Blue Heron Writes

Sharing to Inspire through Words and Pictures www.wendiedonabie.com

Diving into Oil


It’s already past mid summer; the season is flying by. How is it that winter lasts forever but summer is fleeting? For me it’s connected to the busyness of these warmer months.  Living in cottage country, my partner and I anticipate entertaining more guests than in the colder days from November to May.  Then add in my art shows, his real estate business and the days become even shorter.

Yet in the midst of this hectic time, I carved out  a week of peace. Tucked in behind the Canada Summit Centre in Huntsville, Ontario, stands a building housing the University of Waterloo Summit Centre for the Environment.. During the summer, with fewer students in residence, the facility has become one of the offsite locations for the Haliburton School of the Arts. The offerings this year included an Oil Painting course focused on techniques.  I knew the teacher from a previous course and enrolled the minute registration opened online.

Granite Wall at Waterloo Centre for the Environment, oil on canvas, copyright Wendie Donabie 2013  Looking out the classroom window I painted the granite wall at the back of the school. My first oil painting.

Granite Wall at Waterloo Centre for the Environment, oil on canvas, copyright Wendie Donabie 2013
Looking out the classroom window I painted the granite wall at the back of the school. My first oil painting.

What a week! Andrea Mossop, the course instructor, is a gentle soul filled with the richness of her artistry and overflowing with knowledge that she shares in creative and memorable ways. She translated the various oil applications into layman’s language, talking about tickling the canvas and likening the application of paint with a palette knife to icing a cake.

Andrea Mossop

Andrea Mossop

Andrea so engaged us that we passed up coffee breaks and even shortened our lunches to get back to the easels.  By the end of the week, the six of us had produced over 20 paintings (seven of them were mine) employing all of the techniques she taught.

Sunset at Taboo Resort  Oil on Canvas, Copyright Wendie Donabie 2013

Sunset at Taboo Resort Oil on Canvas, Copyright Wendie Donabie 2013

For me this course was my first encounter with oil paint and I have a new love. I found the paints buttery texture and luscious sheen addictive. Plus oils are so workable. If you don’t like something you can remove it and change it. Many people avoid working with oil paints because of the toxicity of the solvents traditionally used but Andrea share a non-toxic method for working with the medium.

My painter’s kit has now grown to include watercolour, acrylic and oil paints plus Chinese and acrylic inks and soft pastels.  I am excited about having multiple choices when inspired to create a painting. Each medium offers unique qualities I can use in communicating my emotions and impressions of a subject.

Willows by the River, oil on canvas, Copyright Wendie Donabie 2013

Willows by the River, oil on canvas, Copyright Wendie Donabie 2013

I expect my tool box to grow, as time goes by, but for now I’m diving headlong into Oil!

NOTE: I’ve also added a new painting to the side bar. To see more paintings, please visit www.wendiedonabie.com

© Wendie Donabie 2013

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5 Comments

  1. Nice!

  2. Beautiful new paintings.

  3. Kathleen Adamczyk

    Wendy – I’ve been following you on Linkedin and you have amazing talent! Keep up the great work!!!!

  4. Shirley Trimmer

    Wonderful paintings Wendie! Such rich colours. Obviously you enjoyed a grand week!

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