Category Archives: Art Theory

The Why: Power of your Purpose

by Ann-Marie Cheung

I’m working my way through the The Artist’s Profit Plan training with Alexis Fedor. This is the first work sheet The Power of your Purpose.

What is the first memory you have connected to creating art?

I can’t remember my first time creating art, but aren’t all children creative? I remember my mom showing me how to draw cartoon cats. I had a wonderful elementary school teacher who gave me advanced class assignments. While the other kids were drawing cones and spheres, I was learning to draw and shade drapery. Miss Pigott with her heavy blue eye makeup, long dark hair and mini skirts (this was the 70s) was an amazing guide. I was also fortunate to have a fantastic high school art teacher, Miss Angie Wong. I remember her heavy Egyptian style eye makeup and long black hair. We had an artists cafe night where we would paint a self portrait in the style of a certain artist. I chose Van Gogh, don’t know what happened to those early paintings. She also arranged my first public group art show of still life charcoal drawings at the Toronto Dominion Centre in downtown Toronto.  With so much encouragement how could I not decide on an art career attending the Ontario College of Art. 

What is the most profound experience you’ve had as an artist in your life (if you had to pick just one, in this moment)? 

I was in an exhibition entitled SHE at the Illumine Gallery in St Thomas, Ontario. For this show I painted “She Survived” which was donated to raise funds for Violence Against Women Services Elgin County. I felt a deep sense of purpose and joy knowing that I helped other women. Four years previous to this, I left an abusive relationship.

She Survived 2017 by Ann-Marie Cheung

She Survived, 12×12 acrylic on canvas 2017 by Ann-Marie Cheung

I went through a dry period of about 15 years creating no art at all while in this stifling relationship. When it inevitably came to an end, I began to make art again and have shows. I healed myself through art.

How are the two connected?

The connection I see is women helping and connecting with other women on a deeper level and being inspired and motivated by strong women.

What is your WHY?

Why I create art is to express and share my inner goddess and help people heal and feel joy through art. This is how I communicate and deeply connect with the world.


What are at least three traits those who have resonated with and/or invested in your work or your services in the past have in common with each other?

My clients tend to be leaders in the community holding an upper management position or running their own businesses. They are strong, independent, confident and usually women. They express gratitude, are generous, joyful and appreciate nature and art.

What is the one question you can ASK your potential ideal clients to learn more about how you can help them with your offers?

When it comes to _______________, what is your single greatest challenge?

Learn more than 20 acrylic techniques for expressive art

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Modern Methods for Vivid Acrylic Art


Add inspiring richness and professional quality to your acrylic artwork. Plumb the depths of modern acrylic media with me, author and artist Rhéni Tauchid, in Acrylic Painter’s Toolbox, and create expressive paintings that amaze.Throughout this class, we’ll use improvisational techniques that can be applied to virtually any style of acrylic painting. Rather than working on one project, I’ll anchor each lesson with a collection of methods and materials ideally suited to painting a specific motif.In our first lesson, we’ll explore direct painting by learning foundational techniques for handling acrylic paints through step–out demos. We’ll discuss acrylic priming techniques for your canvas as we work with a still life motif, and use high viscosity to impart an opaque and painterly handling. Plus, I’ll break down the expressive alla–prima method.

Next, we’ll build our palette, making sure to discuss color chroma and intensity. I’ll explain how to use massing to simplify your design, compose with large shapes and bring visual order and clarity to your piece.Moving on, we’ll consider indirect painting and explore various layering techniques. Our reference motif during this lesson will be a floral design, as we develop a strong underpainting and apply a color wash to our petals. Play up pigment characteristics such as mass tone and undertone for a painting that conveys depth and richness of color. I’ll also share tips for sealing our layers, before applying a transparent glaze to finish our piece.

Dive in to the exciting world of texture as you work with mediums, grounds and specialty colors to create an abstracted landscape. Plus, I’ll share techniques for manipulating surface effects using my favorite tools, including some that can be found in your kitchen cabinets!Now, learn the importance of composing pictorial space, by abstractly painting ground, sky and landscape. I’ll guide you through incorporating a self–leveling gel, and the preparation and use of a piping bag. You’ll even learn important tips for achieving a beautiful finish with matte and gloss glaze.Next up is acrylic bling! Our reference motif will be a decorative cherry tree as we learn to apply stencils, use charcoal, add text and create acrylic petals. Enroll in Acrylic Painter’s Toolbox today, and you’ll even learn how to handle and store your acrylic masterpieces.

I am passionate about the acrylic medium. My personal work references color field painting, pattern, decoration and abstracted landscape forms. In addition to my studio practice in Kingston, Ontario Canada, I am a materials consultant, and Director of the Tri–Art Acrylic Education Program, through which I conduct workshops, demonstrations and conventions. I am also the author of two books, The New Acrylics, and its sequel, New Acrylics Essential Sourcebook, published by Random House.I look forward to connecting with you in my Craftsy class, as you learn valuable techniques that bring your expressive potential to life in impressive acrylic works.
Join us in Acrylic Painter’s Toolbox for only $29.99 — that’s 25% off today!
Rhéni Tauchid | Craftsy Instructor

Figure Drawing: An Essential Guide

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Capture the human form with realistic and expressive energy in this FREE class! Renowned artist Patricia Watwood leads you through the simple steps to create a striking figure study.Figure Drawing

Master figure drawing as you learn classical techniques for rendering from live models! With Watwood’s guidance, you’ll progress from a simple block-in sketch to a gestural drawing to a polished piece with depth and dimension. Learn how to set up and light a live model, and how to use graphite pencil and simple angles to create an accurate outline for any figure. Add life-like energy as you incorporate gestural lines, then carve out the form with hatching, shading and highlighting techniques. As a bonus, Watwood will show you how to create custom toned papers to add a unique touch to your work.

CLICK HERE for Figure Drawing Atelier – FREE MINI CLASS! with Patricia Watwood

Abstract Art As Therapy

Howard Hodgkin artwork

Howard Hodgkin artwork

Abstract art is not just a mixture of colourful meaningless patterns and arbitrary shapes.

There is, I believe, a definite therapeutic value to be found in most of the enigmatic marks made by the very different styles available today. What appears to be the most important decision to make is a very careful consideration of the specific audience in conjunction with the choosing of the appropriate artwork. This is not something to be taken lightly or quickly. This can cover anybody within the wide spectrum of individual audiences: a busy boardroom environment or a single office or room where quick thinking, fast reactions, and serious decision making is required; or a worker who returns from a hard days work simply wanting to be visually massaged by an easily observed enigma; or even the space in which the desperate and mostly misunderstood person who is gradually loosing their tentative hold on the sense of reality. There is a tremendous variety of possibilities.

Here are some suggested associations from one artists point of view:

Colour plays an obvious healing and therapeutic role to be found in a carefully selected crafted piece, and so colour-field work, which is growing in popularity, first conceived by artists like Mark Rothko and Ellsworth Kelly with their vast areas of empty colour space, might add a general feeling of peace and quiet to an otherwise noisy and hectic environment. With there being very few variations within such a large image a gentle sense of immersion into abstract stillness can slow down any fretful or erratic thinking, and even assist with the adrenal challenge of a creative.

Indefinite shapes or patterns by the likes of Jackson Pollock, Peter Lanyon, and Howard Hodgkin (again, similar works inspired by these very different abstract styles can be seen in many exhibitions, shops and galleries), show a very positive association, and may perhaps persuade a mind filled with illogical thoughts to pause, simply take in the apparent spontaneity, and then take a different direction. Hodgkin style works in particular can be seen as puzzle like canvases in which the observer has no real point of reference so is free to “start” anywhere upon the picture. And because there are very few defined areas sometimes the observer inevitably finds themselves either regarding the piece with little emotion, and therefore can freely make a comment – positive or not.

Let us not deny, however, the fact that many an image that has the potential to provoke a negative response can also be of great value to the observer who might actually benefit from seeing such a challenging picture that bears such a bad association. Better there on the wall than here inside the head. In this case the classic associations of red for blood and danger, black for death and sin, brown for decay and illness, along with dramatic lines and movements found in a painting are equally valuable stimulus if revealed within the appropriate environment. This comes back to my point made at the beginning – when choosing a picture, very careful consideration must be taken in order to find that one work of art which speaks directly to the very deepest parts of the observer.