Muses from the artistic world of Sonia Mocnik
July 29,2018
that critic on my shoulder

Painting, painting,’s part of my everyday.  My mind loves to bounce around and think about my future ideas for painting.  Once I find and start a project it tends to consume me.  I like it at first but later as the project progresses my personal critic loves to loom large and start to eat into my thoughts.  I wish it was more like a cuddly Elmo giggling on my shoulder - it certainly wouldn’t dampen my creativity as much.  

I try to break the work routine up remembering all the other aspects of my art business that need doing... the newsletter, updating owners of my art and the public about new shows or exhibits that I am participating in.

I also spend a fair amount of time volunteering for the Vancouver Sketch Club and now with Artist Kathy Traeger will be coordinating the next Mid Main Art Fair.  It helps keep me on my toes, or rather seeing all the things I should be doing ....let me count the new trends....

Most of all, I love being re-inspired why I do this now.  This morning it was the talk on CBC radio finding out about Penny Lane Gallery and the group of artists associated with her completing a mural as part of the Mural fest - happening on Aug 6th - may I add - and finding out that the 13feet off the ground gals are painting in the heat trying to get a mural finished in West Vancouver for Harmony, the seeing the great results online from the Semiamhoo Paint the town and the Qualicum Grand Prix ..... I could just be an arm chair artist and enjoy so many of the things coming my way online.....

but, wait a minute - i’ve Got to get the rocks finished on my latest painting - don’t I want to make the deadline for the FCA landscape show....oops ... got to get back to painting.  Keep out of the heat and stay hydrated!


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July 26,2018
Trying different inks sketching

I use pen and ink with watercolour when I am sketching.  Recently, I have been given a chance to try a companies’ product that I wasn’t aware of.  #zebrapen is in Canada, the US and Japan and they have a selection of pens, felts and coloured and mechanical pencils.  I am trying out the Zensations and Sarasa pens.  The Zensations are black from .1 to .8 and the Sarasa are different colours. 

I usually use Derwent, Fabercastell, and Staedler and have suggested these to my students.  Archival and waterproof are very important to ensure you don’t find the ink running into the rest of your watercolours.

I try many different papers, but hot press paper is really great with the ink because of the papers smoothness.  Over 90lbs is also preferred.

I sketched yesterday at Dr.Sun Yat Sen Park in Vancouver.  Using the light smooth Strathmore sketch pad I have to warm up with, I wasn’t very happy with my sketches. However, I think I needed to pay more attention to what I was doing.  Several tourists were meandering the park and talked to myself and other sketchers there.

I’ll spend more time on my pen likes and dislikes in my next blog.  Happy Painting!


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July 20,2018
Harmony Arts and Plein Air

I hope this blog edition finds you with glass in hand and enjoying the wonderful summer weather! Look for me accepting the challenge to paint en plein air in 3 hours at the Grand Prix of Plein Air on August 4th from 10am to 1pm at the Harmony Arts Festival in West Vancouver.

I would like to invite you to all the wonderful activities happening at the Harmony Arts Festival August 3rd to 12th in West Vancouver’s wonderful Ambleside area.

In recent years, it has been more difficult to park for Harmony events.  Last year they coordinated with a bus company to take guest from the Park Royal parking lot over to the venue.  Please check the website for the latest information about how to visit the site and take in the great events.

Happy Accidents = Harmony Arts Festival

I have been participating in various Harmony activities over the past 7 years and am very pleased to have the opportunity to instruct on August 12, between 12 and 3pm at the Art Speak Tent near the Ferry Building.

My students loved my small square review of watercolour techniques and how to conquer your fear when something may not go quite right. Using a ¼ sheet of watercolor paper, we will separate the squares with tape and paint different mini paintings highlighting certain watercolour techniques and how to resolve issues that may arise allowing you to conquer your fears in this medium.

All supplies are provided during the activity and there will be a written hand out to take home with your completed squares.  There is a nominal charge for the material of $8 and you need to pre-register through Harmony Arts.

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