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Led by Catharine Somerville

Tuesday, May 17, 10 am -3 pm

$50 limited to 12 participants
(Rain Date to be announced in April)


The idea of En Plein Air is credited to Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes (1750–1819). En Plein Air enables artists to better capture the changing light and atmosphere.

These “in situ” paintings, favoured by the impressionists comprise an interconnected series of loose brushwork, tonal qualities and softness of line and form.  Textures and colours are presented in a relevant range of tonal values.

In our workshop, artists will go beyond static composition and truly explore movement of lines and the dynamics of the frame to energize their composition and focus on the way light informs shapes and colour. Catharine will start with a demo. After this she will discuss composition secrets and help each artist to choose their preferred location in and around WAAC.

Whether beginners wishing to start painting plein air, or established artists looking to refine their technique, this workshop will help artists expand on the process of making a painting.



Catharine Somerville has received major awards including prizes from The Gryphon Theatre Company, Ontario, the Chairman’s Prize from West Dean College and the University of Sussex. Recently, she has also completed three-month residencies in Mexico, Toronto Island and in Georgian Bay. Somerville’s work is represented in public, private and corporate collections in both in Canada and England including the YMCA Irma Brydson Place, Toronto, Kanata Research Park Corp., Ottawa, the Thomson Reuters Headquarters, Toronto and the Donald Wilson Neuro Rehabilitation Centre Chichester, West Sussex. Catharine shows in both the UK and Canada regularly.



We will explore:

  • COMPOSITION- making a magnet for the eye!
  • Finding your focal point-centre of interest, balance, unity, movement, rhythm, pattern, contrast in tonal value and patterns
  • Use of the materials of your choice
  • Choice of views at WAAC using useful compositional patterns to decide your design
  • Finding basic abstract shapes to clarify your process -use of notan
  • How perspective informs line and form
  • Colour, light, brushwork
  • A suggested list of materials,a hand out and suggested reading will be sent out before the class


REGISTER: cal@womensartofcanada.ca or 416-922-2060

Everyone attending should provide their own drinks and lunch/snack.
Wearing masks preferred please.



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