The first person to call me prolific is a brilliant impressionist. My friend Patrick.

I had to look it up.


/prəˈlifik/ dictionary 


adjective: prolific

1. ( of plant, animal or person) producing much fruit or foliage or many offspring. 

2. present in large numbers or quantities. Plentiful. Abundant.  Productive, creative, inventive, fertile.

What’s interesting about this definition, not once does it say “easily”.  
Yet, it’s a common misunderstanding it must be for creatives who are prolific.
Those two words in conjunction with another fly around me fairly often. “Prolific, easy, natural”.
Only one is true. I am prolific.
I produce a mountain of work, not because its easy or natural. Not one little iota. 

Iota – [ahy-oh-tuh]“something very small, iota is the smallest letter in the Greek Alphabet”.

There are very few natural genius’s. I have met many artists, musicians, writers who agree. In fact, I have yet to meet one who said the work came easily.

There’s danger in assuming every artist is a natural easy talent. 
First: it devalues their work effort, education, evolved skill. 
Second: it becomes a cop out for those who want to attempt creative practice. I hear this all the time. “Oh I wasn’t born with it like you were, so why bother.”

Friends, I wasn’t born with it either. 
Dad describes it best, sharing his perspective with Mr. Shurniak recently, “For years she drew and drew and drew, and it never looked like anything. Then one day it did.” I love that he continues to share this story, because it’s honest. 

Last week a friend asked what the hardest part of my job is.

It’s creating the work. Because without quality work, without feeling good about what I release, the rest  of it, selling, promoting, etc, is not just challenging, it’s impossible.

I still produce duds. It comes with the territory. Perhaps where I excel is being able to overcome the frustration.To not be bogged down, or hampered by it. Or, like some, insulted by it. 

Privileged to do what I love, not knowing how long I will be able to do it, I am driven by a sense of urgency. With an unquenchable thirst to improve, to delight and engage you, I just get back to work.

 “Keep busy while you are waiting for something to happen.” Robert Genn. 



“Beach” 11×14 oil on canvas $660.oo

“Carnation” oil on board sketch

“Sky over Field” 8×10 oil on canvas $500.oo

“Out of the Ashes, Into the Clouds” 24×30 work in progress oil $1,980.oo

Decsendants & Decisions

 I think about your great grand babies at tax time. 

Your descendants, great nephews, nieces, friends of the family.

New “Blue Skies”

To explain, I’ll share a story from one of the most recognized art dealers in the country. 

Many amazing artists hail from eastern Canada. Once such painter from rural Quebec reached fame with his beautiful compositions. He built his business without the assistance of dealers. From his home studio, raising his family on his earnings, he did very well. His work was collected across the country, internationally, and exhibited in the National Gallery. After he passed collectors approached art dealers to sell their treasures, hoping to collect on their investment. 

Not one dealer or auctioneer could accept the paintings. 

You see, his art enterprise was a cash business. With no established paper trail, or secondary market record, dealers could not legally accept the work. 

Before an art dealer/ broker /auctioneer purchases or accepts art on consignment, they have to establish provenance, and prove the work was not stolen. They might believe wholeheartedly your attic art collection belonged to Auntie May, they also need to proof.

I direct clients asking about selling historical work to appraisers/ accredited art dealers and suggest they gather evidence on their collection. This may include receipts of purchase, insurance records, letters between the artist & themselves, letters describing the gift, or purchase. 

New “Ocean” finally complete!

Original art sold thru auction is called the secondary market. Art is submitted thru a recognized art dealer ( gallery), not the artist. 

For the seller, art may take time to establish value when first introduced at auction. The purpose is to establish public record of sale. Like fancy street creds, the artist’s work & name becomes more recognized, adding value to all original work by the artist, benefiting the collectors. ( more on the auction industry, see post “Canadian Art Specialist”)

Three new paintings shipped to Hambleton Galleries this week!

Artists have access to a global market with the web at their fingertips. Many ask why work with Galleries, who’s commission fees are usually 50%, when the work is selling well from my own studio.

I could have my work in other galleries, why choose the challenging route of working with known dealers and who sell both contemporary & historical art? 

  1. They can introduce my work to the secondary market . 
  2. Corporate collectors are often restricted to purchase work directly from galleries & not the artist. 
  3. High end collectors purchasing historical work, see mine among it. Value by association. 
  4. They expose my work to clients I would not have access to on my own. Many have an established reputation in the industry spanning decades.                                         

Working hard to create quality paintings, in conjunction with business decisions like these, producing paper trails, declaring income for taxes, all come to mind when I think of your great grand babies. 

You may not sell your Dawn collection, but they might. Not only do I want that option available to my collectors, I feel accountable. It’s not about my legacy, but yours. 



Blue Skies 4ftx2ft oil on canvas $3,960.00

“Ocean” complete two days ago with final light added. It has a lovely soft feel. 4ftx3ft oil on canvas $4,345.00

Three new paintings above shipped to Hambleton Galleries, arriving in the Kelowna Gallery TODAY!

The “To Do” List

Write your “to do” list.  Now put the word “Get” in front of it.
This simple exercise inspires a perspective of gratitude. 


Not the type to benefit seeing thru rose coloured glasses? Science suggests you are. 

The human mind has tremendous power over how we react to or anticipate experience. It has a direct impact on outcome, and friends, it can go a longgg way.

How much information we absorb, complete tasks, respond to crisis, or stay true to new years resolutions, can begin with attitude. 

lavender farm

Weeks prior to her 2 year booster shot, my cousin prepared her daughter saying she was one of the luckiest girls in the world… to be getting a needle. 

“Many little girls won’t have this opportunity, it is going to be so AWESOME and so FUN!” my cousin explained. No need to sway her cooperation with a promised treat, the booster shot was the treat.

The drive to the clinic had a festive party feel, my tiny cousin beside herself with joy.

Little Allie announced to her good fortune to wait room patients, her excitement nearly uncontainable. Hopping up on the table, she thanked the nurse for this amazing shot, didn’t cry, and glowed showing off her needle mark like a Bunny tattoo. 

Not easily convinced as perhaps, a two year old? Hang on to your party hat, because purposefully reframing events can still influence your experience & the outcome. Awareness of our external and internal words we apply to events and being mindful is important. In our culture we often apply the words ” have to” Ie: ” I have to go for groceries. I have to pick up the kids, I have to.. ” Changing words changes perspective and lessens mental burden. Having a growth mindset or fixed mindset can also be a determining factor in potential. 

“Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.” Mahatma Gandhi

Sunset over lakeside Vineyard

Proper mental health care coping with challenging experiences/ emotions is so important. This isn’t about sweeping tough experiences under the rug, rather it’s about applying positive thinking appropriately as a tool, not a poster cliche. 


Envisioning circumstance in a positive light makes space for peace, fuels opportunity, ignites solutions, builds resilience, and may increase compassion for others. It can begin with a heart of gratitude.

So, what do you get to do today? ~ 

Note: Congrats to my ‘little cousin’ Allie, who graduated Medical school in 2018, now working full time as a GP MD.


“SKY” 4ft x3ft now complete! available $4,345.00

“Lavender Farm” 24×30 original oil 

Sunset over Lakeside Vineyard” 22×28 original oil ~ With Lavender Farm will be shipped to the Hambleton Galleries (& a third in the works) avail for purchase.

“Ocean” 4ftx3ft has new features to engage you, so happy with it! $4,345.00

 All available ART for purchase, please click here.  Email to purchase.

Note: So happy to donate Autumn Forest Trail 4ftx3ft to Transition to Betterness Charity Gala Jan 26, Which provides comfort to patients and families impacted by life-altering illness.

Where the Light Gets In

Leonard Cohen’s “Anthem” drifted in my mind while tracing a brushstroke with my bare hand thru the half finished painting.

“Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack, a crack in everything

That’s how the light gets in.”

It completely changed the dynamics of the painting.

Planning art exhibitions is a little like planning your birthday party for strangers. 

There may be months or, in this case years of preparations.

You hope dear friends arrive, to meet new ones, have inspiring conversations, enjoying exchanging of gifts.

It can be an exciting, nerve wracking, rewarding event inspiring a desire to sleep for month after.

This is how I have felt since returning from a whirlwind year & month long western ‘tour’.

It is only the second time in a decade I put down the brush for more than a week. 

Painting after a month away can be a challenge, like your first season golf swing, or running after a month break. One may feel daunted & rusty. 

I prepare for a painting hiatus by leaving at least two paintings near completion & one barely begun. Upon return, projects are viewed with fresh eyes, without the pressure of starting a completely blank canvas. I ease my way in by finishing two the first two fairly quickly, encouraging a feeling of accomplishment. 

Next, for the project in early progress (or the first blank canvas) I use a completely different approach by choosing a difficult composition. One that scares my socks off.

Painting a canvas in progress facilities bravery, because there is nothing left to lose, or fear of ruining a new canvas in case it goes south.

Some of my best creations came to fruition applying this method. For one thing, the underpainting contributes to the composition in ways I could not have imagined. 

SKY began as a moonlit tree. 

Returning to the studio I traced a beam of light along a painted branch and a light filled sky filled my mind. 

The painting changed direction and SKY emerged.

The vertical rather abstract orientation, and focal point near centre make the composition challenging. It’s balanced by amazing diagonals soaring across the sky painted in a more realistic style. It helps you feel at one immersed within and pulled along.

I could spend a lifetime painting skies and it would be enough. An impactful exhibit of time made visible. Fleeting whispers merge, vibrate, disappear and change form as quickly as a thought threads thru your mind. 

The sky overhead is a wonderful reminder of the life’s fluidity. We bear witness to it in real time. The drama, action, and contrast is all there, each unique in moments, colour, movement, and light playing on the landscape. 

A tangible force of energy we can observe daily. 

While adding filtered light near completion in the painting, Cohen’s song drifted in my mind, bringing a heartfelt warmth.

How appropriate for a painting that was not meant to be, but contributed to what is. How fitting for a sky that moves in light with darkness giving way. 

“Forget your perfect offering.” How true of Impressionism, not illustrative of  photo perfection, but reflecting something beyond, with emotional intensity, offered in love.

Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack, a crack in everything

That’s how the light gets in.


New Work “ SKY” 4ft x 3ft original oil $4,345.00

Note: Looking up is the quickest way for a mood lift. Why? Head position greatly influences mood.

How to LIVE with ART Creatively

When Dirk Brown and his team entered the home,
they were immediately struck by the artwork.
At the bottom of the stairwell hung an amazing painting.
Dirk’s colleague suddenly envisioned a brilliant plan.
The railing design for the client could mimic a few swirling shapes from the original painting.

A stunning unique work of art emerged in the custom railing.
The result created an inspired energy in the home, and a delighted client.
Blue Mountain Metalworks produces one of a kind, hand forged pieces.
After visiting their workshop, I always walk away inspired.
red birds in flight Red Birds in Flight; Blue Mountain Metalworks, Marc Banning table.

We tend to think of art as passive. After all, it’s just decoration, right?
The truth is we engage with ART more than we may realize.

What we place in our homes, offices, clinics etc, has a direct effect of our (and visitors) experience in these spaces.

Scientific studies prove we are affected, even if we aren’t aware of it.

In one study, subjects were asked to sit at a table with a bowl of candies.
Behind each person was a screen, one reflected a renaissance painting, the other wild graphics. The people who sat near the painting image ate less candies, even thou the subjects were ‘unaware that there was an image nearby’.

Art is powerful.
Consciously chosen art can heighten our experience.

Here are a few ideas:
1. Think handmade. We are naturally drawn to what was crafted by another’s hands. Feel the difference of a machine made pillow and hand woven one, a clay mug with a factory one.
2. Purpose of the room. If it is a reading room, art can reflect your favourite book, poem, or passage.
3. If glaciers are your passion, glass sculpture placed near a painting of the subject. A photography book or video on glaciers handy for visitors makes the experience educational.
4. Thought provoking. A friend has a unique painting of a girl with a lamp. He loves how it makes him think of stories, what is that girl doing? And what is the lamp for?
What story does your art tell? Involve children or dinner guests in the story telling.
5. Include all your senses: Enhance the experience with a scented candle- a pine&winterberry scent placed near a winter painting- a textured weaving simulating large brush strokes: clay pottery: a colourful rug: the music of nature or of the culture reflected in the art.

As with the Blue Mountain Metalworks project, apply synergy between items.
Clients enjoy art relaxed in a handmade chair by Marc much more than in a metal stack chair.
painting and chairs
They rub the soft surface of the wood, exploring the curves with their hands drinking in the scene before them.
Harmony between our work thrives.
People comment on it on the blog photos, even those yet to experience our work in person.

Avoid decorative, ‘matching’ or trends.
Consider what feels good, experience desired. Personalize.
If it’s a children’s room, office, or lobby, be respectful of who will be using the space.
Are they welcomed, stimulated, engaged, soothed, transported, inspired?
When we honour the space, we honour those who inhabit in the space.

Do we consider items for our environment as carefully as we select organically grown produce?
Do we know where the ART originates as well as the food we eat?

With intention we can transform the places in which we dwell, influence our energy, mental & emotional health. As the study above would suggest, even our physical health. ART isn’t just decoration after all.

“Artists are just as important as doctors and nurses. People need nourishing of their souls as well as their bodies; in Navajo culture the ‘medicine man’ and artist are one and the same.“~ Marni California
What’ s new in the studio.
6×8 Original Oil- Clouds- 250.oo$
cloudsclouds close up
11×14 Original Oil Hill at Sunset- 424.oo$
Hill at SunsetHill at Sunset crop
all prices will increase in fall of 2014.
Thank you for your support of the work~ feel free to share this Art/blog with anyone you think might enjoy it.

Norwegian Blood and the Arctic

“The North”,I wrote in 1986,“is perhaps the most beautiful land I have seen. It has intrigued,inspired,mystified,captured me like no other place on earth”.

Crossing the Yukon border I felt “a physical pull as thou walking into a spirit land”.

Powerful words from a 20 year- old on adventure.

Yet, the Arctic is bathed in drama.

Northern Light New” Northern Light” 8×10 Oil

Expansive carpets of crimson tundra, caribou moss and lichen spread in the shadows of purple mountains.

Lands I itched to paint.

“Of course you love the North, you have Norwegian blood!” My Grampa Larson remarked with passion, steely blue eyes sparkling. “You were born a Larson!”


Grandpa Larson & I  abt 20 yrs old.

My Grandpa’s family originated in Fladestol, Norway. He was a man of massive strength, and gentle heart.

Treasures I inherited from my Grampa, aside from blue eyes, are two little original artworks. A drawing and painting by his Uncle, Walter Larson.

“To Louis, from Santa” the inscription reads in Norwegian, on the back of a cigar box.

DSC03130 Walter Larson original 1901(?)

I wonder if this is Fladstol. I yearn to visit this very place, to paint the fiords and mountains my ancestors loved, called home.

DSC03128 Walter Larson pen &wash 1901

The Canadian North would pull me back several times, to work and live.

Since, I have embarked on other adventures, witnessed inspiring mystical lands. A special place in my heart belongs to the Arctic.

Perhaps an ancestral pull, love for a home I have yet to wander. ~

DSC05236 Dawn( Larson) Banning original

I have been requested to submit work, with other artists on the Boreal Project to an online fundraiser exhibit for the Centre for Circumpolar Studies. The CCS is a private, non-profit institution for education and research in all aspects of the natural and cultural environment of the Circumpolar North. New “Northern Light” will be included.