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.





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!)

Pricing Art is Hard!

Canada: The Provinces and Territories project is coming along well! In fact, this is the most excited I’ve been about a show EVER. As time passes I’m becoming more and more clear and confident in my style and the quality of my work (I study and sometimes purchase other’s originals, and it helps me price my own art).

Since the Two Days In Jasper series from 2015, I have been determined to get my art out into the world. Over the last 2 years, despite my work improving and investing my own money into quality canvases and Golden Acrylics, I have never put my prices up. I always sell my “minis” for $100 and the 12″x16″ for $200, and I have never priced anything over $500.

As I start to see the value in my own work, and in others work/prices, I have realized this has to change eventually. I’m investing all my spare time into painting now, and although I enjoy it immensely, I also have to remember this time is worth money too.

Plus there’s the whole business growth thing… I work out of my home. My dining room is also my art studio. This is not unusual for most of us hobby-artists (and even some professionals!)… This show has pushed me beyond my comfort of clutter level (which is pretty  high), and I have been purging a ton of old things just so I can make space to create more. Currently the works are overflowing into the living-room, and we never eat at our dining room table as it has become the permanent work table.

I have gotten to the point where, I am producing enough (and selling enough) that I would eventually like to afford a separate studio space.  The natural and practical and necessary step is a hard but inevitable one: Prices are going up.

But here’s the deal for the show: if you see a painting you want and you pre-pay before December 16th I will sell it for the “old” price ($200). The day of the show the new prices will be $250. If you’re concerned about paying without seeing it, contact me and we will make arrangements for you to see it in person before you buy.

If I have time to complete some minis for the show (of Killarney and Georgian Bay) they will be priced at $150.

In the New Year I will start doing custom work again, with the minimum price being $200 per piece. I can offer free quotes, with prices going up depending on size, and time needed for details in the work.


Every year I choose one painting from my series to make into cards, and one for prints. There is limited qualities of each, and once they are sold out that’s that!

Prints of “Greeted By The Chief” are all sold out. There are still a few of “The Invitation” and there will be 20 prints of “Alberta Sunset.” Prints are $15 each.

There will be cards of “Greeted By The Chief,” “Silver Sun, Lake Superior” and “Squamish, British Columbia.” Cards are $5 each or 5 for $20.

Come check out the show on December 16th in Port Hope. Find a unique gift for yourself or someone you love (that person who has everything!). Gratitude for supporting the arts!



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.

The Provinces and Territories | Canada Project

I’ve had an idea brewing for a while now, about a Canada painting project. The idea solidified when I saw this image floating around the internet:

canada newfoundland labrador iceberg doreen dalley

This photo blew my mind about Canada. I instantly wanted to hop in the car and drive as fast as possible to Twillingate, Newfoundland Labrador. Of course, this was not possible so instead I contacted Doreen Dalley and asked permission to paint from her photo. I want to capture the majesty of this incredible iceberg, and Canadian Landscape.

That was how the project was born: what else do I not know about this country? What have I not seen, that others have (that I might want to!)? So I put out an invitation for people to send me their favourite photos from around the country. Funny enough the territory I thought would be hardest, was my first respond: Nunavut! I still need images from the Northwest Territories though, if anyone has some to share?

I have done enough traveling out west, and around Ontario, to have collected a huge amount of photos. However, I really want this project to not be about my travels: but instead to be about people around the country coming together in a collective project. Each painting, will give the photographer credit, and they also have the option of adding a small story (even just a sentence or two) with photo.

The photos I have collected above are: Northwest Territories (Jennifer Poole), Nunavut (Jennifer Shymko), Prince Edward Island (Carrie Freake), New Brunskwick (Emily Smith), Nova Scotia (Laura Sanders), Albert (Maggie May), and British Columbia (Robyn Cowan). Notice no Mountains? I’m pushing outside my comfort zone haha.

I choose the pictures based on the feelings that come to me, and the flow I see in the ability to paint them (how they compliment my style of painting). So many people have sent me INCREDIBLE images, and I am so grateful. Keep them coming, you just never know what might hit me!

The two photos above are mine, driving through Manitoba and Saskatchewan on October 31st last year. What a grey, boring drive! But something about these two images, I really love. I am not too eager to use my own photos (so if you have a Manitoba image or Sask image you’d like to share, send it my way); I will use these if nothing else has jumped at me over the next few weeks.

In conclusion, I am still looking for a few photos: Quebec, Ontario and the Northwest Territories. Please do not be shy, send as many as you like, I am happy to sort through images.

Ontario has been the hardest for me, perhaps because I have seen so much of it, and this province of mine is so large and has such a vast diversity in it’s land. I have a ton of images from Ontario, and people have sent so many gorgeous photos, that have come close to the “ah ha!” but not quite the flow I need… and it’s made me think: what do I want to capture about Ontario? …Wild flowers! If anyone has an image, of a field of wild flowers (yellows, oranges, purples, blues, greens, etc.), with open skies above, and maybe some tree silhouettes… please forward them to me. I will be so grateful. Of course, you are welcome to send me anything, I am open to changing my mind if something else clicks.

In the meantime… I’m going to start some practice paintings on small canvas boards, and I am super pumped to start with those bold colours in Maggie’s Alberta Sunset. Stay tuned… I will keep writing about the process of this project over the next few months. I hope to have it complete (13 canvases all the same -medium- size) by December. One painting a week? I can handle that. I think.