Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Deer Queen

carbon, gouache and collage on watercolour paper with a beeswax finish

Friday, November 25, 2011

Portrait of a Young Artist ll

Portrait of a Young Artist ll
oil on panel
16" x 12"

I just finished this painting of  a remarkable young woman named Camille. She participated in a youth art project I led in Toronto and I was struck by her maturity, kindness and strong sense of self. I plan to enter this into the Portrait Society of America's annual members only competition.

Monday, November 14, 2011

My school is moving!!

I am so excited to announce that my school, The Leslieville School of Art, is moving into the Centre of Gravity, East location Kids already come to this vibrant arts community for circus training, dance and music classes, birthday parties and yoga. Its is a great pairing for us and we are so thrilled. Check out our newly updated website for new class descriptions, new address and more fun stuff!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Waiting for the number 16

Waiting for the number 16, oil on panel. 43 x 33" 2011

detail of Waiting for the number 16

Here is my new painting, currently on display in the Ingram Gallery booth (#302), at the Toronto International Art Fair. The piece has been sold, but do go check it out if you are at the art fair!
I am moving into a more narrative direction with my work and I had a lot of fun with this one. The model is a brilliant, politically aware and grounded teen named Anya. I saw the house in the background in Huntsville last winter- while tripping around our favourite part of Ontario. I don't know yet exactly what this piece means- but it has something to do with stepping out of chaos, being unsure, but still strong and moving forward.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Figure painting workshop with Jeremy Lipking

I had the extreme good fortune of participating in a Jeremy Lipking figure painting workshop in LA this past weekend. I spent a day and a half watching him paint and another day and a half painting a few oil studies from life myself. Jeremy spoke quite a bit about his process while he painted and it was incredibly awe inspiring and humbling to watch him work. We painted a stunning Iranian/Swedish model named Malo, on the beach in Malibu on the last day- lucky me! Lipking was a generous host and a blast to be around. He completely blew my mind on the last evening by referencing Pantera's album Cowboys from Hell- warming the corners of my true skid soul!
My study of Ariella 16 x 20"

My study of Malo 4x6"

Jeremy's study of Ariella

Jeremy's study of Malo

Jeremy Lipking painting on the beach

Jeremy and I outside of his studio in Agoura Hills

Friday, October 21, 2011

Toronto International Art Fair 2011

I have a new painting, called "Waiting for the Number 16", that will be on display at this years TIAF. Just look for the Ingram Gallery Booth- you will find my painting, a stellar new piece by my husband, Peter Mitchell and some really nice people! The art fair is at the Metro Convention Centre and runs October 28th- 31st.
Here is a small teaser for the new one....

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Some quick studies

quick oil sketch from life
oil sketch from life

It was a ridiculously busy summer for my family. To keep my painting chops up I did a bunch of super quick studies- here are a few of the more successful ones- there are a bunch of real stinker too! Now I am working on a large painting for Ingram Gallery's booth in the Toronto International Art Fair in October- stay tuned....

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Portrait commission

oil on panel, 2011

I did this portrait commission last month for my goalie. Sue was a dear friend of hers, who passed away a few years ago. Sue was also a hockey player. I didn't know her, but I get the sense that I would have liked her very much- she looks kind, sharp and playful. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Salmagundi Club


Turkish Mama
oil on panel
I am so excited to announce that this painting was accepting into the Salmagundi Club's annual juried exhibition in New York. The Salmagundi Club was established in 1871 and Matthew Innis wrote a great post about it for his fabulous  Underpaintings blog. This spring the Salmagundi Club presented its 4th American Masters show that included work by Jeremy Lipking, David Kassan, David Lafelle, Rose Frantzen and many other stellar painters. The exhibition that my painting is a part of runs from August 8th- 19th, with an awards banquet on the 19th. Did I mention that I am excited?!

Gulay Karadere-West and my painting of her in the window of Ingram Gallery
May 5th 2011

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

New painting video!

Jessica in High Park
plein air painting
Check out this new short video of myself, Kristy Gordon and Juan Martinez painting Jessica in High Park. The video was made by Jesse Ewles. This was actually my first experience painting the figure outdoors. It was a gorgeous day and so much fun. The light was immensely different than in my studio (where I work beside a large, frosted window. I found it much easier to read colour under the bright sunlight. Much thanks to Kristy for making this all happen and to both she and Juan for being such fun painting partners! 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Summer Workshops 2011 UPDATED!

I am offering 2 workshops this summer, at my school The Leslieville School of Art. Here are the workshop descriptions:

Mixed Media Fun 
July 23rd and 24th. 10am- 3pm.

This workshop is for students of all skill levels. During this weekend long workshop Sara Sniderhan will lead students through 3 mixed media projects. Students will be introduced to oil paint, reduction drawing with charcoal and white chalk, hand tinting paper and mixed media drawing with a beeswax finish. Each project will also enrich basic drawing, painting and composition skills.
The cost of this workshop is $300.00 and includes all materials.

Life Painting Workshop

August 19 (10am- 1pm), 20th and 21st (10am- 4pm) 

Instructed by Sara Sniderhan, students of this 3-day workshop will create 3 oil sketches from live (clothed) models. Sniderhan will lead with demonstrations on how to mix a natural flesh palette, capture a likeness, how to render flesh and hair in oil paint and how to compose a dynamic oil study. One oil sketch will be painted outdoors to explore the differences of light and colour and to incorporate fauna into the composition.
The cost of the workshop is $350.00 and covers the model fee and all

To register or for more information please call me at 416.559.6189 or email

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Post show life painting!

Head study of Erica
8 x 10"
oil on panel

I got together with the fabulous painter Kristy Gordon last week for a super fun and relaxing life painting session. The model is actually my babysitter- a lovely young woman named Erica. It was great to get my brushes wet after the roller coaster ride that is a first solo exhibition! Kristy, Juan Martinez and I are working on a short outdoor, life painting video next week. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Studio shots

Some shots of my studio the morning I took my paintings down to Ingram Gallery. It was quite a thing to  work with all of them surrounding me. I took a few moments each night, after my kids were in bed, to sit on my couch in the studio and have a good look- it felt pretty great actually. I posted all of the paintings in my solo show here. I'll post some show installation and opening night shots soon....

Thursday, May 5, 2011

My solo show opens TODAY!!

My Name Is 
Ingram Gallery
49 Avenue Road, Toronto
May 5th- 25th

Wow, I can't believe the day is actually here. It is such a trip- working for several months on a group of paintings, in a 10 x 10 room, by yourself- then seeing it all hung, with breathing space and so much niceness in a gallery. 23 new paintings made the cut for the show and the good folks at Ingram did a great job hanging them. I am excited (and a little nervous) for tonights big opening- 5-8pm! 

Friday, April 29, 2011

Painting kids

 Girl Wonder
oil on panel
24 x 12"

oil on panel
16 x 12"

I am not a big fan of most oil paintings of children. Often I find they are so overly sentimental- that all you can see is how the painter feels and nothing of the child themselves- images of angelic little empty shells. Norman Rockwell did kids well- he obviously met a few of them- he depicted children as actual human beings with an array of emotions, involved in activities children actually partake in. I don't paint children often, but when I do I really strive to show something of them, just as I do when I paint adults- show a glimpse of who they are and what makes them tick. These are paintings of my son, in the dragon suit and a lovely neighbour and school mate of his named Grace- I hope I served them well. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

7 more sleeps....

"More than this"
oil on panel

My solo show at Ingram Gallery opens next Thursday May 5th! The paintings are varnished and ready to drop off at the gallery tomorrow and I am feeling soooo excited!
This is a painting of a lovely woman named Sachi. I met her when she was pregnant with her daughter- we shared a midwifery clinic and our husbands know each other from the Sheridan Illustration program. This one almost didn't make it into the show- I lost patience when I realized that the head I painted was both too big and in the wrong spot and would need to be gessoed over and restarted. I turned her face against the wall for a few weeks and then gave her another go. I am super happy with how the head and hands turned out in the end. I can't tell you how many things I gessoed over in the past few months- there are whole paintings underneath some of the paintings in the show! Its liberating to be at a stage where that feels just fine.
Hope to see you in a week!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Moms I Know

One more thing
oil on panel
20 x 16"

Turkish Mama
oil on panel
24 x 18"

presently untitled
oil on panel
12 x 10"

I met these lovely ladies at my neighbourhood drop in centre (for parents/caregivers and their children). There are really rad mums in my neighbourhood!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Goldie and Bill

Goldie and Bill
oil on panel

I painted this one, from life, of pen knife carvings made by my grandfather, during WWll. He served in the army as a mechanic, building and repairing motorcycles. Although he never served oversees he was away from my grandmother for long stretches of time.  My grandparents were both members of the Black Hawks Motorcycle club. The carvings are of them in their Black Hawks uniforms.  My grandfather adored my grandma and I tried to capture something about their relationship in the painting. It was a tonne of fun to paint- nice to take a breather from flesh!

Friday, March 18, 2011


presently untitled
oil on panel

While I was studying at Angel Studios I worked part time as a nanny. I was 22 and the boy in this painting was almost 4 when I started. I had quite an intimate relationship with little William and his younger sister, Tricia. It is such a trip to see the now 16 year old Wills, full of life, sarcasm and all that is BOY. Doing this painting was a real treat.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Thought I'd post some process shots of my painting of Faith. I'm LOVING these Rosemary, long flat, Mongoose brushes. Its been a tonne of fun just going straight onto the panel with paint, eliminating preliminary drawing. I've always been a big fan of being able to see brushstrokes in a painting- Sargent is one of my all time faves- and I've been able to leave more and more of them in my own work. 7 weeks to my solo, chugga, chugga choo-choo.
currently untitled painting of Faith
oil on panel

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Paint mania!

work in progress
oil on panel
Whoa, I have been painting like a mad woman since the art fair in October. Some months ago I scrapped all plans to have a plan for the body of work for my first solo show. My strategy is to just paint like hell and see what happens- hang the best of the bunch and paint over the rest. I am painting people from my life- moms from the neighbourhood, old friends, the Air Force Captain I bought my poppy from this year, my husbands natural gas guy etc. I have been trying to get as much accomplished in the first sitting as possible- alla prima style. I've been using long, flat Mongoose brushes that I order from a woman named Rosemary in England (they are actually less expensive than most natural hair brushes in the art store and far better quality) and mixing my paint with linseed oil and painting medium. I like the way the combo leaves the brush strokes visible.
I did the one above yesterday afternoon. The woman in the painting is Tamara Podemski. I met her 14 years ago on the set of Ready or Not- you must remember Busy and Amanda! While I stuck with paint, she went on to win a special jurors prize for acting at the Sundance film festival. She is a powerhouse of a singer, actor and dancer and an honest, fiercely dedicated human being.  Lucky for me she was back in town in happy to sit for me.
I'd better get back to work, I have 22 others in the hopper!