acrylic underpainting

I choose to start my paintings in acrylic for several reasons but mainly because it dries faster than oil— therefore, I can work on several at a time— and get the jist of it painted before I get to the good stuff with my oil paints. I always end in oil because I love the depth of colour oil painting provides, I love the feel and consistency of oil, and even the smell better! It makes me happy.

Do you paint in acrylic first too?
amybarrettart prairie landscape

What a typical studio day is like.

I love hearing about how full time artists describe their life. This is almost exactly how my studio days sound. But I wish I could do this everyday, not just the one or two days a week now. I have the most ambition and creativity in the mornings. Making art after a full day of work is much more of a challenge… my creativity gets lost at the end of the day. There is nothing better than stepping into your studio with a pot of coffee and a full day to create.

photo copy

Here is an excerpt from a recent interview from Alyson fox from Camille

“Okay Alyson, walk us through a typical work day.

Wake up and out of bed by 7, walk our pup, do some yoga, eat breakfast, tidy up the house, shower, check e-mails, check to-do list, start working on anything that has a deadline, stare at blank walls, neck rolls, play with our pup, draw, computer work, lunch, draw, write down ideas that come to me, snack (I walk to the fridge often hoping something delicious has magically appeared), work on something new, look at old work, repeat some of the above, write a to-do list, wrap up studio time and start making dinner about 6:30. Relax with my husband….but sometimes that involves him helping me with something.”


Love it.

Snow falling on willow trees & cedars


The sky is the lightest shade of grey
Thick flakes of snow falling slowly
Everything is quiet, and still

I look back inside, looking around my studio
My mind is the only thing that is moving
thinking about all of the things I want to do
and the things I want to be thinking about

Not knowing where to start

I look up again
out the window, to the outside
snow falling on willow trees and cedars
and cars and houses
reminding me to try to stop worrying

This January I made many “resolutions” to myself. Things that I was avoiding because I was fearful of what the other side would look like.

I just wanted to start living the life that I always wanted–all of the “I should do that’s” would no longer be should– but could– and– did.

Things like.. painting more, being accountable for the money I spend and worrying less about what the money means, and where I stand in my relationships, and showing appreciation and spending more time the people that matter most to me in my life

By being accountable and being appreciative of the life that I have I feel like I am starting to actually life the life that I have always wanted.

I don’t usually succumb to cliché poems,
but a co-worker showed me the following yesterday that was at his friends funeral, and it is a nice reminder to think about what the most important things in life are.

—What Will Matter–

by Michael Josephson

Ready or not, some day it will all come to an end.

There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days.
All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten
will pass to someone else.

Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance.
It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed.
Your grudges, resentments, frustrations
and jealousies will finally disappear.
So too, your hopes, ambitions, plans and to-do lists will expire.
The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.

It won’t matter where you came from
or what side of the tracks you lived on at the end.
It won’t matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant.
Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.

So what will matter?
How will the value of your days be measured?

What will matter is not what you bought
but what you built, not what you got but what you gave.

What will matter is not your success
but your significance.

What will matter is not what you learned
but what you taught.

What will matter is every act of integrity,
compassion, courage, or sacrifice
that enriched, empowered or encouraged others
to emulate your example.

What will matter is not your competence
but your character.

What will matter is not how many people you knew,
but how many will feel a lasting loss when you’re gone.

What will matter is not your memories
but the memories that live in those who loved you.

What will matter is how long you will be remembered,
by whom and for what.

Living a life that matters doesn’t happen by accident.
It’s not a matter of circumstance but of choice.

Choose to live a life that matters.