Canadian Custom Art | Rocky Mountains

Last year a friend of mine drove through the Rocky Mountains with her family (one year after I started pumping out my Jasper paintings)… when she returned and shared her photos, I asked to use one to do a line drawing. Which I did, and gifted to her shortly after.

This year, right before my art show Vast Lands, she inquired about having a custom painting done, from the same photo. I was thrilled! She said she like the colours in my “Gaia” painting, so right after the show I got to work! It was easy for me to envision…

The funny thing is… I decided to use “ultramarine blue” to give some depth to the “payne’s grey” I have been using in a lot of paintings lately. I had no idea it would turn purple when I added white. It was one of those miraculous accidents, because both of us loved the additional purple in the composition (and I feel like I will be using ultramarine blue a lot more in the future).

The finished project has been a hit on Facebook:


Thank you Elayne for the custom project, and sharing your passion for our incredible Canadian Landscapes.

elayne photo



Life Revival

I feel like life is reviving itself: Days are getting longer, we’ve had more sun and some mild temps. Things are moving, and getting done. Feeling good.

Be warned: I’ve been busy covering a lot of ground, this is like four blogs in one!

carol lynn wins hopewell rocksART CONTEST WINNER

First things first: Thank you to everyone who participated in the “Sharing The Love: Spring Equinox” art contest. There were some beautiful Canadian photos shared, and the winner is Carol-Lynn Mills (one lucky woman- I just finished a large custom piece for her, and now she’s won the custom mini-painting)!

This is her photo of Hopewell Rocks, when she drove out east and traveled through New Brunswick. What a perfect Canadian Landmark to be painted, cannot wait to get started!



This volunteer¬† project surfaced towards the end of 2016. I had the perfect vision for it, before I saw the actual “little library.” The original plan was to paint it like a 3D map of Canada- but the cedar shingle roof destroyed that vision instantly. So had to start brainstorming some new ideas. I really wanted to stay with my Canadian theme, but without it being too patriotic (visions of red and white, maple leafs, flags… not my thing). I love our land: Canadian wilderness, our natural resources, and the vast landscapes.

I decided instead of doing a map, I would focus on the 4 directions (North, East, South and West), with some sort of icon or landmark for that part of our Country. North would be Aurora Borealis; South will be the Great Lakes; East the rocky shores and light house; West the Rocky Mountains.

This is still a work in progress (will paint a compass on the roof, draw the outline of the Great Lakes on the glass door, and improve that mountain), but after sitting on it for five months, it feels good to have it going!


sweet soul the second


2017 has had me busy with custom art! This is my new favourite, inspired by the original “Surf” paintings, but modified to fit a tight kitchen space!

susan custom waves

Next on the list is this Canadian Prairies “Sinking” Church (Saskatchewan?). Such a cool photo, I’m excited to transfer this into a painting.

peggys crooked church


During the March Break I took a trip to Toronto, and had an incredibly powerful visit with my wise-old-soul-cousin Jessica. She’s been self-employed as a successful life-style photographer for over 15 years, and she had a lot of wisdom and ideas to share that certainly inspired me (below: photo credit and logo credit go to her).

Over the last few years I have kept my art separate from my¬† yoga business. However, between 2006 and 2010 I had my own studio space that I ran as a yoga AND art studio. It was a creative hub for the community. Jessica reminded me of this, and suggested I start collaborating the two businesses again. Since she planted that seed, there’s been so many other ideas growing.

Check out my fresh, new and improved, yoga blog: The Gentle Way of Hatha (also note the new ART tab there). You can find me on Instagram too, sharing photo moments of art, yoga and life.

Friends- Spring is here. Start planting some seeds to grow in your life, love, and passions! It’s time to revive.

Sweet Soul Projects

At the end of January I was approached by a fellow interested in a custom order painting. I took it on fast, and within a week the piece was complete. What a whirl wind of a journey it was!

It started with some rough sketches and matching brain waves… This was before we met.

original sketch.jpg

This was after we met and discussed size/materials/colours… deciding on three 22″x 22″ gallery canvases. We had to throw in some Northern Lights…

rough sketch.jpg

I was working with a whole new colour palette! Not to mention the learning curve of the quality of paints and mixing… (from now on I only use GOLDEN!)

new paint palette.jpg

When I took on the project, it was like divine timing, as I knew I would be limited in time and wanted to get as much done as I could the first day! This was day one…

laying down the backgroundadding in the wavesdetails of northern lightsadding the lines

Day 2…

northern lights detailed finished

Detail Panel #3 (Northern Lights)

sun detail

Detail Panel #2 (Sun)

waves detail

Detail panel #1 (Waves)


And together they make this 2′ x 6′ piece of surf art!

The rest of the week involved getting permission to sign, varnish and deliver!

Why a sweet soul project?

Well, in December I had an art show in my home. Afterwards, I felt this was an area of my life I needed to explore more. Since having my son in 2011 I have really struggled with finding home/work/life balance. Art has moved me through many tough transitions in my life- and at the time this project came forth I was on the cusp of another big life change.

Since visiting Jasper, Alberta in August 2015 I have felt this new and intensely deep connection with Mother Earth. I feel like part of my purpose in painting, is to express her voice and power. This project gave me the opportunity to do that.

As an artist, my whole life, I have struggled with the value of creating art.

So this project blew me through all those layers at once- I was paid to do work I love, connect with people who understand this earth connection, I was shown the value art holds for others, and in one weekend I had created a work I never would have otherwise thought of.

It has inspired so much more painting… propelling me forward again, to explore this earth, her voice and my own expression of them.

greens full totem

Thank you Sir for this sweet soul project!