Monday, 24 November 2014


The idea behind World-wide Blog Hopping is for us to introduce and promote one another. Follow the links to go around the world, finding wonderful art and artists. To learn about each other, we are all asked to answer the same four questions.

I am fairly new to blogging and I confess that I struggle to blog consistently.   But when my friend Alice Saltiel invited me to join this event, I couldn't say no!  I have known Alice for almost 40 years and I was honoured that she asked me to be a part of this.  She was my mentor  and taught me so much about art.  

 PEACOCK PRIDE   12" x 9" - Mixed Media
Alice Saltiel 

Alice can paint anything and paint it magnificently! You can check out more of her work here.   Alice was invited to participate by her friend Win and you can find her work here and from Win's blog, you will be able to go even further back and check out more blogs.

I invited my friend, Barbara Callow to join me in this fun little endeavour.  She is a signature member of the Federation of Canadian Artists and a very gifted lady who works in a variety of mediums.  Beautiful watercolours, fabulous oils and her pen, ink and watercolour sketches are simply amazing! You can see more of Barb's work here.

 Pen, Ink and Watercolour
Barbara Callow
I was hoping that my dear friend Marcela Strasdas would be able to join me in the Blog Hop, but unfortunately due to a family emergency, she is not able to participate.  I would still like to share her wonderful work with you though.  She is so much better than me at blogging regularly.  You can see Marcela's work here.  I'm hoping that some time in the future she might be able to join us.

ALBERTA SUN - 24 X 24 - Acrylic
Marcela Strasdas

I am a representational painter and I work in variety of mediums; mostly acrylics and oils, but I've been known to do a few watercolours and even make some prints.   Having said that, there is a part of me that is very eager to get out the big brushes and a try a more abstract approach to things.  I think as artists, we should always be open to new ideas and concepts and continually challenge ourselves so that our work stays fresh.  Now on to the four questions . . . 

1.  What am I working on?  Currently I am getting ready to begin a new painting as a part of the Island Illustrator Society's  "2015 Travelling  Alphabet Show".  This is an annual show that the Illustrators and this year the theme is "Explore Victoria", so each of the subjects  are  reflective of that.  I have chosen the letter "G" for Gate of Harmonious Interest.  This is the beautiful gate that is at the entrance to Chinatown, the oldest Chinatown in Canada. Below is another painting of the gate that I did for a 30 in 30 challenge earlier this year.


Once I have finished that, I plan to begin work on a few more paintings in my "Tropical Leaves" series.  I grew canna lilies on my deck in the summertime and have a wealth of new reference material that I need to sort through and sketches to prepare.

CANNAS #5 - 30" x 30" - Acrylic
from the "Tropical Leaves" series

40" x 30" - Acrylic  

2.  How does my work differ from others of its genre?  Light is one of the key components I look for when choosing a subject.  As I said, I grow canna lilies in pots on my deck so that I can move them around and catch the light through the leaves.  It creates some beautiful contrasts and can drastically change the colour patterns that are produced.  Because of the strong contrast between light and dark my paintings tend to be quite vibrant.  Oh, and I LOVE colour!  It makes my heart sing.

ILLUMINATION - 40" x 30" - Acrylic

3.  Why do I create what I do?   I have always created things in one form or another  for as long as I can remember, be it knitting, sewing, drawing or painting.   And I have always, always been attracted to COLOUR!    As a child I swooned over the new box of crayons.  In social studies, I loved colouring the maps with Peacock Blue, Magenta, Coral and Lime Green.  But, ART was always my favourite subject.  Drawing, painting, printmaking, copper tooling,  pottery; I loved it all!  My mother taught me to knit when I was a young  girl and to this day it still thrills me to walk into a yarn shop and see all the colours on the walls.  I could spend hours there.  The same goes for art supply stores.  The prospect of taking those paints  and playing with all of the beautiful colours  fills my spirit.   I still knit in the evenings; creating multi-coloured socks and patterned sweaters.  I can't imagine what it would be like to live in a black and white world.


24 x 18 - Acrylic

4.  How does my creative process work?  I find inspiration in many places.   It can be the way the light falls on something and the patterns that are created in the shadows.  It can be  some great objects that I put together in a still life or it can simply be a subject that moves me.  More often than not there is some great colour associated with it.  Though lately, I have found myself drawn to the beauty of monochromatic, more natural colour schemes that are much softer than I usually paint.  I'm feeling drawn to explore the softer side of light and colour.
 AWAKENING - 24" x 24" - Acrylic

Sometimes I work from life, sometimes from photographs.  Regardless of the reference,  there has to be something that inspires and speaks to me.  More times than not, I will tone my canvas with a dilute red iron oxide or something similar and sketch my base in with a stronger red iron oxide.  If it is large and very complex painting, I will work a draft up on newsprint and transfer it over to the canvas after I have ironed out all of the problem areas.  Occasionally, I will start with a black canvas and work forward.  

  THREE LIMES IN A BAG - 16" x 16" - Acrylic

The "In the Bag" series is a perfect example of that.   The exception was a painting that I did of persimmons in a brown bag and the brown bag was a whole new challenge that I would like to explore further.

BROWN BAGGIN' IT - 6" x 12" - Oil
Another from the 30 in 30 Challenge

SO many things to paint and not enough time!!!  

You can see more of my work on my website and please sign up for my newsletter.   

Thanks for blog hopping with me!


  1. So much enjoyed reading this post, Sharlene. It's a delight to know more about the artist behind the stunning artwork, and I'm so glad you joined in the fun!

    1. Thank you so much for reading my post Win. I've thoroughly enjoyed going through our blog and reading about your work also.

  2. I am thrilled at how you honour me here. Thank you.

    For those of you who will read this - and for the record - I'm nine years Sharlene's senior. When we first made art together, I was blown away with her ability. Without the benefit of a formal art education, she could easily draw as well as m . When she painted it just flowed naturally. We were (and still are) a natural fit, our esthetics are identical.

    Your time away from painting hasn't hurt you any, Sharlene! You've simply picked up where you left off and are running with it. I swell with pride at each and every new painting you create. The sky's the limit bud ... "Oh the places you'll go!"

    1. Dear Alice, it is I who am honoured! Honoured that you took the time to share your knowledge with me and teach me so much! I have a long way to go to become the artist that you are, but I will keep plugging along. Keep learning and keep going to my room! LOL Thank you again dear friend!

    2. You already are the artist that I am!
      We just get to keep learning and growing until we depart this life!

  3. Your Canna leaf paintings are lovely. In reading your answers to the blog hop questions, I see that your attention to light provides the variety of colours in their leaves. Stunning.