Melancholic, Drippy days

I woke this morning thinking and singing this song, Your Faithfulness, by Brian Doerkson.

I don't know what this day will bring
Will it be disappointing, filled with longed for things?
I don't know what tomorrow holds
Still I know I can trust Your faithfulness

I don't know if these clouds mean rain
If they do, will they pour down blessing or pain?
I don't know what the future holds
Still I know I can trust Your faithfulness

Certain as the rivers reach the sea
Certain as the sunrise in the east
I can rest in your faithfulness
Surer than a mother's tender love
Surer than the stars still shine above
I can rest in your faithfulness

I don't know how or when I'll die
Will it be a thief, or will I have a chance to say goodbye?
No, I don't know how much time is left
But in the end, I will know your faithfulness 

When darkness overwhelms my soul
When thoughts are storms of doubt
Still I trust You are always faithful, always faithful (© 2002 Brian Doerkson)

Recently, I heard this again as I listened to an online concert by Brian Doerkson. He wrote the song at a time of uncertainty in his own life, which he shared during the concert.
His songs have a wonderful depth to them that I connect with. Music, like painting, can help me engage my feelings.

It is rainy this morning as I write this. I feel melancholy. This Covid-19 isn’t going away and continues to impact us. How we do things has to change. How I teach will be affected. There is unrest, violence, and protests in so many places. I needed those words today:

"When darkness overwhelms my soul
When thoughts are storms of doubt
Still I trust You are always faithful, always faithful" (© 2002 Brian Doerkson)

God is faithful. Always faithful.

God isn’t going to make the problems disappear, but walks with me through the difficulties, Child's hand holding Jesus hand, pencil, 12 x 9 in, artist Julie Drewholding my hand, giving me courage to face things and uphold me, uphold us as we grieve for the changes, for the heartbreaking violence in the news. We are in a time where we need each other, to set aside our independent stances and to work together, instead of being not be divisive.

I am reminded of Psalm 33:13-22 which speaks of God looking down on all the inhabitants of the world, whom he knows and created. He sees: “the king not saved by his great army, warrior not saved by his great strength, war horse vain hope for victory”… “Truly the eye of the Lord on those who fear him, who trust in his steadfast love” (And then comes the move from individuality to corporately) “Our soul waits for the Lord, he is our help and shield, Our heart is glad in him because we trust in his holy name.” There is something to be said about working together, caring for and helping each other, standing with each other.

Sometimes I just need a good cry, to let myself feel melancholy, and accept this part of me too. We need our rainy days to grow, too. Last summer, I sat in our tent which has a covered day use area, and painted the scene above of the inlet at Ucluelet, BC as the mist rolled in and the rain came down. It was a day much like today, with the sun coming out later. Once I am able to express my feelings, the load is lighter, and a shared load is lighter still.

Are you able to connect with your feelings, with the depths within yourself? How does that happen in your life?

water demoOne of the things I do when I teach is to demonstrate painting techniques. Sometimes I already have a painting in mind and sketch it out before class, knowing it can work for a demo.

However, most of the time it is a technique or project that I start with the class or a demonstration of a technique for one of my student's projects. Then, I have a partial painting or just some random colors and texture that I can turn into something else.

athabasca pine tree, 11 x 7 in, mixed media, Julie Drew

Over the last couple of years of teaching, I have accumulated more unfinished pieces than I have managed to complete. I just counted 59 I had photgraphed last fall to record the process of painting. Rather daunting. I had no idea there were so many.  Not all of them will be completed. For those that will be completed, something about them inspires me to press on with them.

trollfalls mixed media, 12 x 9 in, Julie Drew

Summer Art Classes

I miss teaching, seeing my students and interacting with them. I miss coming up with solutions to whatever they are working on. I have been creating videos and painting. Anticipating what I will need for teaching is hard. I see how I often teach with flexibility and subjects that are student led to some extent. I have found that students learn better by painting what intrigues them or pulls on their heart. That is harder to anticipate in a classroom session online when I do videos ahead of time. I have some videos to start with. And ideas with how to proceed. So now I need to connect again with students.

Have you wanted to take a class with me, but you lived too far away? Now is your chance. I am offering three opportunities (types of) online classes. It will not be the same as class time in person, but we can make it work. What you will need besides the usual paint supplies, is a computer, phone or tablet. 

If you are interested in any online classes or groups, please indicate your interest in art classes or groups in the registration page.

One on one mentoring/ tutoring: This is for students who have been working on their own and would like feedback on their paintings. This can include what to work on, improve or change in a painting, solutions to frustrating parts and even how to tackle a new painting with suggestion of procedure. The sessions can last about an hour. $52.50/ session. (pay for 4 sessions at a time, includes GST $210 CAD) (options: once a week. once a month or twice/month) 

Small group mentoring (3-6 people): This is for students who have been working on their own and would like feedback on their paintings. This can include what to work on, improve or change in a painting, solutions to frustrating parts and even how to tackle a new painting with suggestion of procedure. The students will learn from each other as well, as they listen to the feedback for every painting. This could also include group projects or themes. Each student has about 20-30 minutes focus time during the session. $26/ session. (pay for 4 sessions at a time, includes GST $104 CAD) (options: once a week. once a month or twice/month) If this interests you, please, take the survey of the days and times that would work for you. Tuesday/Wed/Thurs. 10amMT or 2pm MT or 7pm MT 

Online classes: These will include videos, pdfs and some group feedback sessions on the paintings in process. Live classes will be recorded for you to work on your own time if you cannot make the live session. I am still working out the details. 

Florals - 4 weeks - Tuesdays, starting July 28. The live component will also be recorded for viewing later if you cannot attend. 

Waterfalls - (in person version: Sept 12 at the Paint Spot one day workshop)

Mixed Media - 


Basic Watercolor - 4 weeks - Thursdays, starting July 30 The live component will also be recorded for viewing later if you cannot attend 

The classroom settings will not open until the fall. However, I will be doing two things this summer in person this summer. Let  me know if you are interested through the registration page.

Handmade Papermaking in my backyard  - with social distancing and up to 4 people. (Date to be arranged based on weather. August  - sign up to be part of the workshop.) 

Plein air painting sessions. This one is harder to schedule in advance, as it is dependent on the weather conditions. $20 for a session, suggested locations to meet:
Chickakoo Lake -  July 17, 10 am
Overlooking the river valley
Terwillegar Foot Bridge
Muttart grounds - July 10

Other locations or suggestions?



Why take a class? A class gives you the space in your schedule to paint. Do you need the structure to create the habit of painting time? Classes also provide feedback on your work, help with techniques and steps in your painting. A class can also inspire your own work to new directions through the interaction with other students. I will be teaching online until the classrooms are open again.


Thursday Morning Online Watercolour class 9:30-11:30 am will start on March 18, 2021 and run for 6 weeks.

It includes ‘coaching’ on your own paintings and demos of techniques. In community we share paintings and encourage each other. All the classes are recorded for viewing later if the live session does not work for you.

Comments from the last class:

"I love the student portal!"

"I am learning so much."

"Thank you for your wonderful teaching!"

For each class, I will send you a zoom link.

Before each class, I will have you send me an image of what you would like to work on and send a picture of your painting to that point. (Take a picture with your camera or phone download it to your computer to send in am email. Let me know if you have trouble with this. and we will look into alternatives.)  

During the class time I will go through the images that were sent in and answer questions you and the other students have. The “class time” will be recorded so that even if you have to miss it, if you sent in your images and questions, I will cover them during the “class time.” The class time sessions will be split between answering questions, helping with paintings and showing some demonstrations.

There will be an assignment for each of you based on the photo reference you want to work on.  As not everyone is an independent worker, there will also be a video available each week for you to learn from if you choose to and want more direction. 

Registration   Watercolor Supply list

 Hay Bales

Classes Starting at the City Arts in Edmonton - all online. Both of these classses will have live online workshop sessions  with demos and Q&A's. Starting March 8, 2021 for four weeks.


Beginner Acrylics - Monday morning, 10 am- 1 pm, Course#687276 Link to  (registration open)

Get into the basics using simple subjects to explore the painting process. We will cover brushwork, color mixing and theory, simple perspective, and still life exercises.

Watercolour Florals Monday afernoon, 1:30-4:30 pm, Course#687278 Link to  (registration open)

Think Spring and sunshine and warmth! We will work on capturing the translucence of petals and shapes of flowers, we will also work on the leaves and backgrounds keeping the focus of the paintings on the flowers.