Return to Nature

Return to Nature

Nature drawing reminds us that we are stewards of our land, and we need to be dedicated to preserving it for the enjoyment it brings to all levels of our lives. Drawing from life and using nature as our muse fosters compassion and empathy and ultimately reminds us of this interconnectivity. Observational drawing honours the truth in the beauty that is around us.  Not a single subject is without it’s own unique set of characteristics that make it impossible not to be in awe.

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Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May…

Spring is finally here and I have a few exciting announcements to make! So why don't you grab a cup of tea, turn on some soothing music and read all about it...




Newest Exhibition: "Darling Buds of May"...


Watercolours  &  New Oil Paintings now on display at

Mint Hair Studio (until the end of May)
1071 Wellington St. W. Ottawa - 613.695.3133

"Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? 
Thou art more lovely and more temperate: 
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, 
And summer's lease hath all too short a date, 

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, 
And often is his gold complexion dimmed, 
And every fair from fair sometime declines, 
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimmed. 

But thy eternal summer shall not fade, 
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st, 
Nor shall death brag thou wand'rest in his shade, 
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st. 

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, 
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee."

~William Shakespear's 18th Sonnet

Spring/Summer Brush Sale!

Introducing my new Synthetic Brush set of 6 - great for beginner. All of my favourite sizes in a smooth, supple, golden taklon bristle - great for beginner watercolorists or acrylic painters. I only have a few packs left at this price. At less than 10$ brush !

Also ON SALE (and just in time for outdoor painting & cottage season - My beautiful #8 pure Kolinsky Sable Pocket Brush is on sale now while quantities last…. was $55 , Now $45!

Workshops Coming up...

I have a few weekend workshops to choose from as well for those of you who can't participate in evenings or weekdays classes. 

Just remember that, for all classes REGISTRATION is first come first serve, classes fill up FAST!  
Online registration is the best way to guarantee a spot. 

Easy access from the highway

free parking,

small classes (max 8 students)


Painting Retreat at Ghost Ranch August 2016

Study at GHOST RANCH en plein air where painting & photo opportunities abound. Vistas of red earth and turquoise sky were made famous by Georgia O’Keefe.   Mediums your choice of: Watercolour, pen & ink and pastel. Primary focus will be on watercolour - techniques, but Crystal welcomes any one of these mediums and will demo accordingly and guide individuals as per their needs. GHOST RANCH: August 28 -Sept4 3 days in Santa Fe will also be added (exact dates TBA)

CLICK HERE to READ MORE or to RESERVE your spot before August 1st 2015

I'm proud to announce my newest endeavour...

I have been very busy working on my first Art Trade Show. I've just launched teh website and facebook page as well. I think many of you will be very interested in this as an opportunity to expand your skills and Learn, Explore and even showcase your work! 



ART + SCHOOL + FAIR is Eastern Canada's first & only Art Material Trade Show. We bring together the best names and brands in the industry. See and try all of the latest tools and products on the market and walk away with a few samples!

An opportunity for ages 10 and up to learn, explore, try and best of all… SHOP direct from the manufacturers themselves.  We've invited well known instructors and professionals to share their tips, teach classes and demo exciting and innovative techniques. Whether you are a professional, or just starting out you'll leave inspired.

Buy supplies:
Chat with and buy direct from leading Art Manufacturers in the Expo Hall. 

Get Creative:
Register for an art class with a leading Art Expert or take in our free demos! Try something completely different or build on your existing skills by exploring exciting, new techniques & products. Workshops and Demo's will be running both days. There is something for everyone! 

Be inspired:  Stroll through Inspiration Avenue an art exhibition area where artists will be displaying their work. Leave with free samples, new products, a brain full of ideas and a full heart to inspire your next work of art! 


You are invited to Life on The Rock

"Life On The Rock"

The Studio Cafe

1089 Somerset Street West, Ottawa

About this show

Watercolours & Oils of Newfoundland

 “Life on The Rock” is the double entendre referring to both the nickname given to the province of Newfoundland but also the actual micro-universe that lives on a rock. A body of work created in homage to my  journey to and experience in Newfoundland in September of 2013.

Its wild and rugged landscape has a unique ecosystem that varies extremely from region to region. With that comes an earthy palette so varied I near got whiplash straining to take in everything I could during my drive from St.John’s to the studio in Trinity, even in September. Treed, dense vegetation in one window and jagged outcrops of rocks painted with bright autumnal tundra.  Of particular beauty is the Trepassey area (along the Irish Loop). Where once it supported one of the worlds largest roaming caribou herds, after a devastating parasite now it has diminished to only a few hundred, heart broken I knew immediately I wished to paint images to tell this story. I was also fascinated by the geology  - from the grandiose scale of a single monolith to the tiniest pebbles, to the thinnest blood red shale. "

The piece entitled “The Weight of a Stone” (click for video)  is from an image I took on a 4 hour hike through Butter Pot Provincial park. The rocks are Precambrian era and are approximately 600 million years old. After the last glacation, huge boulders were left behind that take on rather anthropomorphic shapes. In this case they look to me like a small family, a baby shielded by the presence of it’s parents. I like the idea of linking our human experience to the natural world.