging convincing someone who has never painted before that they can create pleasing images if they'll let go and play.

Here are eight images from the latest class: three artists had never painted before: yet 5 classes later it can be a challenge to choose which are new to the paintbrush!.


Working in Series - April 2019

Artists are told to create works in series, to pick a topic & run with it. Creating one image often stimulates ideas of how it can be adjusted, stretched, developed.

I've done several series:
. Child's Play, 4 works
. Orchards, 5
. Jazz, 3 & counting
. Doodads, 8 & counting
. Mother Goose, 5
And Frieze: five works in two colours, black & white using three rectangles against a uniform background. This was a challenge! Also a delight to uncover the variety possible within seemingly limited parameters.


Glaze Daze - March 2019

Challenging ourselves by learning new skills keeps the brain active, enriches other capabilities, keeps us humble.

Before Christmas I spent eight weeks working with ceramic pro, Brenda Sutton Mader. "Throwing" clay on the wheel was more physical & demanding than I'd expected. "Building" pieces had its own challenges. I'll acknowledge that by week 6 I was a tad downhearted.

But then Brenda started bringing in the fired works we'd shaped & painted. Seeing the finished works, colourful, shiny & whimsical, made the physical effort worthwhile & rewarded the weeks of experimentation.

My favourite is this pizza: mushrooms were formed whole, then sliced. The "sauce" was painted onto a textured crust.

I'm so delighted I've signed up for a five-day throwing camp: 5 daily hours of working on the wheel! Doing exercises to build my upper body strength. Art is satisfying, but can also be hard work.

The Show: At Brent's Place - February 2019

For a 3rd year, The Show: At Brent's Place, showcases local talent of the Glengarry Artists' Collective. On site, works by 46 talented & varied visual artists.

This year writer members will be involved too, with short works posted throughout the exhibit, as well as hyper-short works scrolling on the screens in every room.

Located at Glengarry Funeral Home [580 Main St S, Alexandria.] Viewings are:

. Friday, 22 February. Opportunity for a grown-up evening with four large rooms of distinctive art. Wine & cheese with music & song stylings by Gracie Graham. Doors open at 6.

. Saturday, 23 February between 9 & 1, families are encouraged to view the more than 100 works--paintings, sculpture, clay, bronze & other metal. Come have coffee with the artists: find out what all the fuss is about.

. Special this year: a mini exhibit by our partners at Community Living, an organization offering residential and day services for individuals with developmental disabilites residing in Glengarry counties.

Will we see you at Brent's?


Challenge among peers - November 2018

Abstract is one of the Special Interest Groups in our art collective. A few months ago, we agreed to this challenge: create work(s) based on a shared photo of a leafless tree. It was not a particularly prepossessing image.

Yet a few daring individuals rose to the challenge & recently presented their work to the public.

Said Bobi: "I loved this project! It took me three tries to come up with an abstract. In my first, the colours are somewhat representative of the photo - except the orange sky. In the second, the colours are abstracted, but the tree & its surroundings are still representational. Finally, I went solely by the feeling the photo gave me, ignoring the images--this resulted in an actual abstract."

Lynne also enjoyed the exercise: "With the photo as jumping off point & the nudge with the challenge, I feel I'm finally on the right track. I'd like to do more."

Katie is a new painter. "My second attempt I tried to look more closely to see what part of the image moved me the most." Katie overlapped four brilliant colours to create a moody technicolour work on paper that speaks to mood & remembrance.

I produced variations on the theme, Blasted Tree I & II: one bright & cheerful, the other a subdued multimedia work with a number of stylized trees inhabiting an indeterminate plane of words, textures, flowing colours.

We all agonized a little & learned a lot.

The Perfect Studio? - October 2018

A heavy bookcase in my studio collapsed last week. Nothing was damaged but the case was a write-off. The studio was a mess with piles of books and tchotchkes everywhere!

This necessitated an emergency trip to IKEA. Five short Billy bookcases, a chest of thin drawers for paint and a WONDERFUL worktable later the studio is better than ever, feels bigger and is looking grand.

I've gained wall space: surprisingly, floorspace too! The studio feels more joyful. Can't wait to see what comes out of it.

A Very Public Gallery, again - September 2018

In mid-September Collectif d'artistes de Glengarry Artists' Collective [CAGAC] will turn Main Street into a public gallery for a month, displaying artworks in about 35 business windows.

Last year people strolled the five blocks, peering in windows, discussing the merits or surprises of the diverse works: paintings, drawings, photography, pottery, stained glass, sculpture, papier maché. Find out more at https://cagac.ca/2018/08/13/wow-2018/

I'm thinking WOW will be talk of the town, again.

Perseverance & a Will to Try Anything - August 2018

The 40x60" inch canvas mentioned the last few blogs is finished! Well, almost. A little tweaking, photography & varnishing. But she's done & eliciting "Wows" from folks who have seen her.

Importantly, I "let go" and didn't think too much, working quickly before I changed my mind. Some exciting developments, which you'll see next month.

The Glengarry Pioneer Museum show was a success for the Artists' Collective with a number of sales and many positive comments, particularly about the variety of work.

August should be an opportunity for painting in preparation for WOW2018, our show in shop windows along Main Street, which runs from 15 September to 13 October.

Also developing more mural projects & other cultural interventions in the country.

Art busyness--paradise!

Movement & Projects - July 2018

The 40x60" inch canvas mentioned the last few months has advanced! An afternoon of creative abandon has brought direction, colour, motif--though we're not done yet.

In the interim, developing--and finishing--projects for the Glengarry Artists' Collective, including two mural projects. One, 12 x 16 feet, is pictured here.

This month The Collective focuses on local Glengarry artist, Stuart McCormick (1905-1992), including an exhibit, lecture and social evening.

Later in July, we'll have a Collective Art Exhibit at the Glengarry Pioneer Museum. I'm hoping to create another small work for that show. Seeing the impressionist show visiting from Denmark at the National Gallery helped to stir the creative juices! However, it is also grant proposal writing season, so may not have as much time as I'd like (need!)

Some Things Don't Change Quickly - June 2018

The 40x60" inch canvas mentioned the last few months hasn't advanced very far: in truth, I'm a little frightened of it though working on attacking, erm, sometime soon.

Still working on smaller pieces, including this companion work to an earlier donkey piece.

Stretching - May 2018

The 40x60" inch canvas mentioned last month hasn't advanced very far: in truth, I'm a little frightened of it.

So I've been working on being looser with a few smaller pieces, developing ideas. Also, adhering to advice to students in my Acrylics Creativity class and recapturing the wonder of discovery and exploration.

Can be hard to let go and be free!

Spring is . . . coming?! - April 2018

Spring is very slow arriving. So I'm synthesizing with a couple of small floral paintings. And an abstract. AND I've started a 40x60" canvas--haven't done that in a number of years!

Spring: a time for beginnings.

Art exhibit in a funeral home --but art isn't dead! - February 2018

Our local art Collective is building on a year of attention-grabbing art experiences including WOW--the month-long, town-wide exhibition on Main Street.

Our first public event of 2018 is a two-day art exhibit. Open to the art-curious, this is a unique opportunity to engage with 46 talented & varied artists at an unusual venue--a funeral home.

The Show. At Brent's Place 2018 takes place again at Glengarry Funeral Home [580 Main St S, Alexandria.] Owner Brent Hill loved last year's event in his beautiful space & repeated his offer: we'd have been foolish to say no. After all, artists help us see the world in different ways. Viewings are:

. Friday, 23 February. Opportunity for a grown-up evening with four large rooms of distinctive art. Wine & cheese with music & song stylings by Rachel Campbell. Doors open at 6.

. Saturday, 24 February between 10 & 2, families are encouraged to view the more than 100 works--paintings, sculpture, clay, bronze & other metal. Come have coffee with the artists: find out what all the fuss is about.

. Special this year: a challenge to artists to create works related to water, however they interpret that. This is part of WOW2.eau (yes, the pun is intentional) & will fill one room of The Show. At Brent's Place 2018. These works will become part of a public mural in town.

Will we see you at Brent's?


Holidays Over Already!?! - January 2018

I had great times with good people, interesting food including injera (stuffed Ethiopian pancakes) but Arctic weather.

Too cold to be outside so played in the studio & created an entry for WOW2.eau-a water-themed segment of The Show. At Brent's Place 2018 in February.

We're asked to depict water . . . somehow . . . anyhow. . . hence Water Treatment, with H2O rising out of the waves under a night sky filled with water constellations!

May your 2018 be filled with whimsy, health, creativity & content!


In the Break Between Teaching Sessions - December 2017

Last month I wrote of the urge to get to my studio. Well, classes are done, marks are in and December should be stretching ahead with lots of stay-inside kinda of days for painting. Yet . . .

Holiday cooking and baking.
A relative laid up with a serious broken leg.
And so it goes . . .

But, I'm applying for an art residency in the spring. Thinking a month away from routine, chores and the demands of daily life will free me to connect with the changes I feel are happening.

The chances of "winning" a spot are slim - many artists will be applying from around the world. But the exercise of applying is a good one in and of itself: an opportunity to focus on the why of creating.

So send good luck vibes!

Happy holidays!

Those Who Can't, Teach - November 2017

I'm fortunate to have a studio in my home, accessible at all hours, any day. Yet I haven't splashed much paint around lately, though I dream of it.

Instead, my time is taken up contriving art events for the coming year for our Artists' Collective and/or developing art classes to help others connect with their muses. It's artsy work but it isn't quite painting.

That's not all negative. I'm developing capabilities to critique & guide others, which in turn guides me. When I do get to my easel there may be some interesting changes & developments.

Can't wait!

A Very Public Gallery - October 2017

In my small town, our Artists' Collective has made Main Street a gallery for a month, displaying 160 artworks in almost 40 business windows. The show is called Windows on Our World, or WOW.

For about five blocks people can be seen strolling, peering in windows, discussing the merits or surprises of the diverse works: paintings, drawings, photography, pottery, stained glass, sculpture, papier maché.

WOW is the talk of the town - art is touching everybody.

The medium is the message? - September 2017

Some folks balk at words in paintings. I believe words can offer another level of meaning, perhaps guidance on interpretation too.

This work came about from an email discussion with an artist friend who works in paint, bronze and glass. A photograph of a blue glass heart nestled on the shore of a lake generated the comment from me, which she found humorous. Voila, new painting!

Sources for inspiration can be diverse.


Sending a message? - August 2017

This painting (featured in last month's blog) sold to a fellow whose autistic son loves horses. Demonstrates yet again that audiences are varied.

I'm happy to know this small work will bring particular joy to someone. The concept and execution gave me chuckles and joy too.

Summertime and the living is . . . hectic! - July 2017

Painting, cooking, entertaining and planning a town-wide show for the fall. Joined other members of the Glengarry Artists' Collective for a laugh-filled if soggy Canada Day Parade.

Saw these horses at either end of a shed recently and did a double take for the longest horse ever! Had to capture the image for posterity.

Busy times - which generate energy and creativity.

Spring, when an artist's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of . . . - May 2017

I attended a heart-warming wedding recently, which seems to have inspired some love-related musings. And paintings.

Life in the country is filled with domesticated animals and wildlife, which seems to have inspired some art-related musings. And paintings!

Working with the Glengarry Artists' Collective developing a month-long, town-wide art expo for the fall. More than 50 artists sharing their vision in Windows on Our World, or WOW.

Busy times! Generating energy and creativity.

Exhibition in a funeral home - but art isn't dead! - February 2017

The Show. At Brent's Place happens at Glengarry Funeral Home [580 Main St S, Alexandria.] Owner Brent Hill offered his beautiful space and we'd have been foolish to say no. After all, artists help us see the world in different ways.

Viewings are:

. Friday, 24 February. A grown-up evening with four rooms of distinctive art. Wine and cheese with jazz/pop piano and vocals by Katie Ditschun. Doors open at 6.

. Saturday, 25 February between 10 and 2, families are encouraged to view the more than 150 works - paintings, sculpture, glasswork, clay, bronze and other metal. Come have coffee with the artists: find out what all the fuss is about.

What is Glengarry Artists' Collective?Collectif d'artistes de Glengarry?
Founded in October 2016, The Collective is over 40 members strong and growing. We've been busy creating artist opportunities and partnerships: now, the first public event.

We're a non-profit assembly of artists engaging with residents to create community-building neighbourhood programs and significant personal and community growth. By artists, we mean visual, musical, performance and, occasionally, culinary!

[Have experienced a few technical issues lately, hence the delay in updating. Hope the gremlins are gone now.]


the just a little bit strange show / Le "show" un tantinet bizarroïde! - December 2016

For the month of December, some quirkier YC works are on display at the library in my town. It was great hanging this show with artist friends, laughing at the whimsical works, sharing stories about inspiration, colour.

Very liberating, too, having the freedom to juxtapose a Mermaid Selfie with cows on a Ferris wheel (Bossy & her Posse @ the Fair). If you're in the area drop by.

The Alexandria Library
170A MacDonald Blvd.
Alexandria On K0C 1A0

There'll be an artist's Meet & Greet on Saturday, 10 December from 11-12-ish.
Show runs from 1-31 December: find hours at http://www.sdglibrary.ca

[It seemed right to use Diane Collet's portrait of me, Endowment of the Arts, for the promotion.]


School Daze - November 2016

The days get shorter. That used to mean daylight hours were reduced with approaching winter. Now it signifies too many tasks & no time to tackle them all!

I'm about to teach my third class of über-keen beginner acrylic artists. It's stimulating, challenging & is affecting my output. Positively, I think. I'm re-finding the thrill of discovery, experimentation & colour.

As ever, the teacher learns from the students: wonder, trial & celebration. That dearth of time means no opportunity to edit out frivolity. Good thing! And occasionally the class lessons find their way into my work: for example, Colour Theory.


2016 Apple & Arts Tour, 24 -25 September - September 2016

G'day! The 25th Anniversary Apples & Art Tour is this weekend, 24 & 25 September, from 10-16:00 each day.

Take a drive through eastern Ontario to visit a few or all 26 artist sites for a close-up-&-personal interaction with creativity, colour & craft. The complete map is here http://www.applesandart.ca/contact/

I'll be set up in my garage and carport (address below) with artist colleague Bobi Poitras. Drop in! Located just behind Quirky Carrot. Plenty of parking, painting & art talk.

See you?


Yvonne Callaway
34 Centre St. East
Alexandria, ON K0C 1A0

What's in a Name? - August 2016

As mentioned in the last blog post, inspiration comes in many forms. Friends own several donkeys & photos led to a painting of this cosy pair. But what to call it?

A painting title guides the viewer to see the subject as the artist did. Occasionally a title can offer a level detail not supplied solely by paint.

The title, Jack & Jenny, reinforces the donkeyness of the subject - male donkeys are called Jacks & females are Jennies. The "human" names also anthropomorphize the pair, exaggerating their affection, making the image warm & appealing. So much so I finished the painting on a Monday afternoon & sold it that evening!

Some artists name their works, Untitled. Sad. Creativity in the title adds to the visual experience of the artwork.

Don't Take This Personally - July 2016

Inspiration comes in many forms. Sometimes a particular view of a friend: one showing a playful side of their character can lead to 3 Eggs & a Ham.

Friend Lesley is a good sport. She roared with laughter upon seeing the final work. This "portrait" reveals an aspect of her multi-faceted character but doesn't define her.

If you are the subject of a portrait, understand it is the artist's view at one moment - a jumping off spot for an exploration of colour, character, context, whimsy or something other. Don't take the result personally.

Days are shorter! - June 2016

The longest day of the year - the summer solstice - just passed. Days are, in fact, getting shorter & moving inexorably towards fall, then winter: a sad reality.

That thought is back of mind, spurring gentle action towards scheduling fall art classes & arranging a specialist media demonstration; mentoring new artists from last session; planning new works.

It is a relaxed & easy season to think, experiment, play. Also build up memories to warm the colder seasons that will come.

Summertime & the living is easy . . . - May 2016

Despite recent chilly weather, my studio vibe is relaxed - I'm planning a quiet season, painting steadily to:

1. Uncover stylistic changes inspired, in part, by my art students. Teaching is a great way to learn! Eager students question & keep me on my toes.
2. Design exercises for the fall painting class. Their enthusiasm creates interesting responses to challenges, & those responses inspire me!
3. Create a new body of work based on observations of the past several months; and
4. Prepare for 25th Anniversary of Apples & Art Studio Tour - Sept 24 & 25th. Will be painting & showing on-site, in the centre of town. Details to come.

A season to look forward to!

Is chocolate a need? - April 2016

A charming eatery has opened in my town, offering great coffee, authentic savoury or sweet crepes, baguettes to die for & possibly the best croissants in the world. Oh, and did I mention handmade chocolates?

The room is cosy and bedecked with paintings from YC-Art. Another fabulous reason for a drive to the country!

Glengarry Chocolate Factory
152 Main St S
Alexandria ON K0C 1A0
Tue-Sun 8:30 - 16:00

L'amour - February 2016

Group show for the month of love.
Vernissage Friday, 5 February from 19:00 to 21:00 at ARTelier du village
314 Bord-du-Lac-Lakeshore Rd.
Pointe-Claire, QC, H9S 4L5

Great art, clothes, shoes, objects, artists, karma!


If you want to learn, teach! - January 2016

In February/March I'm making the leap to teaching "art": sharing what I know about painting with trusting souls.

The five-week beginners' acrylic painting course is for a Learning for the fun of it group in my community. I was a tad jittery about it until I realised I'll be sharing my passion & way of thinking about painting with folks, not imposing a rigid system.

To prepare I've:
. Reminisced about good teachers & bad
. Reviewed tips & attitudes that helped me
. Reflected on key points to let students run free with their imaginations.

In the process I've revived my excitement about painting & anticipate the lively interaction with eager adult learners, knowing I'll be learning too. Whoo hoo!

Image: But Is It Art?

How do you know when a painting is done? - December 2015

I mentioned in last month's blog I was "just finishing" a commission of a chocolate lab. But . . . I wasn't quite sure if my amused interpretation would work with an audience - if the work was finished.

Sculptor/friend Vie Juteau & I were invited to speak to a local Brownie/Sparks troop about life as artists. I brought the painting - with several pastel "corrections" - to the talk, knowing the pint-sized critics would be clear and vocal. They were.

"Gross: he's peeing!"

But that's what dogs do.

Once the audience got past that slice of life they loved it: the colours, his eyes, the ball in his mouth, the multiple fire hydrants. I knew - aside from some slight adjustments - the painting was done.

Other times a work has to face the wall for several days, or be seen in a completely different environment. I've placed works at the top of stairs or in a bathroom to surprise myself, see the work with new eyes and ascertain if it is, indeed, finished or not.

Sometimes I'll see a sold work years later and think, "I'd do that a little differently" or "If I had a brush I might just adjust this." But at that point the work is done. Developing ideas and skills can be applied to a new work - the studio calls!

Where'd that come from? - November 2015

Folks often ask, "Where do you get your inspiration? How do you decide what to paint?"

Quick answer: from life.

A more thoughtful response incorporates the quick answer but adds everything can be grist for my mill. I'm intrigued or bewitched by many things.

Sometimes circumstances dictate.

I'm just finishing a commission of a well-loved chocolate lab; & excited to continue working on my Laughing Ladies series; while a gallerist in Montreal expressed interest this week in the Mother Goose series - so an opportunity to add to that group.

Other spurs to creativity:
. Feedback, in the form of comments or sales, is strong motivation to produce - they do love me!
. Looking at the work of other artists & being turned on by it.
. Solving artistic problems.
. The joy of being "in the zone."
. Occasionally, not being able to paint because of competing activities will stimulate an overwhelmingly strong urge to create.

The key is to respond to the drive &/or do everything in my power to generate it!

Another show!?! - October 2015

The Collectors Fair IV

YC joins seven other colourful artists at Galerie de la Ville for an annual invitational exhibition connecting artists & collectors (and those who just like to look.)

On display: acrylic paintings, digital prints, mixed media & sculptural works in clay & stone. As the news release says, "[A]n opportunity to select from well-known Montreal-area artists with solid techniques, proven practices & well-established reputations."

Whoo hoo!

Sunday, 18 October 2015 from 1 to 3 pm. The artists will be present.

Exhibition runs 17 October to 15 November 2015, at
Galerie de la Ville (lower level of the Dollard Cultural Centre)
12001 de Salaberry Boulevard

Opening hours:
Tue & Wed 12:00 - 16:00
Thu & Fri 14:00 - 17:00
Sat & Sun 13:00 - 16:00

For information, or to arrange free guided tours of this exhibition for your group call 514.684.1012 x298. www.dollardartcentre.com/gallery

Apples & Art - 26 & 27 - September 2015

Apples & Art 24th Annual Studio Tour is here & YC is a part of it!
I'll be sharing space with theatre and textile maven, Jan Cogley, at

As You Like It
21260 County Road 10 (a.k.a. Glen Robertson Road)
Alexandria ON K0C 1A0

That's only ~14 km from

1000 Angels Studio
19893 Kenyon Conc. 4
Alexandria ON K0C 1A0

where my buddy, Vie Juteau, will exhibit her metal magic and, perhaps, demonstrate how she does it.

Twenty-two studios to visit from Cornwall to Alexandria and the weather will be GLORIOUS!!! Come for a drive, peek at creative folks and their dens, have a country lunch.

http://www.applesandart.ca for map and details. See you there?

No rest for the wicked - August 2015

Summer rest is over, we are into Busy Times! Consider a drive in the country, art & a picnic. Come by before the snows fly (yes, it's gonna come, you know it will, so celebrate summer NOW!)

Sunday, 23 August 2015 9:00 - 16:00
Vie Juteau & I will be at the Martintown Grist Mill again for the Art & Farmers' Market.

4868 County Road 20
Martintown ON K0C 1S0

Apples & Art 24th Annual Studio Tour
Saturday, 26 September 10:00 - 17:00
Sunday, 27 September 10:00 - 17:00

More info at:

Wow - a lotta love! - May 2015

Vernissage for la campagne ludique (whimsical country) was last night

6 mai ? may 2015
17:00 ~19:30

The turnout was stupendous! At least 150 friends, family, art-lovers & strangers converged on the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts building for laughter, colourful cupcakes, wine and a veritable blizzard of red dots - whoo hoo!

Big callout to the great team at Georges Laoun Opticien for their support of the arts and artists. Also to Krystal & Roxanne of Cupcake KReation in Alexandria, Ontario for their colour-coordinated mini-cupcakes; & the musical team of Erin & Kiko for our country soundtrack.

Big hugs to all our fans - last night was a love-in.

The show runs until May 28

Countdown to Country Whimsy - May 2015

Vernissage for la campagne ludique (whimsical country) is

6 mai ? may 2015
17:00 ~18:30

The show runs may 4 ~ 29

montreal museum of fine arts building
georges laoun opticien
1396 sherbrooke ouest
montreal, qc h3g 1j5

Hope to see you there!

Winter to springiness - March 2015

Whimsical country images are starting to pile up in the studio for the joint show with metal-lace creator, Vie Juteau, in May (at Laoun Montreal Museum of Fine Arts).

Endless winter is a great excuse to hunker in the studio, mixing brilliant colours and media. As with these sweater-ready sheep. But I need a title - any ideas?

Flurries of work - January 2015

Creating takes heart, perseverance & drive. Rewards are inherent in seeing thought come to life in paint or movement, music or words. External rewards are sales (yes, I like to make my mortgage payments too!) & recognition by peers in juried shows.

Friend & fellow artist, Vie Juteau, and I are both part of The Art Gallery of Cornwall's 2015 juried exhibition, running 31st January to 6th March 6th,

168 Pitt Street
Cornwall ON K6J 3P4
Open Wed - Sat: 10 -17

This acknowledgment of our "vision" feeds the soul (it is feedback, after all) spurring further creation. The studio is "littered" with works in varying stages of finish. Some pieces slide easily from mind to brush or palette knife. Others hesitate - or downright stall! - for days, weeks and, on occasion, years.

But the creative sap is surging & works being created for 2015 shows: TAG, now; Montreal MMFA in May; Cornwall's Aultsville Theatre in June; Martintown Mill in August; and others being lined up.

End of year - December 2014

Busy times in the studio (and in the kitchen - cooking involves creativity too!) Also visits to galleries and museums: the van Gogh to Kandinsky show at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in Montreal yesterday and today the FABULOUS Jack Bush exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada with artist friend, Charmaine de Souza.

Drive was challenging with fog, rain, sleet & snow but sooo worth it. And, for once we agreed on an artist- both appreciating his technique, colour sense and recognizing facets of ourselves in Bush's self-questioning.

The art life involves much thinking, musing, arguing with oneself (and artist friends) therefore it is important to interact, share stories, trials, techniques.

Wishing all a healthy & happy holiday season, with pleasant surprises in 2015. Be creative!

Artsy Fartsy - October 2014

BIG thank you to the 40 plus folks who braved the fall chill to travel from Montreal, Laval, Alexandria, Apple Hill, North Lancaster to support us at the Martintown Art Market, and to the good folks of the Grist Mill who welcomed us so warmly. Yes, there were sales! We're already booked for 2015 - in August!

Days filled with thoughts and activities for shows: finished another "country" painting today - involves a purple cow and a vintage red tractor.

The big May show at Laoun Musée des beaux arts draws ever closer. And last week Vie Juteau and I accepted an invitation to show June 2015 in Cornwall at the Aultsville Theatre - our first Ontario show!

Bi-weekly drives to Montreal I absorb as much pre-winter country scenery as possible. This week no papers to grade, so most days will involve painting, whoo hoo!

Canvas, Creativity & Coffee is title of a session I'll be hosting for local adult education group, Encore, in February or March. The art calendar is filling! Fabulous.

First Nations & First Date - September 2014

Recently worked on this bison skull for neighbour, Big Wayne. Then, at his suggestion, I attended the recent Akwesasne Powwow. Pageantry, dignity, creativity and very individualized regalia. Spent six hours of a glorious day learning about Jingle, Grass, Smoke and other dances, as performed by tots to elders. A welcoming experience with First Nations participants from across North America.

First date with Vie Juteau coming up on Sunday. We'll show a selection of the type of work we're preparing for our big Montreal show May 2015.

When: Sunday, 14 September 10:00 - 16:00

Where: Martintown Grist Mill Art & Farmers' Market, County Road 18, corner County Road 20, Martintown ON K0C 1S0 (1 hr 18 minutes from Montreal)

Why: Will be a cool & sunny day, perfect for a country drive! Fresh air, fresh produce, collectibles, art. Great country breakfast/lunch at Martintown Trading Post 1803, right next door

What: Metalwork by Vie repurposing milk cans, chefs' knives & other items into exquisite metal lace
Small format paintings by YCS with colour, verve & joie de vivre.

Would be great to see you & share our love of country life.

Country Fair Winners! - August 2014

Just won five ribbons for my paintings at the 203rd Williamstown Fair, including 1st for portrait (2nd: landscape & nature; 3rd: floral & abstract). Friend & Metal Artist, Vie Juteau, won Best in Show for this lacey milk can!

Get used to seeing our names together. The May 2015 show at Laoun, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts - named La Campagne Ludique/Country Whimsy - will feature works by both, and maybe a few surprises.

If you can't wait that long, Vie and I will be at the Martintown Grist Mill Art & Farmers Market on Sunday 14 September, 10:00 - 16:00. (http://www.martintownmill.org/MillMarket.htm)

Take a country drive to the village of Martintown in historic Glengarry County, Ontario. The mill is a charming, rustic building in a picturesque setting on the north bank of the Raisin River. Have a good breakfast or lunch at The Trading Post or The Grand Hotel for a perfect Sunday day trip.

Love Letter to Glengarry County - July 2014

We moved to rural Alexandria from Montreal last June.

"Why move there?" folks ask.

"It takes significant adjustment," I say. "You need to recalibrate your attitude. Accepting friendliness, caring and thoughtfulness - and a pace that allows for human interaction. Also reasonable house prices. And knowledgeable trades people who work together, creating quality work at realistic rates."

"You can explore many local hamlets - Dunvegan, Dalhousie Mills, Lancaster, Martintown, Williamstown and the countless Glens - offering history, restaurants, fairs, rodeo, trails, museums, shops, colourful Christmas and grand Canada Day fetes. You gradually become an insider, experiencing the wealth of culture here: musicians, authors, artists, chefs, sports enthusiasts, bagpipes!"

I mention the rain gutter pro I'd stopped for advice outside my home - had never met Stephane before - who, while talking, noticed and fixed the elbow on my downspout: no charge.

Other positive aspects: farmers who explain their industry to this city slicker, patiently and with pride; fresh eggs and produce; the acceptance here of all people, by all people - the sense of inclusion; the county newspaper celebrating local events and people in town and country; superb medical care delivered in a timely manner.

We're here a year and I feel welcomed and part of the community, a good feeling. Explanations to friends back east reinforce why I love living in the county. People care, are helpful, have pride in what they do and who they are. They are creative and stimulate MY creativity - it's a little paradise.

The exhibition at Laoun Museum of Fine Arts in May 2015 will show you!

Abstraction vs Distraction - May 2014

Studio is fully functional, ready to stream creations for the May 2015 show at Laoun, Musee des beaux-arts. BUT, food, garden & summery weather are, well, interfering with focus.

FOOD. The restaurant reviews continue. And recently I guest "blogged" at http://www.cocoabeanthevegetable.com/2014/04/eggplant-and-peppers-roasted-balkan.html - funny how so many foodies are also artists &/or art aficionados!

GARDEN. New home in the country renovated last summer so, this season work on the outside.

Yesterday planted:
1 burning bush
2 euonymus fortuna
1 spirea japonica goldflame to replace mini pine that didn't survive winter
2 types of basil, sage, oregano & rosemary
gold bar maiden grass

Bought those, but also transplanted from friend, Beatrice:
zebra grass
two kinds of rock garden vines
2 purple clematis
1 purple coneflower
a reddish leafed creeper i don't know the name of

Probably others too, but memory fades with fatigue. Also salvaged garlics, bleeding hearts, hostas. I even worked in the rain! I think i can be considered a gardener.

SUMMERY WEATHER. Canada. Endless winter. And this is a change. Enough said!

Techno zombies ate the website - April 2014

Techno zombies ate the website a couple of weeks ago! We managed to resurrect most of it (on Easter weekend, hmmmm) except for the blog. So let me summarise the past year.

Spring/Summer/Fall 2013:
. Moved from big city Montreal condominium (small studio) to country town Ontario century home (larger studio with light from east, north and west.)
. Renovated, unleashing pent-up creativity. May have surprised some of the townsfolk with the chartreuse doors. Most say they kinda like it. Now.

Winter 2013-14:
. Reminded of the strength and serendipity of Mother Nature with record snowfalls and bitter cold, interspersed with quirky mildness. Was housebound and creative in the kitchen, nervously eyeing that beauty of a studio. Did some work in December.
. Yes, a professional artist should be working her art every day. And I did - in my head- or on scraps of paper, and looking at the work of others.

Spring 2014:
. New series of Doodads in the works. Finally! I'd been paralyzed by (self-imposed) insistence on titles containing -archy: Hierarchy, Matriarchy, Patriarchy & Monarchy.

Hey, they are my creatures and I can call the works whatever I like, right! Building up works for my Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Laoun) show in May 2015.

Spring beginnings - April 2013

Solo show at Laoun in 2014.

Meantime, new works at ARTelier.

Look out Alberta . . . - June 2012

YCS sold at the Square One exhibit and fundraiser for Art Gallery of St Albert, Alberta (7 to 23 June 2012.) All works 12" square and $200 - an affordable opportunity for art. Genius!

Details at http://artgalleryofstalbert.ca/exhibitions-events/

Spring beginnings - April 2012

New works are now at:
L'ARTelier du Village
2A de Lourdes
Pointe Claire Village

Funky clothes, jewellery, accessories & art - a perfect combination!

Solo show at Laoun in 2014!

For the birds - November 2011

Participated in Wildcard! fundraiser for Le Nichoir, local wild bird rehab centre. 300 artists, 660+ original small artworks all 5 x 7. Every penny went to Le Nichoir's New Centres. Genius!

See all the works http://www.lenichoir.org/wildcard/html/preview/index.html

International press! - August 2011

Hanging with 1,041 hubcap artists

Associated Press released wire service news story about International Landfillart Project. YCS involved since January 2010.



Summerplay - July 2011

Staying out of the mid-day sun by playing in the studio. Latest series, Doodads, has me chortling. Multi-media & smaller than usual.

One artist's day - May 2011

Stepping back from volunteerism of last three years to focus on arting.

A favourite painting sold last week - stimulus to create more that talk to me (& others obviously) as excitedly.

On the road again - April 2011

Painters from Other Places - Yvonne Callaway Smith is featured with Alex Benitez of Fort Lauderdale, and Jim Matheson of Stuart, Fl. in August. YCS will be at the gallery Saturday, 27 August

111 Main Street
Wiscasset, Maine 04578

GALLERY OneEleven - July 2010

GALLERY OneEleven is the newest addition to Wiscasset, the "Prettiest Village in Maine." YCS is now represented by the gallery and a number of works are available there. Drop by when visiting the Maine coast:

Group Show: image3 - June 2010

Group show, image[sup]3[/sup], at Montreal Museum of Fine Arts building a significant crowd-pleaser - 200 people at the opening! YCS, Diane Collet & Claudine Ascher interpreted the same 20 photos as drawings, paintings & bas relief. Concept really grabbed people.

Landfillart Project - January 2010

YCS is part of the Landfillart Project, an international effort of 1,041 artists to reclaim rusted metal garbage and create fine art. For more details and images, visit http://www.landfillart.org.