I am always amazed at how much I draw upon from my childhood when I sit down to create a landscape.

I started painting in my 40’s and had shied away from even taking art classes. You see, I failed elementary art class because I didn’t adhere strictly to the teacher’s instructions (and drew the tree from underneath rather than the side and other such things). I had a fear then, of exposing a vulnerable piece of my soul to the often-cruel tendencies of teenagers. Instead I channeled my need for self expression through my clothes and from quite a young age a lot of what I created was from the intricate beauty I found in the natural world around me.

I spent my childhood exploring the outdoors, sitting in the fields watching the light around me reflect up into the clouds that hurried by, in contemplating the light and shadow that danced around my feet as I quietly explored the forest floor, and in the studying the constant shift and change in energy and flow when the wind whispered across the landscape before me. Every time that I sit down to create a new painting a flood of memories of smells, of sounds, of colours, gently pool at my fingertips. My brush becomes an extension of all those years that I spent reveling in the magic of it all.

I am so grateful that I wasn’t caught up in the need to paint my world onto canvas when I was younger, because I was able to soak up every bit of wonder without ever worrying about what it’s greater purpose would be.

This is where my heart beats….

Glenda Savard

This is where my heart beats outside my body. Where the beautiful chaos of my family bounces off the walls, the window panes, and the limitless ceiling of abundant dreams. This is where we play, we laugh, we cry, we hug, we dance.

This is where paint spills, frames get built and paintings sit drying in the soft morning light. This is where I sit in the predawn hours before my world wakes; where I dim my role as a mother, a friend, a sister, and nurture the every glowing spark within my soul that keeps my fires burning strong, bright and true.

This is where I exhale, where I release, where I explore the deepest depths of my very being and lay it bare for the world to see. This is where my greatest work of art is being created, not on canvas, but in the beautiful truth of a life well lived.

Carrying all of this magic in my grateful heart as I bid farewell to one heck of a year and get ready to greet the next one with nothing but excitement and joy…wishing each of you wonderful souls an amazing new year ahead. xo

Teaching Fearless Women . . . I love that

Painting class March 2016






Had the most fun teaching this group of brilliant fearless women to paint trees. Most of them had never painted before and it was so thrilling for me to see them just jump right in and go for it. They truly inspire me and make me remember how to see things with fresh eyes and the fun and excitement of trying something new. Thank you very much for spending the afternoon with me and for being so BRILLIANT!! Head on over to the Adventures in Art page and have a look at what these wonderful women accomplished in one afternoon.

Night With The Stars

Attending the Gala Night for Theatre Calgary
Attending the Gala Night for Theatre Calgary









I had an absolutely amazing night at Theatre Calgary’s Gala evening Night With The Stars. My painting Pandemonium was auctioned off for an amazing amount and it was my pleasure to support such a wonderful theatre. My daughter and I have a Christmas tradition to see Scrooge there every year and we’d be lost without it. And the best part was that my painting was won by a couple that have pieces of my work already. There is no greater compliment than that, and their generosity is beyond words. Thank you again for inviting me to be part of such a wonderful cause.

It’s that time of year again . . . choosing my word of the year


Every year in December, we all start thinking about  those New Year’s Resolutions. Then there we are in January – and yet again, we’ll show up, hoof it up for awhile, then, by Valentine’s Day, we’re done and back to the usual. We’ve all “been there, done that.” You know the most popular ones “Get Organized”, “Be More Spiritual”, “Lose Weight”, “Quit Smoking”, and “Spend More Time With The Family”.

I don’t know about you, but this kind of To-Do List approach to life doesn’t inspire me. It doesn’t do anything to feed the soul. You come away from it kind of feeling empty because you can’t seem to be able to do enough in order to have what you want. I think that’s looking at it from the wrong end. We should start with being and then the doing will create the having.

Instead I began to be really committed to choosing a new ritual. It actually  started this when I was quite young, but I used to do it on my birthday instead of New Year’s day. I used to dream about where I’d be on my next birthday, what would have happened to me in that year and what exciting things I’d have been part of. As I grew older I realized that I could make those things happen by deciding them and so I would dream of the vacations, people and things I wanted and then would go out and purchase or meet them, if I could. But somehow it still didn’t quite do it. Things still didn’t come my way. Then one day my life coach of many years suggested that I be more proactive about it and intend it. Well (slapping forehead) I’m all about the laws of attraction, why didn’t I think of that sooner and the Word-Of-The-Year began.

This didn’t mean that I didn’t take action it meant that my actions were inspired from the being part of me. In fact, I took more action than ever with this new approach!

That’s because intention is unfathomably powerful. Resolutions are fine, but they often come from our thoughts and are motivated by lots of “shoulds.” A “word” however contains energy and images and meaning, things our hearts and souls get excited about.

This is how transformation begins and how one can start to create the life they want. Rarely does transformation happen because of our mind – or our “shoulds.”

open-armsTo give you an example in 2014 I realized  I needed to make some changes in my business life. Quite frankly I was bored and knew if I didn’t stop doing things the way I had (status quo) my business would be done. I had to reinvent myself and my business. So my go to question for everything is “How else can I do this?” After contemplating this for a bit I realized that I needed to change me first. So my first word was “Pioneer”. At first I thought it was a dumb word, but for some reason it felt perfect. So I looked it up and it resonated with what I wanted to do with my year. I wanted to explore new places, things, ideas, and go where I’d never gone before. I had not idea how this was going to come about, and that wasn’t my worry, I didn’t need to control that, I only had to INTEND it. Well let me tell you, I had the most amazing year, people I didn’t even know found me and I was recommended to the SNBA in Paris, France. I showed my work there for the first time and had a lovely trip meeting new people and even won my first medal. That was the biggest thing but there were many others. My word for 2015 was Thrive, oh could I tell you stories! I met loads more people, and we had a severe economic downturn in my city, but I continued to sell well in all my spring and fall shows. I was thriving beautifully. My new word for 2016 is Rise because I want this to continue. I want to keep climbing higher. Experience more things on ever increasing levels. I want to be uplifted with joy on a regular basis and I want my creative ideas to continue to float up higher and higher. it feels like my truth right now and I’m loving it. Have you chosen your word today? How will you intend your life in 2016?

Artist Adventure Series, No. 1

Trail head
Trail head

I’ve decided to let you in on what is giving me inspiration and where I go to look for it. Hiking Arches National Park is an addictive sport. The steep overhanging cliffs, the meandering pathways, the vegetation. The intense heat.. Hour after hour , you battle the heat. But when you finally get to the top, with the whole world rolling out beneath you, you remember why you deal daily with the scratches, tight shoes, heavy packs and aching backs. It’s all worth it.

Here I’ve just arrived at Arches National Park. The red rocks and colours are astounding. Everywhere I look I want to capture the views. At that moment it was 43 degrees C. You could fry an egg on the ground. I will be heading out tomorrow morning around 6am to photograph this area for future reference.

Choosing Compositions continued

Paper birch trees photographed by Glenda Savard








Paperbirch trees photographed by Glenda Savard

Here is an image I’ve taken on a walk that depict how cropping photos can create that form. It then becomes a more interesting shape and it creates depth and layering. Now from a painters’ point of view that can translate into endless possibilities by simply adding or subtracting parts of the image.

As you can see by how I play with the image one needn’t paint everything that is in the photo, only what adds to the composition one is after. Here I use an opaque white to cover the portions of the photograph I do not wish to keep and then before long a simplified version appears. This is the key to a good painting. Simplicity. The more one simplifies the colours, shapes and imagery the better the outcome.

I hope you enjoy reading about the little tricks I use when I wish to paint from my photos.

Happy painting.


Choosing Compositions continued


Three paper birch trees photographed by Glenda Savard
Three paper birch trees photographed by Glenda Savard









Here is the photograph I took which I then cropped to look as it is now. I set the focus on the trees and intend to keep it a bit off centre. I’m looking for the cruciform shape I enjoy so much.






Choosing Compositons









Autumn is my favorite season. For me it means new beginnings. The air is fresh and the world seems to come alive. I was out walking about my neighborhood the other day taking photos, and just fell in love with the views, everything around me is so vibrant it puts so much passion into life.

What I’m looking for when I’m out taking photos is a variety of compositions and shapes as I go through the groves of trees, and nature gives us such an endless supply that my walk makes slow progress.

I have a favorite composition which is the Cruciform. Like nature it’s endless in the shapes it can create and it can be used in anything from landscapes and figures to still life. It’s such a fluid shape and in the examples I created above you can see the endless possibilities.

Cruciform quite literally means cross, it’s a way to use verticals and horizontals in a cross shape which engages all sides of the picture plane. It doesn’t mean that each arm of the cruciform has to touch the edges of the image, only that the forms are strong and grounded.





Do You Know What Suiboku-ga Is?

Hello! It’s March, almost spring and I can hardly wait. In fact I’m looking forward to it so much I’ve created a series of paintings with that in mind. But it’s more than that….being an expressionist painter I look for colour, form and shape all the time but I wanted to add more to my work and quite by accident stumbled upon Suiboku-ga and my mind exploded with ideas. It was like the missing piece.

Suiboku-ga (Japanese) is the monochrome ink painting technique where bold use of black ink strokes and washes allowed the artists to eliminate from their paintings all but the essential character of their subject, an aim closely related to the pursuit of Zen Buddhism.

The goal of Suiboku-ga painting is not simply to reproduce the appearance of the subject, but to capture its’ sprit. To paint a horse, the artist must understand its temperament better than its muscles and bones. To paint a flower, there is no need to perfectly match its petals and colors, but it is essential to convey its liveliness and fragrance. Suiboku-ga painting may be regarded as a form of expressionistic art that captures the unseen.

Suiboku-ga has long inspired modern artists in the West. In his classic book Composition, American artist and educator Arthur Wesley Dow wrote this: “The painter…put upon the paper the fewest possible lines and tones; just enough to cause form, texture and effect to be felt. Every brush-touch must be full-charged with meaning, and useless detail eliminated. Put together all the good points in such a method, and you have the qualities of the highest art.” Dow’s fascination with ink wash painting not only shaped his own approach to art but also helped free many American modernists of the era, including his student Georgia O’keeffe, from what he called a ‘story-telling’ approach. Dow strived for harmonic compositions through three elements; line, shading, and colour. I’ve added a fourth which is texture, perhaps because I’m a latent sculptor or maybe just because I like to touch things.

The above painting depicts red hibiscus in a sunny afternoon in the most simple of that method. And as I began to play around with this idea I couldn’t help but be reminded of intricately beautiful kimonos. This then led me to treat the canvas as though it were a sculptural element by making it into the shape of a kimono. This series and other works are available for purchase at my studio or during my upcoming show at Azuridge Estate Hotel.