2018 Reflection

By making space to enrich your life with original art & craft, the world benefits too.

In art, craft & music, humanity isn’t just equipped with beauty & function, it’s gifted with hope.
People exposed to art have less mental fatigue, ‘stronger critical thinking skills and are more socially tolerant.’
Solutions rise along with open-mindedness.

By collecting, you inspire others, creating tradition & legacy, opportunities to prosper, improve health, awareness and ideas. Art is an energy game changer. Your place becomes not just functional, but a place to thrive.

Original art & craft become a part of a family’s stories & legacy, inherited, gifted or auctioned, unlike so many disposable items today. In this way, dwellings become more sustainable, encouraging generations of conscious consumerism.

When we stop filling our spaces, and start filling our lives with thoughtful intention, mindfulness flourishes.
Cradling a mug of favourite tea made by a makers hands becomes an event. A caress in the curve of an armchair carved by hand gives one pause.
Art can empower and enlighten, stopping you mid stride with emotion. Paint & linen didn’t do that, the maker did.

“Support the arts” suggests a charitable act.
Yet, the arts support & unite humanity. Arts root us to past & present, inspire future possibility.
The arts are one of the largest contributors to fundraising for healthcare, conservation and educational venues.

But if we don’t include, collect, share art, artists become fewer, less inspired, less hopeful there is a place for them, and their work.

Dealers, Gallery owners and Artists report it’s become challenging motivating the public to visit & purchase original work.
“Screensavers have become their art collection” said one. Some people confessed not ever experiencing art in person, social media supplies their art viewing.

In this instance, the free online view deprives the artist of funds & fuel for further art, and the viewer is denied authentic experience. Art on a screen vs in person is like viewing a picture of a cupcake vs. savouring one.

These great electronic tools with their pixilated screens are intended as invitation to engage with real art.

In a time where fewer may be visiting galleries, a handful of resilient art lovers traveled thru a snow storm to the Shurniak Gallery opening.

my cousin Linda at the Shurniak
When new three paintings arrived in Kelowna, BC at the Hambleton Gallery this fall, two quickly sold, …to a couple from Toronto.

It’s been a wonderful 2018, you fill me with gratitude & inspiration by making room for and enriching your lives with art. The world thanks you too.

This is my last post for 2018, as I will be traveling to the exhibit this week without a laptop.
I will be available by email, and updating Instagram.
All artwork shown is available for purchase.

“We have been told often enough that craft is threatened.
But the truth is that craft can be so powerful, so convincing, that we will gladly stand helpless before it.”
The invention of craft 2013 Glenn Adamson

Glenn Adamson’s inspiring commencement speech May 2018 is truly worth the read.


Swiftly Flowing River

*Important: Due to upcoming Sask exhibit travels, studio will be closed Nov 28-Jan. Please be in touch asap for purchasing art from the studio. ( this includes holiday purchases)
*All Prices increase in Jan.

The Cree name translates ‘swiftly flowing river’, apt, for a province that hosts 100,000 lakes & rivers, with 30 varieties of shore birds, and moose capital of the World.

Its home to 2 national parks, 35 provincial parks, 288,00o kms of forest, equaling 44% of the province.
Boreal forest covers over half the province.

If you still believe Saskatchewan is a flatland of wheat fields, view my cousin Megan’s photo below.

I was born in the village of Fort Qu’ Appelle’s Indian Hospital, Echo Valley Provincial park. The ‘Fort’ is located on a small section of land nestled between Echo and Pasqua lake, known as The Calling Lakes.

( google images of hospital & valley below. My photo of the lakeshore includes the chimney of the old hospital, google image of the Indian Hospital below.)

This beautiful valley is the home of Buffy St Marie, prominent artist James Henderson, and the historic Hansen Ross pottery studio.

James Henderson”the River” FortQ.

Chief Walter Dieter of the Peepeekisis became Head of Federation of Saskatchewan Indians the year I was born, two years later forming the Brotherhood of First Nations known today as the Assembly of First Nations.

In my Father’s Prov. Parks career it was mandatory to reside within amazing places like Echo Valley, including Greenwater and Kenosee Parks.

Employees were encouraged to experience diversity of the parks firsthand, therefore often transferred around the province. Living in varied remote wilderness, abundant with wildlife near first nation communities taught us appreciation for landscape/ culture diversity and adaptability.*

It’s a beautiful collective experience written in my soul.

I return to close the Saskatchewan Exhibit Dec 2.

It’s a body of work I am proud of, as varied, colourful & bold as the Canadian landscapes I have been fortunate to thrive in.
Special Thanks to the Shurniak Gallery for this opportunity & those who have traveled to the exhibit.

~New Work & MORE NEWS!!~

Lake Shore 18×24 $1100.00

New Sunset 24×36 oil fresh on the easel $2170.oo

All prices will be increasing in 2019! Website will reflect new pricing in January.
Website has a new user friendly ART page. Please peruse the art at your leisure. http://www.dawnbanning.com/newsblog/art-gallery/
If you wish to purchase paintings from the Shurniak Exhibit, or from my studio please contact me asap.I will be away from the studio in December.
New “Mountain Snowfall’ is at the Hambleton Gallery for the Winter Exhibit due to open end of Nov!

Due to the Canada Post Strike, I am using alternative methods for shipping, primarily UPS.
PS To see video shorts, glimpses of new work & process, follow on Instagram, a user friendly media made for art lovers & creatives.

My page is open to the public, no need to subscribe!
sample views above & below:

* as an artist, these are key characteristics, enabling one to quickly engage with landscapes & relate those I haven’t experienced firsthand.


The face you know best is your own.
From the time you learned to touch your nose, you’ve come to know every facial curve under your fingertips and your reflection in every mirror surface.
It is the reason artists are instructed to draw a self portrait before attempting another’s.

Oblivious to this kind of instruction, I drew portraits as a teenager, without ever creating my own.
I never had a desire to.
For one thing, I know my own stories.
In the faces of others, I saw so many, and hoped to share those stories with the world.
At 25 I began to paint landscape, a universal subject with powerful potential to connect humanity to nature.

So when Julia took this photo in the boreal, I never dreamt it would one day be my first self portrait.


Standing across a wee bay from one another in the morning sun, we were capturing photos for documentation on the most wonderful expedition experience of my life.


I recently remarked on my ‘carefree’ look, awkwardly balancing on a narrow rock ledge, “That’s me weeks without a shower in the wilderness!” Julia replied ‘It was Day 2.”

It’s a beautiful photo composition, with wonderful paintable elements. You have seen this island in a few paintings, and that lovely curve of rock.

What inspired me to paint its entirety, scruffy character & all, isn’t a sudden desire to study self portraiture.
I was filing photos when my Painters Keys subscription popped up Oct. 12th.
Sara Genn’s moving letter “Ninth Street Women” motivated me to completely switch gears that day.
( click here to read the full letter)

….“Elaine de Kooning had debuted with 71 other artists at the Ninth Street Gallery in New York. The show featured eleven women and sixty-one men, including Elaine’s husband, Willem de Kooning, plus Robert Rauschenberg, Robert Motherwell and Jackson Pollock, the husband of another exhibitor, Lee Krasner. The month-long show launched a new wave of up-until-then virtual unknowns — loft squatters soon to become the Modern Masters of American Abstract Expressionism. Well, the men were soon recognized, at least. The women lumped along on a circuitous path as the at-times painter-wives of stratospheric art stars, with another ten, twenty, forty or sixty-plus years to go before establishing their own places in art history.”..

Today, “In terms of representation in commercial galleries, women hover around the 30% mark, with women continuing to make up only 3-5% of museum permanent collections in the U.S and Europe.”

TEN to SIXTY YEARS… 3-5% representation.

Tears quietly blurred my eyesight & I knew what to paint.

This composition purposely breaks a few rules:

1. When including a person in the landscape it’s best to have the figure facing away, so the viewer can picture themselves in the painting. Figure facing the viewer may be thought of as confrontational.

2. Thou sunglasses may be glam in fashion photos. In a painting, they block insight into the figure. Sunglasses off, you invite the viewer in, sunglasses on.. not so much.

3. I painted the island in the middle. A compositional no-no.

What I love about it:

It’s powerful.
The character element makes no apologies, quietly demands attention.
“I am here to stay” she says wordlessly.
Close connection of the canoe & figure may be viewed as an expression “Paddle your own craft, forge your own path.” ( cue fist pump)

It felt cathartic & was painted in joy.

Dedicated to the women who stayed the course, and continue to in the world of art.
To name a few Canadians, Mary Pratt (who was told there could only be one artist in the family, her husband.) Kathleen Morris, Anne Savage & those of the Beaver Hall Group, Daphne Odjig, Emily Carr, Maude Lewis, Dorothy Knowles, my friend Julia Hargreaves who captured this moment so well, & Mom, creative brave heart & art champion, ( first photo)
I’ ve been thinking about canoe names, what are your suggestions? Bertha & Agnes?

P.S ~ Sara’s Dad Robert wrote about pay inequality of women artists in comparison to men. It’s still an issue, with “women earning 81cents to every one dollar made by men. Women working across art professions earn 20,000 less than men.
In 2017 the University of Luxumberg (thru over a million records) found works by women sell for 47.6% less than work by men.

Fresh Perspective

Mountain Snowfall 

“Too close,” is an expression among creatives.
In the midst of creating artists may have difficulty ‘seeing’ the piece, unknowing if it’s moving in the right direction. ‘Is it bad or brilliant?’ syndrome.
Think of a problem/ decision/discussion/ crossroads you encountered in the past.
While emotionally invested, you may have felt unable to step out of the fray and see the big picture objectively. One can be temporarily blind to solutions.
The term ‘ too close’ refers to physical, mental & emotional state.
Like jumping on a train with destination unknown, or cutting your own bangs, it could have unpleasant or surprisingly positive results.

“Too close affliction” is why I nearly trashed one of my most sought after paintings.
Distraught over ruined expensive materials & wasted weeks of work, I was hoisting it out of the house when Marc stopped me. He loved it, insisting it be included in the exhibit I was working on.

Summer Beach

I don’t know why, but at one point I agreed to let the gallery owner decide.
He loved it, and set the price.
Thou I had nightmares about presenting the painting publicly, it was a show favourite, found a home quickly, and was my first sale over $1,000.oo
More than a decade later, people still approach me about that painting.

And it nearly went in the trash.

Proximity challenge also occurs in the midst of growth.

Desire to improve fuels artists like athletes.
Evolution of the work isn’t about pursuit of perfection, rather striving to offer more, digging deeper into the artistic well. Finding creative solutions how to engage the audience more fully and illuminate the subject to the best of one’s ability.
It’s also a matter of survival in a highly competitive industry.
Increasing knowledge, skills, listening to critics, dealers, market dictations, instincts, and clients, artists strive for individuality hoping to remain true to their creative spark. The road can be tough and not for the thin skinned.

Autumn Treeline

It is a fine balance to remain in the eye of the creative storm. In this daily whirlwind it’s easy to become too close.

Life parallels in coping strategies may help your journey encountering ’too close syndrome.’

1. Distance allows clarity of perspective and space for answers.
Put the art away, out of sight out of mind. Viewing later ( weeks/ months, years) with less vulnerability and fresh eyes/ new perspective will do wonders. Solutions will appear.

2. Double Easel. Working on two or more paintings at once prevents from overworking, or’ dwelling’ on one piece. Dwelling, overworking, overthinking, overanalyzing are self imposed obstacles which stall & block instincts, preventing good energy flow.

3. Immerse in Nature. Take a nature break without paints, camera or company.( if safe to do so. ) Nature has powerful effects, offering peace, solutions and revitalization. Exercising in nature, you increase the effects enormously.

4. Remember your truth. See the big picture. What do you want to contribute to others & the world? are you ‘too close’ to see what you create? are you accountable to your actions? are they in line with your beliefs & what you represent? how do you hope others interpret your work? what is your legacy?

By forging a solo creative journey, one may become over self involved, neglecting what & who is outside the ‘bubble’.
What solutions arise when you act to contribute rather than receive or achieve?

Remember why you chose this path in the first place, knowing choice is fluid.
Change of scenery, medium/ genre, relationships, occupation, can infuse the soul and offer new perspective.

I wholeheartedly believe in order to progress artists have to be their own toughest critic.
A dear friend reminded me to find balance among harsh self judgement “while you see flaws, others see beauty”. Robert Genn wrote ~paraphrasing,~ ‘you may want to think about hanging onto your dogs, there is a pup for everyone.”

All NEW work above available for purchase:

Mountain Snowfall 12×24 oil available at the Hambleton Gallery Winter Exhibit

Summer Beach and Autumn Treeline each  24×36 $2170.oo oil in progress in studio

Kenosee 14×18 oil $825.oo on exhibit at the Shurniak Gallery

Congrats to new collectors of “Bay“, SOLD this week & Thanks to International Art Designs for the assistance in framing!


Art & Ironman

Preparing for a solo exhibit is dramatically similar to Ironman training.

It can take years of preparation, fitting the work in among other career projects & life. Building a body of work is like building a foundation of physical & mental strength for racing. The work needs to be quality, consistent and confident. Doubts may flare along with logistical planning nightmares and large financial investments. The long journey to race day(opening day) can bring forth a whole gamut of emotion and reflection.

While living in Kelowna, BC, aside from day job, I volunteered often. For Ironman Canada held in nearby Penticton, my position of choice was the massage tent located at the finish line.

At the time I was a seasoned marathoner, wildly curious about the training involved in the mammoth endurance event of a 3.86k swim, 180.2k bicycle, & a 42.2 run. Massage volunteer was an opportunity to spend uninterrupted one- on -one time with athletes and hear their adventures first hand.

Cloudy sky

It was an unforgettable experience, being in the midst of celebration and tender vulnerablity witnessing their accomplishments. The depth of emotion wasn’t something I was totally prepared for. “They didn’t cover this in training.” I thought, as a large muscled man tipped his head to my shoulder and wept. “I will never ever do that again.” he whispered. In contrast, a lively woman gripped my shoulders while in a happy dance. “My husband worried I wouldn’t finish, and here I am, with him still out on the course. It was AWESOME!.”

Sunset shore

Exhibiting one’s original art also has emotional peaks and valleys, with the physical & creative demands of marathon painting for months on end. The impact after years of work requires time to recover & restore before reflecting on the fruition of a dream.

The differences participating Ironman and a solo art show, in Ironman all the hard work & training come down to one day where your work blooms to fruition. You are in the drivers seat for the most part, on how the day plays out, whether success is achieved. In an art career, whether the show is deemed successful, my friends, is totally up to you.

As they say in the art world, that part is out of my hands.

rugged shore

new NEWS news

Exhibit at the Shurniak Gallery is on until Dec. 2, please visit if you are in the area, all work is for sale, inquires please contact me. Peruse Mr. Shurniak’s astounding diverse collection while you are there, and have lunch in the adjoining cafe. Special thanks to my Papa, family & those who braved the storm to attend the opening.


~ Thanks to Gene Hauta of the Hudson Bay Review for his lovely article!

~ Before leaving Saskatchewan I had an important stop to make at the Elgar Peterson Arena, personally delivering the entire proceeds from the sale of ‘Bronco’ (sold at the opening of the Shurniak exhibit) to the Humbolt Bronco team. To the collector who purchased this unique original, please know they are grateful.

~ New work sold nearly immediately after arriving at the Hambleton Gallery in Kelowna!


Congratulations to visitors from Toronto, new collectors who purchased two new paintings! Thanks to Joshua and all the lovely folk at Hambleton Galleries. Group Winter show opens late Nov.

~ I am back in the studio this week with new paintings in the works above! Rugged Shore 22×28 also in progress ( nearly done!)

Cloudy Sky 18×24 oil $1100.00 on exhibit Shurniak Gallery
Sunset Shore 18×24 oil $1100.00 on exhibit Shurniak Gallery

Sundance 5ftx3.3ft is now complete $5300.00 & in the studio.
Email me to stop by the studio, recent work available for viewing & purchase. Looking forward to seeing you!

~ P.S, Participating in two full Ironman events, in some ways, I found easier than exhibiting. Thou both require an individual to control all elements we can, like quality work, execution of training, etc. ( in art, also marketing, business acumen, etc.) In art, my life’s work depends on people embracing & collecting it. An art career can be the ultimate wonderful lesson in letting go of control.

Thanksgiving ( Shurniak Exhibit)

“Money is quite ordinary.” she said. “Important, yes, but, in itself, ordinary.”
“Yet, in exchange for it, I receive something extraordinary, this painting, unique to anything else in the world.” “So you see, I feel I receive the better of the deal, and it is I, who should be thanking you.” Client.

“I never sent a thank you card to a client.” Robert Genn wrote, “I felt rather, it should be the other way around.”

“You should be paid for your blog post. People need to understand your research, time & effort to keep us informed, entertained & educated. You contribute more to the art world than paintings. You are one of the hardest working artists in the industry, hands down.” Dealer.

“For goodness sake, whatever you do, don’t thank people for coming, they should be privileged to be there, and you need to understand that.” Collector.

I did thank people for coming, for traveling in a fierce prairie snowstorm to the Shurniak Gallery on opening day of my solo exhibit last Wednesday.

An Artist’s opening address usually focuses the collection, biography, narration of self reflection.

My opening statement didn’t touch on the collection, instead, was steeped in gratitude, recognizing Mr. Shurniak’s contribution to the art world, in thanks to my family & those attending.

I don’t cater to my desires in my work, but to you. Always it’s about connecting humanity. The very moment artwork is released publicly it’s an attempt to communicate & engage.
If art was self expression, it would be kept private.

If you have been following along in the 10 years that I have not missed writing a blogpost, you know the depth of gratitude I have for my family, collectors, mentors, & dealers, etc. You have ideas where my inspiration originates, what fuels it, and how I work to maintain it. I don’t believe I have natural talent but skill I work hard to develop, diligently listening to professional feedback, & observing client response.

There are amazing stories to share about last week’s events. Recognizing this fact brings a huge sense of gratitude.
Yes, again the thankfulness.

Expressing thanks is practice of good manners, whether it’s recognizing a small kind gesture, or those who traveled 6 hours in a snowstorm to the exhibit. ( which my family did).

Gratitude expression is also a positive internal and vocal reminder. 
Recognizing what/ who contributes to ‘positivity’ or’ success’ feeds inspiration, comforts in times of struggle, fuels dedication, joy, and accountability.

Its wise not to confuse gratitude with lack of worthiness.  “Don’t you think you deserve it?’ a client asked when I thanked him. Not comfortable with the word ‘deserve’, which suggests entitlement, I do wholeheartedly believe in the work, it’s value,my worthiness of abundance in health, love, and yes, success too.

Before we convey last week’s stories, my thanksgiving today is focused on the art itself.
What I have witnessed it achieve, its engagement, contribution, it’s wonder.

Listening to you in the beginning of this post, perhaps we are a part of something nearly undefinable. Something ordinary in exchange for something extraordinary.

Also given the rare privilege to glimpse Mr. Shurniak’s passion & extensive diverse collection thru his eyes, I see art has an ability to transform, to transcend.

Magic exists, it’s alive the moment people are in art’s midst. You can feel & witness the energy exchange like sunbeams parting the sky on a snowy day.
Understanding dawns on faces glowing with delight. You feel it in the hugs and handshakes of those present, hear it in their heartfelt whispers, and tearful sentiments. You feel it in their gratitude. Being in the midst of art is an unstoppable loving force. A freight train of empowering colour and energy.
A train I dreamt of and now, joyously see it’s result.

Thank you, to art.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.


All new work is available for purchase. email me dawn@dawnbanning.com

New collection shown in various photos.

Included close up of:

“Manitou Sun” 18×24 oil on canvas $1100.00

“Red Canoe, Boreal” 24×36 oil on canvas $2170.00 

“December Light” 18×24 oil on canvas $1100.00

~For those curious, my opening address, in full, below.

“What a pleasure it is to see you all here today, in this beautiful gallery!!
How many of you have been to the Shurniak before? It’s amazing, right?!! an incredible collection!

My first experience in an art gallery was at the encouragement of an adjudicator who came to our small Saskatchewan town when I was in high school.
“Go to the city, “ she said, “see what the art world is all about.”

Saskatoon’s Mendel Art Gallery was hosting a popular New York artist at the time.
Yet it wasn’t his exhibit that intrigued me. Instead, I was drawn to the quiet corridors that housed the gallery’s permanent collection. In awe, I knew I stood before greatness.

Mr. Shurniak, by generously sharing your amazing extensive diverse collection with the public, you not only delight art lovers, you create them.
You inspire veteran artists and those yet to be, like I was all those years ago.
For this, and for hosting my work among these masters, I thank you.

Papa, for your love, for the positive role model you continue to be, to you & all the boys, Darin, Marc, Nicolas, for inspiring me by pursuing your own creative passions, living your lives with integrity & kindness I thank you.

In dedication & memory of my late Mom, my compass, who embraced the colour of life, encouraged my creative fire. I like to think a light that shines so bright, never really goes out.

To all of you, who have carved time out of your day, traveled in snow near & far, thank you for coming & welcome to HOMECOMING.”

Welcoming Engagement

Cave paintings served as communication such as “Bison herd at the river,” or “Beware! tiger behind the big rock.”
Depending on drawing accuracy, they may have offered entertainment value too.
Cave art announced status “I have a horse,” recorded events, genealogy, & conserved history.
Similar to modern day vision boards painted scenes like “hunting magic” were for abundance of prey.
Depicting religious elements, Gods were painted larger & fancier than the other guys.
Artists were often considered Shaman with a worthy place among society.

Somewhere in history paintings lost the distinction of serving people, by becoming something ‘for’ the walls.
We hear evidence of this often.
“My dining room needs a painting. The living room is crying for a piece. Our lobby needs art. That hallway needs… something.”
Rooms themselves don’t give a hoot.

Art is for & all about you in the best way. It will enhance your dining experience, enrich living, comfort patients, occupy & stimulate clients, entertain visitors and keep you company. Transition areas with art will orchestrate inhabitants ‘room’ experience. Ie: Pastel mauve hallway paintings leading to bedrooms entices restfulness.

Paintings aren’t passive, but an active engagement, a real life energy exchange.

Like the art of our cave ancestors, they relay story element, educate & inspire. They become members of the family in a way, hanging around for generations. Paintings are windows to wilderness and possibility. It’s lovely to have reminders of rivers & rocks, without tigers lurking. Art can be an invitation to wander in nature.

Impressionism is a balance between abstract and representational, breathing life into both modern contemporary spaces and traditional.

Spaces don’t transform with art. Art transforms the lives within those spaces.

Yet, art may still be an afterthought.
This came to light during a meeting with an investment firm manager about their art collection. Rather, their lack of one.
Touring me thru glassed offices after hours, it ‘didn’t come to mind’, she said “despite spending a lot on renovations,” gesturing me to the lobby with 3 plastic chairs, a plant and outdated magazines.

Reception staff and lobby are the first impression of your company.
Viewing bright windowed luxury offices with cushy chairs offered a different impression than the lobby tucked in a corner with uncomfortable seating.

Thou unintentionally, it sends a less than positive message to your clients. If this room is an afterthought, so are they. Asking clients to invest, without investing in them, you face challenges before you begin. Seeing to their comfort and experience builds relationships. It expresses you value them & the relationship.
Attention to what seem like smaller details have huge returns. Great coffee served in a tasteful pottery mug, comfortable seating with a window or art view, nature ( the plant counts) pleasant scents and sounds contribute to a positive experience, set the foundation for positive meetings to follow. ( or in clinics, positive treatment).

Original art, comfortable handmade wood chairs, side tables with real books, pottery mugs ( not styrofoam) offer tactile experience,  state conscious consumerism &sustainability.

This attention to detail gives a lasting impression, rather than a temporary feel. Have you sat in a sparse lobby with disposable furniture, no pictures, wondering if the business is moving or closing?

Strongly influenced by visuals, paintings were our first language.
What does your vision board look like? what influences surround you, your family, staff, clients? You have the power to make a difference with your choices.
Welcome clients ( patients, visitors, guests) a quality experience and you both reap rewards.

~ All original paintings are available for purchase. email dawn@dawnbanning.com

Wooded Trail, Autumn Woods, Mountain each 4ftx3ft oil  $3950.

Sunrise Pond 24×36 oil  $2170.

Quiet Morning ( NEW) 9×12 oil on board $480.

Amaryllis 30×40  oil  $2700

Wooded Trail in Morning ( New in progress) 12×36 oil $1200

~ to see my upcoming video to this post, watch my instagram page!

~ All handmade furniture crafted by Marc Banning. Handcrafted serving bowl by the Pottery Cupboard. 

Success Stories

What’s your success story? Have you shared it with others?

Experts state happiness precedes success. Witnessing others achieve paves the path to your own happiness.The positive energy you feel for them feeds your success.
In our hunting & gathering days when one in the tribe benefited, the entire tribe did as well. Apparently, we still have that hardwired in our brain somewhere.

“Have you noticed people may easily share upsetting news, yet are reluctant to share the good stuff, because it may be ‘bragging?” a friend said.
Burdens shared weigh less, we also feed off of good news. It fuels our own pursuits and dreams, because these stories bring hope.

A wise suggestion delivered when I was 7 inspires all aspects of my life.

This story begins with a babysitter who could draw.
I remember waking up, wandering into the living room in my pjs, seeing her cross legged on our couch, drawing with a pen. Sitting on the floor beneath her, so not to disturb, I watched the pen take flight from below. Sometimes she offered little drawings of my favourite subject, horses. Cheryl lived on a farm just outside the park, and would often arrive riding her own. Really!

I was bananas for horses.Those tiny drawings inspired a way to have all the horses I wanted, by drawing them myself.

I drew repeatedly, creating unidentifiable squiggles. Perhaps two hands better than one, I would grasp the pencil double fisted. After several attempts, the only thing I produced were frustrated tears. Mom came by, casually leaning on the doorframe of my room asking the reason for my distress. She responded, “So, do you really believe she learned overnight?”

It wasn’t a magical hand or pen? A lightbulb went off.
I sparkled inside with possibility & hope. She learned to succeed, so could I.

Its that whole tribe thing all over again. We all benefit!

So, what did I do after Mom lit a fire under my butt?

My parents believed in letting us figure things out on our own.We lived remotely, there were no galleries, in or after school art programs, and few books available. Computers didn’t exist. I was too shy to ask my babysitter for help, the only artist I knew.

How did I learn?

I decided horses were too hard to tackle when I could’t draw anything. I looked for books with artwork in the house. Comics were ideal. I tackled Archie, Lady & the Tramp, & Tweety bird. Peanut characters were a favourite. Snoopy shapes are easy, but “Good Grief” Charlie’s head is not completely round. I struggled drawing his head accurately to the point where I used filmy paper to trace the shape. I did it over and over, then would take to my solid notebook and try to reproduce the shape freehand.. over and over.

What I was doing with Charlie’s noggin, unbeknown to me, was a form of muscle memory training.

It took 7 years before I could draw a decent horse.

When art was offered for the first time in Grade 11, the teacher took me aside & said, “Never study, they could ruin you. You are a natural.” What she didn’t realize, I was anything but. I had been as persistent as a dog with a bone for years.

If the path has been long & challenging, or it’s been easy, success doesn’t necessarily mean accolades. It can be discovering what you love to do, or a place you love to be.
It might be reaching an acceptance, or nailing that interview.
Shout your joy from rooftops and create a ripple effect.
Likewise, celebrate in others good fortune.
Ride that wave of happiness together.

Kenosee Lake, Moose Mountain Park was one of our favourite homes. Moving to a park in the far north when I was 10, it was 40 years before my father, brother & I returned in 2016.
While wandering an art & craft exhibit near the park, a woman leaned over asking, “Dawn?”

Its remarkable Cheryl would recognize me 40 years later.
Moments before, unknowingly I was viewing her art, when my brother snapped this photo.

He grinningly said to her after’ “This is how you I remember you, loving animals and drawing. To see you continue with your passions, is SO INSPIRING!” I agreed. Thanks Cheryl, by being authentically you, you showed a little girl the art of possibility. Credit to my late Mom, for lighting that fire. ~

Autumn Park  20×24 oil   $1200

Roses  14×18   $825

What’s new? videos! Fans are requesting more interactive media including videos. Thanks for your positive support on the first two little spontaneous minis! The most recent #Foundations, below. Follow along to see more in the future! All new work in the video is available for purchase. ( if you are unable to access video link below, click on my instagram icon at the top of the page).

Download Video



“Our currency is what we are able to make.” Robert Genn

One of the reasons galleries/artists don’t include pricing on websites is to initiate dialogue with a client. We want to have conversations about what draws you in, sparks your interest, and how we can accommodate you.

From personal experience, its also because….. people often don’t read.

Example: a client sees a painting they love online beyond their budget. They leave the site & don’t return. They may not realize that painting is 10 feet, or investigate pricing structure, flexible payment plans, leasing, or commissions for various budgets.
Perhaps not realizing it’s an original, or as a client said yesterday, “has it been pressed in a factory?”

In cycling, one way to build endurance is to put time in the saddle.

I realize we may be newly acquainted, your inquiries include my working history. What kind of miles have I put in? does price reflect this? Today we will cover pricing, investment, value, and have some fun.

For starters, against every art business guideline..  I’m directing you to my contemporaries.
Below is a PRICING BY SIZE chart of my work &  Canadian contemporaries: similar genre, style, representation. I have included a couple of my absolute fav’s and for reference, a Canadian ICON.

Click highlight links to see their work. Prices are in CAD $.

11 X 14 original :
Dawn Banning  $600
Dominik Modlinski $1425

24×36 original
Dawn Banning  $2170
Steve Coffey $3235 ( framed)
Rod Charlesworth $3695
Robyn Lake $1950

4ft x 3ft original

Dawn Banning        $3,950
Dominik Modlinski   $8,175
Robyn Lake             $4125
Bob Kebic               $5,450
Robert Genn 30×48 $33,850
Philip Craig 3ftx3ft    $9,500

As written in my website, prices are determined by & in agreement to my dealers. Art Dealers base their decision on pricing collectively on artist skill, demand of work, consistency, history of selling, etc.
Artists usually maintain standard pricing across studios & galleries for artists.
I have within my representation. ( at one point galleries in Montreal, Ottawa, Saskatoon, & Kelowna).

Original work is rarely discounted because it has lasting investment value.
Original art equals scarcity. How often do you purchase something the only of its kind IN THE WORLD?
This is just one reason why the investment holds compared to cars, bulk furniture, iPhones and lawn mowers.

Previously I have written about gallery commissions/ art fair costs/ & benefits of having representation.( click on highlighted text).
I have shared commission structure, prints vs original, guidelines in buying art & how to spot something fishy.

I am honoured my advice is sought out by clients,dealers and artists. Clients inquire about expanding their collection, what dealers/ galleries are reputable, how to display artwork, and growing their own creativity.
I have assisted professional artists with their gallery approach, marketing, to define demographic & their style. They reach out to someone who understands the pressure & demands of an artistic career. Dealers may need a thoughtful ear when handling artists.

I participated in my first Arts Council exhibit when was 14.
The youngest member of the local arts council at 17, became a member of CARFAC at the same age. Art fans have been collecting my work for over 30 years.

Art gallery management experience in two provinces, ( BC & Sask) contributes to my own business success. My work has been featured in the National Post, Homes Magazine, and covered in various newspapers. I was invited to Artists for Conservation in 2009, and on a 30 day boreal expedition in 2011.

I have written a FREE Ebook, available for anyone to download from this website.

Donating work to Cancer Centers, Youth Centers, hospitals, funds from sales to National & International Conservancy charities are various ways I contribute to humanity & conservancy.

Before becoming a full time artist I worked as a travel agent, painting a mural campaign to attract clients. Freehand children & office murals have peppered my career, including a massive pink elephant on the side of a container.

I have waited tables and sold advertising, cleaned hotels & canned beer. I unloaded boxes in shipping departments and jumped out of helicopters during arctic exploration.
I volunteered at Women’s shelter, marathons, search & rescue  and Ironman.
When time allowed, I honed my skill with one constant in my life, ART.

Artists worry I may not understand what it is like to practice art in stolen moments at kitchen tables.
The truth is, hands raw from scrubbing public bathrooms still went home to hold a pencil.

Fueling the work is persistence and purpose of making the world & lives better. Not a technical or natural painter, I work hard at improving my skill with the absolute belief the spark I possess for connection to that what lies beyond the edges, lighting & inspiring lives. It is what I have the most of to offer.
“Art is a form of love. Art is the ultimate gift. Art heals life.” Robert Genn

When we talk of value in art, its important to focus on skillI, technique, mastery of colour & brushstroke, consistency & legacy. I  wonder if we should include artists who know of commitment to purpose, and stay the course?
Some of those listed above understand this. Robert Genn never had another job, but he lived his life in such purpose, and he devoted much of his life to freely helping other artists.
“When you sit down to paint or draw, you form yourself into a posture of praise.” Robert Genn


Collection of Three new paintings shipped to the Hambleton Gallery in Kelowna this week!
Check in with Joshua to see these bright new 24×30 originals!
Island 11×14 $600

Amaryliss 30×40 $2700.00

Sun 4ftx2ft $3600

Beach 8×10 $455

Huffington Post declares the number one reason to buy original art:
“it as a postive effect on the environments of the people who own it, “inevitably making life more enriching.”

Where do the landscapes originate?

A common trait/ theory of landscape artists is their work flourishes due to connection of a specific region.Think Monet & his water lily pond, Gauguin in the South pacific or Emily Carr’s Northwest forests.
Modern day landscape artists may reserve focus for places close to heart.

I questioned a famous global traveling painter about his life work devoted to a specific provincial region.
“In other places I am merely a visitor. In this region, I am home,” expressing it would take decades to form emotional attachment to other places.

He wondered what would inspire me to paint diverse landscapes, even, places I had never seen.

Born to nature loving parents, my upbringing was unique.I have no doubt this is the foundation of how I relate to and paint nature.

I feel we are all visitors on & caretakers of this planet, and, yet, also in it’s entirety, earth is our home.

Dad’s career as a Conservation officer ( & Park Superintendent/ Manager) for Saskatchewan parks required us to live within the park.

Staff were transferred frequently to experience the Province’s diversity firsthand.

These parks were often located near First Nation communities. My parents first home was in a northern reserve.
Thou I was young, I still feel the whispers & influences of these wonderful people.

It was amazing living within these glorious parks that ranged from southern peaceful valleys with pristine lakes rich in fishing & birds, to northern boreal forests teaming with wildlife, skies lit with aurora borealis. Summer holidays we would camp & explore other parks.

Often living remotely, we grew up, as my brother says “running wild in the bush”. It was a glorious freedom we still treasure.
Moving frequently taught us an appreciation of landscape (& human) diversity and adaptability. I could fall in love with a new home as quickly as drawing in a breath.

It’s this deeply rooted connection that comes thru in the work, and the diversity that you see.

In adulthood, I have lived in some spectacular regions of Canada. I roamed the Yukon’s arctic tundra, ran Vancouver Island’s ocean beaches and rain forest paths. I wandered Okanagan orchards and Ontario’s Bruce trail in autumn and snowy winter.
International traveling took me walking Australia’s outback, witnessing blooming Scottish heather fields, swimming with stingrays in Cayman and cycling mountains of the Smokeys.

I can still fall in love and feel connected with a ‘new’ landscape in one breath.

“We want the background story.
What is your connection to these places?
How can you can paint landscapes you have never seen?”

New “Windy Day” 8×8 oil on canvas $400
“Forest Nook” 14×18 oil on canvas $825