Friday, December 2, 2011

Birgit O'Connor confirmed for Victoria, Feb 24-26 inclusivve

In less than 24 hours we have 9 people booked on spec for Birgit O'Connor's workshop on Florals Big & Bold here in Victoria... Can you believe it?...So, if you are interested in this not is filling up fast.
Give me til tomorrow afternoon to book flights etc and finalize a budget and I'll post the details on my website, my blog & FB as well as Birgit's website etc...this is going to be a fun one! 
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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Birgit O'Connor in Victoria BC in early Spring 2012?

OMGoodness...really?...wouldn't that be just amazing.  I've wanted to take a workshop with this woman for years...ever since my mentor Leslie Redhead introduced me to her work.   I've added a couple of images of her work...take a peek.

Birgit O'Connor is an internationally recognized artist, published in many watercolour and artist magazines, she has a DVD collection of demonstrations of her work.
If you are interested in coming to Victoria to participate in this workshop please email me for

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sweet Magnolia

My newest paintings are a snow scene, and 2 florals...

the snow scene shown to the left, was quick and easy and really fun to paint.  It was loose and I used only 3 colours.  Blue, Rose and Pthalo or some combination of the three. Salt was used to create the texture in the foreground.

Rememberence 13 x 19
The next one was the completion of the demonstration piece that the Monterey class is finishing as homework as we speak...or at least they should be...(that's me cracking the whip lol)
This was a fun piece, that I experimented with a few times at home using different techniques.  I ran a few ideas past my mentor Leslie Redhead and she suggested completing the whole painting wet-in wet.  Well, that was a bit scary for the class, so we did the first two layers wet on dry and the last 2 layers wet-in-wet.  We again used a limited pallet, and the results well you tell me...What do you think?

Sweet Magnolia 11 x 15
lastly, is "Sweet Magnolia"  I thoughly enjoyed this process.  I took several images at Butchart gardens last spring, and the magnolia tree that this picture was taken from was huge...I think they call it a Plate Magnolia.  Regardless, it had to be painted. So when the Monterey Class said they wanted to paint a white flower...I immediately thought of these images.  Again a very limited pallet, and ...Voila..."Sweet magnolia"
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Monterey Centre Continuing Education Brochure to be released December 1st

Monterey Centre Art classes After December 1st 2011; once on the site, click Adult Programs. 
Realistic Waves in Seacapes: Jan 11-Feb22 1-3:30pm
You will take away your own watercolour painting of a Seascape and the knowledge of how to create the realistic waves that make these paintings so desirable. Luminous seascapes are only a few classes away. This is a highly sought after class, so do not delay, come join in on the fun. Materials required.
Supplies List: For details visit 

 Painting Stunning Glass and Crystal Jan 11-Feb 22 6:30-9pm
Get ready to create dazzling, light filled watercolours that explore complex ideas with simple techniques. These paintings can be masterful and easy to achieve once you know how. Sam will teach you all she knows about creating light and reflection, showing you how to observe light and paint it in a new way. Materials required
Supplies List:
For details visit
Pouring Light on Coconuts with Watercolour Jan 12-Feb 23 12:30-3pm
We will pour paint on paper to create the luminous watercolours made popular by Jean Grastorf, and Leslie Redhead. In this class we will use masking fluid, and layers of transparent watercolour to create a painting reminiscent of Zanzibar; a   painting that flows and glows. Pouring classes are always popular so sign up now. Materials required
Supplies List:
For details visit

On the Waterfront March 14-Apr18 6:30-9pm
Coastal scenes, small and loose. We will paint 6 scenes in watercolour that include all that the coast can bring: fog,  driftwood, sand and rocks, pounding surf, and tranquil bays. Join us won’t you for 6 weeks of painting and fun.
Materials required + print fee.
Supplies List:
For details visit

Trouble Shooting Watercolour March 14-April 18 1-3:30pm
In this class we will have fun painting and deliberately creating common painting problems, so we can apply practical solutions to fix them. Watercolours are often seen as too difficult and unmanageable. Sam will demonstrate how you can easily fix most any problem in watercolour. Materials required.
Supplies List:
For details visit

 Flowers; Bold and beautiful March 15-April 19 12:30-3pm
In this class you will paint flowers in watercolour that quite simply “glow”. Painting from a photograph, Sam will review things to look for and to avoid when choosing a photograph to paint. She will demonstrate each class the many techniques you will use to create your bold and beautiful masterpiece. Materials required
Supplies List:
For details visit

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Panorama Rec Centre Brochure to be released Nov 23rd.

New classes announced at Panorama Recreation Centre:

Sam L Boehner will be teaching 3 classes for the 2012 Winter/Spring  line up 

Boats & Reflections in Watercolour

This is not the image we will be painting, sample only.
16 yrs+
We will explore painting boats in calm harbours & bays and
find the secrets to painting beautiful reflections. Using many
of the techniques previously learned in combination with new
approaches to give your watercolours greater depth.
Location: Central Saanich Cultural Centre Room A
66072 Tu 1pm - 3:30pm Jan 17 - Feb 21 6/$87.50

Florals: a Bug’s Perspective in Watercolour
This is not the image we will be painting, sample only.
16 yrs+
Students will paint an enlarged view of flowers based on Georgia
O’Keefe’s style of floral paintings We will paint poppies close up
and personal from a honey bee’s perspective. What fun! You will
learn how to mix colours using a limited palette and how to work
in thin layers of washes to build a flower that glows.
Location: Central Saanich Cultural Centre Room A
66073 Tu 1pm - 4pm Mar 27 - Apr 24 5/$105

Glassworks: Painting Luminous Glass in Watercolour
This is not the image we will be painting, sample only.
16 yrs+
Sam will demonstrate the versatility of watercolour paint. Using
the basics in watercolour techniques you will further develop these
skills and produce a stunning painting. You will learn how to mix
colours using a limited palette and how to work in thin layers of
washes to build up luminous colours.
Location: Central Saanich Cultural Centre Room A
66074 Th 6:30pm - 9pm Mar 15 - Apr 19 6/$87.50

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Getting accepted into the Sidney Fine Arts Show...How does it feel?

How does it feel to have "experts" select your work from among 1200+ pieces...of so many talented artists... to be exhibited in... in my opinion.. one of the most prominent shows in British Columbia? Well it happened to me...yes me...uh huh...little ol' I feel I can tell you. 

For some weeks I wait and wonder.  When the day comes and the envelope arrives I am scared to open it.   After opening it I am afraid to read it.   When I first read  the words "...accepted. Congratulations!"  it takes a minute for it to sink in...after all I had expected the worst.  Don't get me wrong I felt my piece was strong, and I and others liked it.  And, I entered thinking I might get in...but I was fully prepared to hear that my work wasn't ready yet".  I stared at the page a bit... dumbfounded at first..."really they chose my piece?" I simply couldn't believe it.  

Then something happened...a grin came over me, like that of the Cheshire cat in Alice and Wonderland...and it just wouldn't go away.  I jumped, and I hollared and if the neighbours had heard they'd have thought i had won jackpot on the 6/49 lottery or something similar.  For those initial moments were sublime.

A few hours later...of course my day went on as normal and the moment faded as the day to day routine set in and things need to get done.  But, every once in a while I recall that moment...and my heart sings again.  

So, what do you think the secret is to getting into such a show?  I'm asking...cause goodness knows... I sure don't ... What I can tell you is over the past few years I paint for long hours in the day and for days at a time...and a very wise and very talented woman recently told me that even she still tears up 1 in every 4 paintings.  So, I do not get discouraged if I paint something that is not wonderful.  The key the way I figure it is to just keep painting...if it is your passion, as it is not stop.  Something will happen and you will be pleasantly surprised.  

The topper in all of this is that the piece sold...and I am so grateful.   I hope the purchaser will enjoy it and pass it down for centuries to come...and  the cycle of elation returns...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Monterey Students paint Pet Portaits

Towards the end of the summer program at Monterey Centre in Oak Bay BC a few weeks back; I taught a workshop on Pet Portraits in watercolour.  The students produced some fabulous work.  Most impressive, I must say...I will include a Smile box in this blog if I can of their work.(sorry it didn't work  I'll forward it on facebook look for "Happy Tails"...update...see Smile box on the picture within the smilebox...
You may need to add's free and a great tool for sharing scrapbooks of photos...
This is the piece I did in the class as a demonstration piece.  Her eyes appears to be saying "Hold still a little longer and ..."

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Digital slideshow made with Smilebox

Cat Portrait for Monterey students

Towards the end of the summer program at Monterey Centre in Oak Bay BC a few weeks back; I taught a workshop on Pet Portraits in watercolour.  The students produced some fabulous work.  Most impressive, I must say...I will include a Smile box in this blog if I can of their work.(sorry it didn't work  I'll forward it on facebook look for "Happy Tails"...update...see Smile box on the picture within the smilebox...
You may need to add's free and a great tool for sharing scrapbooks of photos...
This is the piece I did in the class as a demonstration piece.  Her eyes appears to be saying "Hold still a little longer and ..."

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Digital slideshow made with Smilebox

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sidney Fine Art Show

I just got the news, my piece: Lost and Alone has been accepted into the Sidney Fine Arts exciting...I entered, completely not expecting to get into the show. I cannot believe it...I am so thrilled! 
From their site:
The Sidney Fine Art Show is a world-class juried art show featuring work by artists primarily from around B.C.
Presented by the Community Arts Council of the Saanich Peninsula, this Show is for serious artists and patrons of the arts. The first Show in 2003 was an outstanding success and each year the Show has attracted thousands of visitors to the town of Sidney.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Gossamer & Lace

In just two weeks I will be teaching another group of students how to paint "Teacups and Lace"...the course starts September 15th and goes to the end of October every Thursday from 12:30 to 3 pm.  I painted this painting to put on display at the Monterey Centre to promote the course...hopefully we will fill all 18 seats. 
Gossamer & lace started out with the set up of the still life with one of my husband's teacups from his collection. I photographed it and sketched the drawing onto 300 lb Fine Art paper. 
The initial layers of paint are many thin glazes, using Aureolin, Opera Pink; Manganese Blue, Quin Gold, and Quin Burnt Scarlet.  The darks (greys from my pallete) were layered to create the shadows and the final details (indigo and quin burnt scarlet) were added to create dimension. Thoughts?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hot & Chili

The Coast Collective a local art cooperative, is having a show coming up in a few weeks...the deadline for submission is September 3rd.  I hope they like my chili painting.  The jury process can be tough. The show is called: Food for Thought...I am entering Hot & Chili...the chilies are from my garden...I liked the play on words...what do you think? Please let me know your thoughts...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Painting your pet in watercolour

This week, my class of 14 will be working on an image of their pet.  I painted this one as an example.  I've called it Sleepy. I loved painting this...I think I may have found a new found love...Pet portraits :)
Let me know your thoughts. 

Beaches & Driftwood Class

I promised my students that I would post the "Study of rocks" painting in process...
Here is the first image...this is where we left off in class...
don't doesn't look like much at this stage...but it will become a lovely painting...I promise :)
As I am working on several other pieces at this time...the next post for this class will be next week...i.e. 1st week of September...
Cheers & Happy painting Sam
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Friday, June 24, 2011

Critters & Creatures

The 2nd annual Critters & Creatures Show is opening this weekend at the Coast Collective. My painting was chosen for the invitation.

If you get a chance to visit, I'd love to see you there reception is from 2-4 Saturday.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Two new paintings for the Watercolour Skies Class

These 2 paintings were completed within the last few weeks as demonstrations of watercolour skies.
Sunset on the farm

The second is Ice Field:

Monday, May 16, 2011

30 Artists to exhibit at the American Iris Society 2011 Convention

On May 30, by invitation, 30 artists will display their work at the Kipling Room at the Fairmont Empress in Victoria BC. The event is scheduled until June3rd, so there will be lots of opportunity to visit and revisit the venue. Many of the artists invited are world renowned, and this event should not be missed. I hope you will take a few hours out of your week to join us there.

I recently completed 2 new paintings to show at the event.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Watercolour Skies class II

This painting was completed starting with a light wash of a transparent yellow in areas where only the yellow is apparent; while the paint is still wet I added cobalt blue. Once completely dry I added more blue and some purple (cobalt & alizron or permanent rose). The horizon was left unpainted for the time being and the water had a similar approach to the sky for the first wash. The land was painted by stippling some burnt sienna over the blue background so it appears as though you can see the mountains in the background. The outcropping in the background on the right was done with varying colours to make quite a dark colour.

The horizon was a mixture of blues, cobalt and pthalo (only a touch of pthalo with water added to create the consistency of black coffee). The water was dry-brushed with purple, blue and a bit of pthalo. The rocks were done after the water was dry, they were painted wet-in-wet with Ultramarine Blue, burnt sienna, green (auriolin and ultramarine blue) Ensure you include the refection and the shadow. The shadow ensures the rocks will be grounded.
The tree on the right was painted with a #6 round brush with a very good pointy tip and a very light touch to create the twigs of the sapling. and finally the grassy-nole on the right was wet in wet with new gamboge mixed with burnt sienna, and then purple and blue dappled in lightly. be sure to vary the colour, size and spacing of the rocks in the background.
I think that should do it…if you have any questions please bring them to class next day or email me at sam

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Watercolour Skies Class 1: completed Brentwood Sky

I painted the first washes upside down. This painting started with Auriolin, permanent rose and cobalt blue. A bit of new gamboge and permanent rose were combined and laid into the painting in one large stoke to create the coral coloured cloud. After drying completely, the next series of washes were applied using the same combination of colors. Once this dried, I added the shadow under the orange cloud and added some of the same purple(cobalt and permanent rose)to the top left corner(now looking right side up)to create the stormy look. The key to this painting is few strokes, not to much fussing; it will only result in a muddy look and you will not achieve a smooth look.

This is the first in the series of paintings for the class Watercolour Skies May 5th to June 23rd, 2011. These classes are being held at the Monterey Centre in Oak Bay, BC. For information call 250-370-7300.

Two new paintings for the American iris convention

Just completed 2 new iris'. The first is a bug's eye view of the center of the Iris. It is a hot pink and yellow delicious piece. I had so much fun creating this, and I hope you like it too. The second is a butterfly perched on an Iris from my Garden. Two years ago, we had a swallowtail butterfly visit our garden and this image of Mama swallowtail flitting from my Irises to my butterfly bush and I captured many photos of this little beauty. This one i was even able to see the probosis extended into the heart of the Iris.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Completed painting from Paul Jackson's Portrait Workshop

A painting of my niece Natasha, just completed from a workshop I attended a few weeks ago in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Paul Jackson AWS, NWS; the instructor, approaches portraits slightly differently than I do, with more hard edges softened with "unifying" washes. He uses a different palette, with more opaque colours thinly applied to keep them transparent. I learned a lot of different techniques and had so much fun.
One of the techniques was to use a spoon to apply frisket for the strands of hair over the face. This worked well in this piece, and I can see using it in the future.
Scooping a small amount of frisket into the spoon and angling the spoon to about a 35-45 angle touching it to the paper and letting the frisket glide off the edge.
The four day workshop ended with many of the 14 students completing their pieces. I had a few things to work on, and finally completed the piece this last week.
During my stay at Rarity Bay, I had so much fun, hospitality was unsurpassed, and I met some amazing artists.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

58th Annual SPAC Fine Art Show & Sale

Another year has gone by, and another Art Show to attend with some amazing artists. I hope you will all come by and check it out. April 30, and May 1, 2011 over 200 artists will display their artwork; everything from sculpture to paintings, and fabric work to jewelry. I will be demonstrating Iris' and Portraits on Sunday from 2-4.
I will have 4 paintings in this year as well as several works in the gift shop.
I have posted 3 of the 4; my hope is to finish the last one i will post it as soon as it is done. Wish me luck. Lots to do...they all need framing too. I may be up half the night.

Opportunity Knocks Again

Here is the final version of Opportunity Knocks Again. It will be showing at the 58th Annual SPAC Fine Art Exhibition and sale this weekend. I hope you will attend, it is being held at the Mary Winspear Centre in Sidney, BC Saturday April 30, and Sunday May 1, 2011.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Watercolour errors--No worries--Fix 'em

The Painting Opportunity knocks again did not suit the huge dark shadow over the bottom 2/3rds of the canvas. I've heard from other artists that you can place it in a bath tub and wash off everything you want down to the that is just what I did. It works! I used a Mister Clean Magic Eraser (original) and with about 2 inches of water in the tub, simply and gently rubbed it down to the paper. Here is a picture after the water bath. I will leave it to dry flat in the tub and once completely dry, I will start painting on that section shadow this time :)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Shadow over Opportunity knocks

The completed painting of opportunity knocks; I placed a cast shadow over the bottom 2/3rds of the door. I'm not sure if I like it or if I should try and lift out the shadow and just leave the textured door. any suggestions?