Bittersweet Completion

It’s hard to believe I’m coming to the end of this three-and-a-half month stretch of painting for my Canada Project and show.  Bittersweet.

What an artistic learning curve this project has been. I made sure to give myself LOTS of time to explore these landscapes, because I wanted to add depth to my work and play with colours, brushes, mediums and techniques.

This was the first time I did a project that had “practice boards”… 13 tiny canvases for me to make my mistakes on before I painted on the final canvas. Mostly, they helped me decide the best colours to use, because I still made mistakes on the final pieces! I found my self repainting, reblending and restructuring compositions more then ever before. To the point where I was getting annoyed with myself (wasting time and wasting paint argh!).

Despite planning and plotting and scheduling my painting time over the last few months, it still was not enough. Painting is “job #3″… a passion that is snowballing into a side business, and hopefully long-term will become part of a permanent career. However, the time I make to paint is basically my own personal “free time”… so I consider it an investment in myself and my work, and it is starting to pay off.

Gratefully, a few of my paintings have already sold. I have completed 11 out of the 13 canvases, and will finish these last two before the show:

the last two

I have one day left off to focus on the finishing details. It’s both stressful and exciting. I still have prints to sign, and cards to fold, and boxes to pack… it’s going to be a busy few days.

If you’re on Facebook, follow me there! Check out the event page too: Canada The Provinces and Territories.





Christmas (show) Countdown

December is almost here, and this weekend seems to be kicking off the Christmas season. We made a gingerbread house, the Christmas lights go on in Cobourg tonight, and tomorrow we will be hitting up Christmas at St.Mark’s and the Santa Clause Parade in Port Hope.

But for me, I’m over half way through my Canada Series, and feeling darn excited to get it finished for the show December 16th.  Below you can see the final 5 canvases I have to complete on the left, and the 8 finished ones on the right.

If you haven’t read my blog about the prices of my work, be sure to check it out “Pricing Art Is Hard” I’m offering a discount on these paintings until December 16th (prices will be up for the show).

Stay tuned for the final five paintings! You can follow the progress on my Facebook Page: Jennifer Anne Burke or check out other details on the Event Page.

Annual Christmas Art Show



3rd Annual Christmas Show

St. Mark’s Church

Port Hope, Ontario

Saturday, December 16th

12:30 – 4:30 PM

This will be a joyful afternoon of exploring Canada through Artistic Landscapes. The original paintings will be for sale: 13 canvases (12 x 16 inches, gallery canvas), each one represents a province or territory. Bold, colourful, moody, and expressive. They are priced at $250 each.

Painted from a variety of collected photos, you will be able to view the portfolio of photographs along with info from the photographers.

There is always something for every budget, this year ranging from $5 to $250. Gift cards, prints and calendars!

Please, come say  hello, and perhaps find that perfect gift for yourself or the Canada-Lover in your life.

If you want to follow the artist journey with work in progress please follow the event page: Jennifer Anne Burke.

Canada Project: The Photos

Although I did not get as much painting done this week as I had planned, I did put together the portfolio of photos and summaries for the show. I also had 20 prints made of “Alberta Skies” ($15 each or $20 includes shipping), and cards of “West Wind Rushing In” ($5 each or 5 for $20).

If you’ve been curious about the photos and photographers behind this project, this blog is for you! Gratitude to everyone who has shared their work with me. These are the photos and stories from each of the photographers who inspired this series of paintings.


yukon territory jennifer poolePhoto by Jennifer Poole.

This was taken from her car, at the beginning of her trip into Yukon Territory.  She had many incredible images from her trip, but this was the one that really spoke to me as an artist. You can feel the land changing in the picture, and you know something great is around the bend! I have never been to the Yukon, but sure hope to travel this road someday.


north west territories park canadaPhoto by Fritz Mueller (

I discovered this photo on Facebook through the Northwest Territories Tourism page. I contacted them to ask for permission to use it, and they told me it was owned by Parks Canada, so I would need to contact them. Which I did, and they responded the photo is by Fritz Mueller and I would need his permission. Thank goodness for google, I found his website and contact info. His partner responded promptly, stating that Parks Canada owns the photo so it would be up to them. At this point, all three contacts had said it was a lovely idea and would make a lovely painting, suggesting I also promote the National Historic Site (Full Credit to the owner of the photo Parks Canada):

“Saoyú-ʔehdacho (Saw-you-eh Aa-daa-cho), also known as Grizzly Bear Mountain and Scented Grass Hills is Canada’s largest National Historic Site — about the size of PEI. This cultural landscape has great spiritual significance for the Sahtu people and it features prominently in their oral histories. It is also the first National Historic Site designated and co-managed by Parks Canada and Indigenous group – Deline First Nation.” – Northwest Territories Tourism.


nunavit 4Photo by Jen Shymko

When I reached out on Facebook to my friends to share their photos of Canada with me for my project, I thought Nunavut would be the hardest image to get. Yet it was my first response! I had no idea Jen had been that far North, and for her it was a life changing experience:

“Being in Nunavut changed the way I viewed a lot of things. The Inuit people are by far some of the most amazing people I’ve encountered over my travels. A 20yr old boy I worked with inspired me to go back to school for Environmental causes. This kid knew more about the land and animals and how to live with them, more then any person I’ve met in Ontario. But that was part of the culture they teach their children at a young age to live off the land. He had a use for every plant we would come across on our hikes.”

Mary River, Baffin Island, Nunavut.


squamish bc robynPhoto by Robyn Cowan

Taken during one of her many hikes out west. This is Squamish, British Columbia.

I was lucky someone sent me this photo privately, because I have never met Robyn and she’s not on Facebook!

As soon as I saw this image I knew it was what I wanted for my B.C. painting. I have done a ton of mountains, and I wanted an image that captured the forest and the trees out west. This one even has mountains in the distance, everything about it makes perfect composition. I especially enjoyed playing with the colours as I painted from this photo.


alberta sunset maggiePhoto by Maggie Stanley

This woman always posts THE BEST pictures of Alberta Sunrises and Sunsets, and skies in general. I’ve seen many a photo that make me go “hmmm… that should be a painting.” I messaged her privately for a few images, but this one had stuck in my mind from weeks before. She sent me a ton of gorgeous ones, but when I mentioned this specific one, and she sent it, I was like “yep, that’s the one.”


Photos by Jennifer Anne Burke

These two photos were taken on the same day, October 31st (yep Halloween), 2016. I was driving with a friend from Ontario to British Columbia, and this was one of the most dreary of the 5 days of travel. I knew the Manitoba photo would become a painting someday, but when no one had photos to share from the prairies I had to start digging through my own images from last year. These two were painted at the same time, they really match and go hand in hand since we crossed both provinces in the same day!


ontario hills and skies 2Photo by Cathy Nevin

This summer in Ontario was so vivid, and I was determined to get a colourful field of wild flowers to paint (I had visions of greens, yellows and purples). Unfortunately, nothing too vivid ever came out in any photos I took, and it was my photographer friend Cathy Nevin who offered to go on a little country drive with her pro camera and find some landscapes for me. She had a TON of incredible images, and Ontario was actually the most difficult province for me to make a final decision on what to paint.  Likely because I have seen a good chunk of this vast province, and it has all touched me deeply. However, I have done a lot of Northern Ontario paintings, and thought it was due time I did something closer to my heart and home: Northumberland. Thank you Cathy for this lovely image on Massey Road, Grafton.


gatineau quebecPhotos by Jennifer Anne Burke

This is another province NO ONE sent me pictures from, but oddly I had already painted an image of Quebec for my summer show, that also just happened to be the same size canvas I was planning this show around.

These are old photographs, taken in the Autumn of 1996 (when I still owned a pentax film camera). I was staying in Ottawa with my uncle and his family, and we drove over to Gatineau, Quebec, on Thanksgiving weekend for a hike. I will never forget how outstanding the colours were that day.


canada newfoundland labrador iceberg doreen dalleyPhoto by Doreen Dalley

You might have seen this image floating around Facebook (no pun intended). It went viral last summer: most viewed iceberg pic from Newfoundland this summer! Seen by millions and some say it is photo-shopped and fake. It is neither – Doreen has lots of iceburg pictures from over the years in the same area. It was just taken on automatic landscape mode . I contacted Doreen through Facebook, and she gave me permission to use her image for one of my paintings. In fact, this was the one that really got me motivated to paint. When I saw it I wanted to hop in my car and do a cross country trip all over again, because there is so much I haven’t seen, and didn’t know about, in our country.

When I asked her for a story about the photo she simply replied: “I was on a friends patio up on a hill, and I zoomed in with a telephoto lens.” June 15, 2017.

It has been so fun connecting with new people through this project.


emily new brunswick

Photo by Emily Smith

Emily recently moved to New Brunswick with her family. When she posted this picture (I cropped the kids out), I immediately noticed the shape and curves of the rocky land in the background. I can’t wait to see more of her photos, and go visit someday too.


cape breton nova scotia laura sanders

Photo by Laura Sanders

As soon as she sent me this, I knew it was the one. Incredible colour, simplicity and for me it evoked deep emotion. It feels both calming and energizing to me. I just love it!

Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.


Photos by Carrie Freake

This woman was so excited about my project, she was taking pictures FOR IT while vacationing in Prince Edward Island. I could not make up my mind which photo liked better… so I used my creative forces to meld the two photos into one painting. I do love a challenge. Thank you Carrie for you thoughtfulness!


This project never could have happened without these inspiring images. Thank you everyone who has contributed. The show (with all the paintings) will take place on Saturday, December 16th in Port Hope.

(I still have 7 more paintings to complete before the end of November, ahhhhh!)

Art Events in Northumberland

I love to share the love… and my last few blogs were wrapped up in my own personal travels and creations; but since September I have also been perusing a variety of other artists and purchasing a few “items” here and there…

Every September hosts the Northumberland Studio Tour. This year I checked out Susan McDonald (that’s her  pottery below), Kathryn McHolm, and Terry MacDonald. October brought the “Port Hope Art Connection” (which included the Pamela Tate Gallery), and Cobourg’s “Harvest Festival.” Oh my goodness- just too much to see, do and buy! I have been itching to get one of Jennifer Trefiak‘s new Ink works… and ended up buying two (images above).  I also, finally, met Krista Goddard of Dragonfly Studio (gorgeous and unique jewellery).

studio tour susan

I was sad to miss the grand opening of “Out of The Darkness” in Port Hope, but was fortunate to meet with Graeme Lawson and discuss a bit about his art currently on display at Coffee Public (FYI – best dark roast coffee in town). His bold work is worth the stop in Port Hope (his painting posted below).

missing women

Last week, an artist I’ve been following from British Columbia, Joni Young, put a few of her pieces up for sale online. Two I had inquired about months ago showed up in a post, and although one had sold I was very happy to purchase the other! I try to buy one piece of original art a year, and it’s never an easy decision or process because there are too many artists I love, and sometimes the prices are just out of my budget. This was divine timing for me!

joni young

With Christmas coming, I just thought it might be nice to share a few events happening in Northumberland during November and December. Go find an original gift for someone you love this year:

Looking for local art? Check out these galleries and cafe’s:

judy hopkins


Art in Nova Scotia

chief in window

I am proud and excited to say, my art prints have made it to Round Hill Studio in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. This is a studio that just opened in November 2016, and I’ve been eagerly watching their progress and events on Facebook (somewhat jealous we do not have this sort of art community here – yet?!).  I wish I could have traveled with my prints… I mean, look at this view from the gallery!

great view

So how did my prints end up at a Gallery on the east coast? It’s all thanks to Facebook; and to make a long story short, after my show in July I reached out to Jaime about sending her some art to display in her shop. She suggested I send prints ASAP, and the process for originals is still in the works (and my thought process… like a road trip delivery in the spring or fall? hehe…).

all of them on shelves

If you know anyone near Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, send them to Round Hill Studio!

If you are a Canadian Artist looking to network with other Canadian Artists, I recently started a Facebook Group: Untitled Canadian Visual Artists. Feel free to join us, to share your art, articles, blogs and discuss the whole process of creating.

Summer Fun

Another art show was a success; and as always I’m left feeling so grateful and humbled from it. Last year our show “Earth and Sky”  brought friends out from Toronto to Belleville. This year our show “Vast Lands” brought old friends, some who I hadn’t seen in over a decade!

I even met a new friend, who ventured out from Toronto with her daughter just to meet me and see the latest paintings (Remember my cross-country adventure with my childhood friend? That inspired the hoodoo paintings and kicking horse river valley paintings… well those two ladies are friends! Hence the drive to meet me…)


This year, as soon as the show started at 1pm people were coming in the door! We were so busy, so early, we never had a chance to take photos of our set-up! So many people were coming through at once, I was trying to balance multiple conversations and sales at once. Jenn and I hardly had a chance to say hi to each other, until around 4pm, and it was just us- we finally stopped to take a photo!


Thank you to everyone who came out, said hello, and bought our work. We are so grateful for your support, and it makes every moment of this journey worth it! Stay tuned for next years show… In the meantime here’s a few pics of what we did get:

Jennifer Trefiak:

Jennifer Anne Burke:

The day before the show, I finished “The Invitation” and had prints made of the 10×10 inch canvas. I cannot sell the original, but if you are interested in a print please contact me. They are $15 each (with additional $5 for shipping if needed):

the invitation