New Year of Painting

It’s been such a long time since I found time to work on the website…been doing house renovations, spending lots of time in my studio in Alton Mill, been busy with shows AND proudly became a first time gramma 🙂  Now life is a bit more back on track and I will try and update regularly.

I have different work that is progressing well and will show at a later date. I’m also working on the new website , which I hope everyone will enjoy.\

Recently I was involved in a show at the Etobicoke Civic Centre which ran from Nov 26th to January 11th, and was well received, with fellow SOVA artists .

Upcoming shows already booked are the Holcim Gallery in Milton in April, the Sisnette in the Halton Hills Cultural Centre June 12 to August 21, and the Art Square Gallery across from the Ontario Art Gallery in Toronto during Nuit Blanche.


fiddleheads web


This is my newest painting “Fiddleheads” done from a subject hunting trip in Nova Scotia. Hope you like it. 🙂

Pop by and visit me in studio 202 at the Alton Mill Arts Centre. Look forward to seeing you there.




Just returned a few days ago from a “subject hunting “trip to places such as Tobermory, Manitoulin Island (enjoyed staying with a close friend there one of those evenings), Agawa, Sault St Marie, and Mackinaw Island , with great places in between. Looking forward to working on the canvases from this trip.

Was notified today that the “Featured Artist” section for Artsy Shark was published today, and is being shared on Facebook,Twitter,Google +, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn and StumbleUpon. They asked me to explain how I came to painting, and my background, so I hope people enjoy it. 🙂

Here is the link to the article: http://bit.ly/2bbSywJ

My newest painting “Ucluelet”  will be in Alton Mill as one of the artworks I am showing in the SOVA ….Southern Ontario Visual Artists exhibition in the Headwaters Gallery from   August 17th to September 11th, 2016.
Opening Reception – Sunday August 21 from 1 – 4pm.


Ucluelet by Lynden Cowan (3)

The original painting is oil on canvas and is 24″ by 30″. When you see the painting in person, all the subtle hues come out at you, and you can “feel” the mist. Absolutely beautiful location on Vancouver Island.


Don’t forget to check out the SOVA website.     www.southernontariovisualartists.com



If you can’t make it to the Opening Reception to meet the artists, you would be welcome to visit our studios.


Bye for now. Back to the easel 🙂

Painting Time

Met lots of interesting people recently visiting my studio in Alton Mill. Always nice to have visitors.

Just got notified that I have been selected to be one of the featured artists for Artsy Shark, very large on line magazine, with several thousand subscribers, a lot of them in North America, but also in Europe. Happy about that 🙂

I have a painting in the juried Colour and Form Society show on now at the PaperMill Gallery at Todmorden Mills .

Working hard on the paintings, as SOVA has an upcoming show in August at the Headwaters Gallery, in Alton Mill. Different pieces are on the go, and I hope to have at least three smaller ones completed by then. See our website, www.southernontariovisualartists.com

Right now the painting that is from Vancouver Island is starting to “close” in some areas. Still has a ways to go, but if you look at the detail, I am getting satisfied with some of the rock sections. Will be completed soon and is at the point where I need to start thinking of an appropriate title.



Hope you like how it is developing. See you in the studio 🙂

Bye for now.



Federation of Canadian Artists

Been a busy time, and I get to the studio in Alton Mill as much as possible. When it actually isn’t possible, I cram in some painting time in my home studio, sometimes painting till very late at night.

I will be in the Colour and Form Society show next month on Pottery Road and will tell you more of that  another time, but the latest bit of news is that my painting “The Wetlands” was selected by jury for the Federation of Canadian Artists International show. The Federation has been around since 1941, and exhibits in various galleries, but this particular show is June 1st to August 31st on line. They sell a lot of work from this show, and use their commission to make bursaries for deserving up and coming artists. 🙂

Just completed a large painting titled “Mackerel Sky“, in reference to to the cloud formations that appear as “ribbing”. They form in such a manner when there is unsettled weather, and the maritimers have a saying that goes with it.

Mackerel Sky, Mackerel Sky,Sometimes wet and sometimes dry.



This particular scene is from Beach Meadows (near Liverpool) Nova Scotia. In the background you can see a pair of Loons that frequent the area. The painting is being taken by a private collector, but giclee prints will be available soon.

The painting from Vancouver Island is now my primary piece for working on, and will be nearing completion soon, then offered for sale.

Hope you come visit me in the studio. 🙂

Federation of Canadian Artists

Have just been notified that my painting “The Wetlands” was juried in to The Federation of Canadian Artists International 2016 show.The  show is titled “Limitless” and will be viewable online at www.artists.ca from June 1st – August 31st.

The Federation of Canadian Artists (FCA) was founded in 1941 by a group of Canadian artists, including the Group of Seven luminary, Lawren Harris.

Honoured to have been selected by the three jurors. :THE WETLANDS medium darker

Spring… finally

Hello again… been awhile, but I have been working away on the artwork. Was involved in a show at the Carrier Gallery in the Columbus Centre, and there are more shows coming up this year.

My studio mates and I will be involved for May in a small show in the Orangeville Town Hall , and I will give more details at the end of the month. Have also been extremely busy building (and learning how to build) a new website for the SOVA group.  Several times I was frustrated close to the point of tears, and would have walked away from this task, except that I had no choice. The wonderful member of our group that had been doing the website passed away, and all of us miss him dearly.

Finally , the pieces with persistence,  started coming together, and I have learned a lot from the process (still learning) and am now working hard on updating and redoing my personal website.

Hope everyone likes the SOVA website.         www.southernontariovisualartists.com    You may have to cut and paste 🙂

Made strong progress on two of the paintings , and the beginning stages of a couple others.


On this painting, the numbers on the dory have been positioned , but there is still a lot of work to be done on both boats. You can see how the markings are being developed in thin layers so the the colours begin to show the stressed sides of the white dory. The sky was worked upon with tiny strokes using a triple zero brush. All the rest of the elements of the painting have now been blocked in, and I will continue working on it. Hoping to complete this work within the next three weeks.  🙂

Hope you like the SOVA website, and also hope you will visit me at Alton Mill, Studio 202. 🙂


Catching Up

DSC_9240  January 23 and 24th Alton Mill had it’s annual Fire and Ice Festival, with hundreds of people enjoying everything from hockey tournaments, curling , ice sculptures , kids slalom slide (adults sneaked in there too ) as well as pleasure skating and other activities, and of course , being able to visit the artists studios upstairs in the Mill.  Saturday evening was the bonfire and pub night. It was a huge success, and a lot of fun.

Just finished a small piece 16 by 20, and as yet , have not named it. The scene is from River Road near Belfountain, and I will post the finished work when the photography has been done.

You can see that the dominant subject here is the tree in the background, which I fell in love with right away. The way the branches curve down around the tree adds to the subject and was painted with a layered effect. Using a triple zero brush I used cobalt blue, magenta’s, alizarin crimson , and a muted cobalt turquoise. The reeds in the foreground were done as well with a thin, glazed , layered approach.

Been progressing on the painting from Beach Meadows , Nova Scotia.


The sky is still not complete, but the mood has now crept in, and it will be finished with the small , round tip, triple zero brush strokes , so the tiny bits of pigment can be added, giving the clouds a sense that they are rolling.

The trees in the background were placed in position, using prussian blue, alizarin crimson and lamp black . The black and prussian blue give depth, and the alizarin crimson adds a warm feeling.On top of this, cobalt turquoise and prussian green along with olive green started to define the branches. Sienna’s and other colours have begun to draw out the branches. The trees are not finished.

The rocks along the shoreline have been started , using Davey’s grey, payne’s grey and cobalt turquoise with titanium white , which gives a crisper effect. The under shades in the water have been started, with attention paid to the shoreline , and the crabgrass in the foreground has been started with attention paid to the changes in lighting.

Again, this painting is Already Spoken For, but I will continue to show the progress.

The painting from the Vancouver Island is also making progress and I will give you an update soon.

Hope you get a chance to visit me in my studio 🙂


Where to start? It has certainly been a long time since I have been able to find a moment to bring you up to date, but I will try.

Alton Mill 

Right now, Alton Mill is all decorated for the Christmas Season, and this month there are many different additional activities happening.



McMichael Gallery

Loved exhibiting in the McMichael Gallery in Kleinberg, and it certainly was a unique experience (and an honour being selected). This was in October , and the entire weekend was jammed with people coming to meet the artists. Made new friends from the pool of artists that were there, as well as reestablished older friendships.

Had one lady come up and start talking about my artwork, and her eyes were oddly familiar, but couldn’t place how I knew her. Then she brought out a large photograph and asked me if I would sign it, which I said I would be pleased to do. When I saw the photograph, it hit me that I had known this pretty lady years (decades) ago, because I had taught her how to paint. Brampton did not have many jobs for teens back in the day so I became inventive and started my own art school.

It was wonderful to see Susan again. 🙂

This is the time of year when I have multiple shows, so am always on the go. It’s great to meet new people, but the studio at Alton Mill is also busy so it’s hard sometimes to try and be where you need to be.  Happy to say that my work has been well received at the various shows, and I have had to update my inventory regularly.I’ll be finished with the shows that are outside of Alton Mill by December 10th.

Two original paintings have just been sold, but limited edition’s are available for either piece.



This painting is titled “Paneful Memories “.


mcgregors house medium

Pleased that this original painting titled “Mr. McGregor’s House” sold to the same collector who also owns the original painting titled “Kleinburg Book Company”. It had been my intention all along to do these two subjects as a pair, as both buildings are in Kleinburg around the corner from each other.

Right now ,one of the paintings I am working on is from Beach Meadows, South Shore area in Nova Scotia. This is quite a complex painting, and the sky is intense with rolling clouds and fog. To accomplish the sky, I have painting it initially the calm blue using cerulean with a light touch of french ultramarine, since that is what would be peeking through on the other side of the clouds. From there, light layers are added in a rolling pattern using paynes grey and davey’s grey with a light addition of cobalt blue. A round tip brush is used for the layers, and there are many more additions to come. On the bottom part of the painting, I have created depth with a combination of prussian blue, alizarin crimson and lamp black, and I used a small flat end brush.When that was dry, I started with cobalt turquoise , which will add depth, but also warmth to the area. This painting is Already Spoken For, but I will make limited edition prints when it is finished properly.


Will post my progress on this artwork as I go along.

Hope to see you drop by the studio, 🙂






Getting Ready

This week is McMichael week 🙂 Took all the originals that I had available (not very many), out of Alton Mill today, and will hang them in the McMichael gallery this week.  Really looking forward to this experience.The gala is friday night , Oct 23rd from 6 to 10, and is free. Saturday and Sunday there is a $5.00 charge for parking . Hope to see you there.

I also will be taking the newest painting, “The Wetlands”.THE WETLANDS large darker

Limited edition giclee prints are now available. 🙂


October :)


October has just appeared out of nowhere, and promises to be a hectic month.  I was away in Nova Scotia for five days the third week of September, and am really excited with the painting subjects I have collected from that trip, so now with the two Maritime trips , I have a lot of new work that will be coming.

October is McMichael month 🙂  Really happy that I was fortunate enough to be selected for this years special exhibit. It was the first year that I have tried it, but with different jurors each year, sometimes some really good artists do not get selected. There are only 50 spots to compete for, so for now I will enjoy that I am in this years group.

We were supposed to write a bit about ourselves and send it back to the organizers, but some artists sent it to everyone, guess so we would know all about them. Looking at the info, mine doesn’t really compare, because they are talking about how many years they studied art , what school award they received etc etc.  I never got to go to art school where everyone learns to paint something the same way. I am self taught, so what I could add was that as a child, I would make my own colours using berries, dandelions and the like and my mother’s pots. There was no extra budget for art supplies. When I was ten, my teacher Don McLean and two other teachers showed up at the door with two hundred dollars worth of paints, brushes, canvases and the like, which was a considerable sum back then. My mom hemmed and hawed and didn’t wish to accept the generous gift because she “did nae wish to be beholden”, but finally gave in and then told me I could no longer use her pots. I think she really just wanted her pots back.

Growing up, the day after school let out, I was shipped by plane to my grandmother’s home in Nova Scotia to help her with her cottages in the morning. By 9:30 the chores would be done, and my cousin and I ran wild the rest of the day, playing hide and go seek in the fog in the sand dunes, digging up clams for breakfast when the tide was out, swimming at the bear hole and seeking adventures in the woods. This helped shape my love of painting wild scenery and water subjects.

I also added that when I was 14, I was exhibiting at a special outdoors art show and the guest was A.Y.Jackson . The organizers were taking him up and down the rows so he could view everyone’s artwork, but when he got to mine, he said he liked my work, then sat down to discuss art with me for close to an hour, while the organizers kept checking their watches with a worried look. Alex and I became friends after that, and corresponded, and I would go and visit him in Kleinberg. I still treasure the autographed book he gave me of his life, and photos of us together, as well as an old Toronto Star clipping. He passed away in 1974.

We were also instructed to add something most people do not know about our work, so I added that anyone who knows my work, is aware that I always have something “alive”, in the painting, whether it be a butterfly or lady bug, or larger like a bird, duck or fox.

So I hope that information is useful to them, because despite having been well represented by various galleries across the country over the years, I have now decided to enjoy my studio in Alton Mill, that I share with two other wonderful artists, and again… I am self taught. Not a fancy person with multiple art courses behind me, just a painter. The closest I came to art school, was when different people at OCAD and a couple of other Universities decided to “study” me and how I work.

October 23rd is the gala at the McMichael Gallery, and it is open to the public so maybe I will see you there. The show continues on the 24th and 25th.

In the studio, there have been lots of visitors recently, but I especially enjoy the children when they come through. They politely look at the artwork, with their accompanying adult behind them hovering to remind them “Don’t touch”, but their reaction is wonderful to see, when I invite them to sit down at the easel, and show them how to do a couple of strokes on an actual painting. Have some budding artists coming in the area. 🙂



I still have a bit to complete on this new painting, but it is nearing the end. The trickiest , tedious part was doing the branches, with layer upon layer of tiny stokes using a triple zero brush.  The foreground trees, and shrubbery are done with a triple zero, or a two brush depending on which area has my attention. I have used sap green and cobalt turquoise to emphasize the detail , because the prussian colours would be too stark. All of the trees still have some work to be completed, and I hope people like the end result. The subject itself is found on the 15th sideroad, north of Palgrave, On.

Hope to see you in Alton Mill. 🙂




Follow me!

Recent Posts

New Year of Painting

January 30, 2017


August 12, 2016

Painting Time

June 30, 2016

Federation of Canadian Artists

May 22, 2016

Federation of Canadian Artists

May 11, 2016