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.

Your Life Is Art Playshop

Your Life is Art Playshop! On February 11, 2017

In this one-day playshop, you will be guided through a painting and play journey. Lunch is provided and all the materials you need. You get to show up, paint, play, journal and share. You will leave feeling authentic, playful and full of new self-discovery, your fabulous work of art in hand.

But what if I’m not an artist? Ah, but what if you are!

Painting expressionist art is about play, And instinct, And courage to let go…

It’s about trusting the undefined, And believing that whatever you paint is perfect and meant to be.

It’s about listening to what your artwork tells you.

Best of all, painting expressionist art is about exploring, with fabulous colours, quirky brushes and gooey textures! Colouring inside and outside the lines!

Sound fun? Can you feel your inner child dancing? Then join us for a Your Life Is Art Playshop!

A Few Details

Come by yourself, or come with friends, but most important come with your inner child and leave your inner critic at home.

What are we doing..?
*     coming together to open, allow, play, paint and flow activities to guide us

  • receiving inspiration from within and support from Glenda and Jill to help you along

* lunching, indulging (vino-time) and laughing… to nourish you   • journaling and sharing

What does the day include?

* 16 X 20 canvas   * Acrylic paints, including metallic * Variety of paint brushes * Lunch * Fun

What do I bring?

  • FIND a painting that captures you, colour copy it and bring it. * Don’t question why you pick the painting you do. Trust. * You are going to discover how it tells your story. This is a guided process of creating a painting and a metaphor of your life. * Once you are registered, you’ll receive a little more guidance.

Also, bring…

  • Old, comfy clothes you can get paint on. * Your favourite bottle of wine, if you’d like.

* If you have random art supplies or items from nature that call, and could possibly adhere to a painting, bring them. This could be things like glitter, stone, lace, rhinestones, a label from a can, a random word, wallpaper, a shoelace… Curiosity and an open mind. If that inner critic sneaks in the back door, no worries! We have a special spot set up for it to play. Everyone’s welcome!

Cost and Registration:

Early Bird Savings: $200.00 (GST incl.) /per person. *Register on or before February 3rd.

Cost $275.00 (GST incl.)/ per person. *Register on or before February 8th.

Payment can be made by etransfer or PayPal to If you have any questions, please email Jill (email above) or call her at 403-605-9615.

For questions regarding the day, please email Glenda at or call her at 403.863-7788


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.

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.

Spring is in the Air: April 11– 14, 2013


Celebrate Art & Community at the 2nd Annual Spring is in the Air Art Exhibit and Fundraiser!

Everyone needs a little help now and then and this organization has worked very hard to support local and international charities. Come by for some great music, wonderful art and fun family activities.

VIP night is Thursday April 11th and tickets can be purchased at

Or bring the kids on any other day for fun and games and drop by and say hello! I’m in booth 22!

Cochrane Ranche House
101 RancheHouse Road
Cochrane, Alberta