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Artist Community
As a teenager, I dreamed of being an artist. However in my family it was discouraged because "it was too competative, and artists are always broke" (add nauseum) After spending 20 years in the workforce, I found myself suddenly unemployed, a single parent having to apply for social assistance. I was crushed, devestated and bitter. One night, at the end of my rope I asked myself a vital question; "What can I do about it?" Suddenly the thought hit me, that I had spend my life up to that point making a living and trying to "buy time" so I could be a hobby artist. I went the next day
with very little money and purchased 3 canvases and did the first paintings I had done in ten years...the next month they all sold. At age 40, I faced my life-long fear of rejection and applied to Art School...and was accepted! I am now in the third year of studies of a BA/BFA, and havn't looked back!!!!!!!! Thats my story and I am sticking to it...cause its still unfolding!

Leanne Brusatore
After a lifetime of being many things, a mother of 4 and then single and working to raise them. Being a social activist for many years but somehow feeling I needed to balance my life with using my hands. At around 40 my second husband and I went to New Zealand and opened a craft store, learned to do leather work and also learned to spin and weave. I worked for several years as a weaver after returning to Canada.. I have a good sense of colour. At 60 I started writing and have written 7 books - mixed.

But at 70 I decided I wanted to learn to paint, never having drawn or painted since grade school (along time ago)  I am now happily painting taking workshops often, selling my paintings wherever I can and still keeping a balance with my activism.  I am coming up to 79 this year. It is never too late to learn.

Jean McLaren on Gabriola Island BC
Dear Readers,
We have just started a new non-profit watercolour website with a special section called "Your Galleries", where we hope to encourage people to share their efforts with other enthusiasts. Although primarily aimed at painters in watercolour, we welcome entries in all media: watrercolours, pen, pencil, pastel, oils, acrylics, etchings even! If you work from photographs, calendars, magazine illustrations, outdoor classes or studio work - we have no limitations.

There are no prizes and this is not a competition. We will not be posting comments on any submissions. Beginners are urged to enter and let others see what you are trying. We ask that you send JPEG format only please, and to do your entry justice send us a high resolution shot in sharp focus.

Tell us the original image size, the medium you used, something about the subject matter and why you choose it, and a brief biography of who you are and how long you have been painting. If you have your own website, we'll post it with your entry. Be sure to enclose your e-mail address so we can contact you if needed. If you wish to keep your e-mail address private, just let us know and we will respect your privacy.

Please visit us at
click on "Your Galleries" and take it from there.

Here's hoping you  swamp us with entries!

John Fisher

I am the process of building up my collection of reference photos. I do not paint directly from the photos but rather use them to refresh my memories of typical elements that I might include in my paintings. For example, I have about 2 dozen photos of barns located in southern Ontario. These photos will be used in future works so I can recall the features such as roof slope and doors etc.

Since digital photography is rapidly replacing film, I am using my digital camera. In order to organize my photos I used Adobe Photoshop elements and apply as many tags as I can think of so I can recall the best photos from my collection.

Suppose I wanted a snow scape of a river with rapids at sunset. I can simply select the the appropriate tabs and choose BEST for the best matches. If any photos match the selected criteria they will be there. It is very convenient and a lot faster than rifling through a paper
file. Also I get to see all the photos that meet the criteria.

To view the photos for painting, I can use a computer monitor or copy the photos to a CD for viewing on with a DVD player and TV.  While the TV does not have the best resolution it has the redeeming feature of giving the brightest image.

At some point I will scan into the computer my collection of colour slides from years ago and add them to my collection.

I hope someone finds this useful.


If anyone needs help they may e-mail me at:

PS I am looking for a partner to canoe and Paint in Algonquin Park or
Lake Superior PP.
I enjoy painting on rocks using Patio Paint ; here's one of my rocks! Thought I'd share this with your readers!


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