Muses from the artistic world of Sonia Mocnik
July 28,2021
North Van Art Rental Program

I have been remiss in updating my North Van arts site and today I received mail to say that one of my rental pieces had been "rented"!  So fun to find out these things! Alice Lake, a watercolour and ink 16 x 20 framed was out for a month on a film or movie shoot.  

I have now had 4 pieces in the rental program and see that submission for 2022 will be coming up soon.  There are so many great opportunities I am finding it difficult to stay focused on my series of "colour and light" before I break free and start something else.

The petunias have been a struggle between learning to be very detailed or just keeping it very loose. I went back to detail and kept finding I needed to stop drawing flowers before I painted them because I could no longer find my reference on my photo for the image I wanted to capture.  I was more disciplined when I was creating videos and writeups for my work because I did more background on each piece, trying it out, seeing what I liked or didnt about the composition .. all the steps necessary to get a good painting.  

I know that this is exploration and I need to let my creativity out, but I do find I get tired and start to want to just finish what I am doing rather than realizing I should just put the piece aside and get on with my other business items - like blogs and updating social media or just thinking of what I want to teach in the fall.

So - it will be back to the petunias tomorrow and then thinking about more of the other things I like to do too.  I just can't decide if more white petunias are the way to go.  I did see and take some pictures today while I was out.  I also have a plant growing here so that I can study it while I sit with my coffee.  Its all there - I just have to organize myself and keep going.

Happy painting everyone and don't worry about the struggle - its part of being a creative artist!

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July 26,2021
Did you get to plein air with Opus?

Wow, a busy week again.  Saturday at the West Vancouver Memorial Library was so much fun!  It was a full slate and then a few people had to cancel at the last minute.  However, we had 10 hardy souls who took in the heat and painted and sketched.

Questions were asked about my pallete, about plein air equipment and other questions about brushes such as my da vinci plein air brush.

We painted trees, the garden beans and kale and potatoe flowers and I got a few quick petunia flowers in.

Thanks to all who made it out!

Today was the last day for the Opus Art Supply plein air challenge.  2 weeks went by so quickly that I only had this evening to actually put my sketch on and document the quick time I spent at Creekside Park this evening.  I loved it though - just my sketch book, my plein air paints, some graphik ink pens and water and I managed to get in some fun down at the water.  Of course, I drew way too much and should have focused on something less detailed, but its what I felt like as I filled both sides of my sketch book.  Its all about just having fun and throwing on colour and seeing what happens.  I have forgotten about mosquitos in the evenings as usually I don't spend a lot of time outside these days.  They started buzzing around about 8:30 just as the sun was starting to descend.  The glow of the sky didnt go away until almost 10pm, but I headed back before I had too many bites.

There was notification that a group of 50 plein air painters were going to be out on the North Shore at a park near Capilano.  If you are interested in seeing images from the last two weeks - check out the hashtag #OPUSOPC2021

Happy Painting everyone - I'm back to studying my petunias and I managed to sneak a quick video on a garden and bicycle scene I 've been wanting to try out.  Its all on instagram, facebook and you tube.  Enjoy!

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July 23,2021
West Vancouver Memorial Library Demo and more

Tomorrow is demo time at the West Vancouver Memorial Library - outside - masked and wow will this be a great day to be back outdoors!

I am working on behalf of the library to showcase their new digital platform "" which is offered online through the library system for "free"!

I have it setup on my main computer and on an app on my phone.  It has so many fun and creative things to view and enjoy.  This is not just watercolour, but quilting, knitting, mix media and even info on how to build your art business.

I am happy to have the opportunity to share things that enhance people's creative spirit and move them forward on their own progress and positivity with whatever art moves them!!!!

Even though I have my own online series of art classes and teaching sessions, this is a way more people can have access to exploring their creativity without limits.  Whether you go to the library and spend time on their computers or use a device you might own, listening and creating is good in whatever format you have available.  This just enhances everyone's ability to learn more about colour, the basic materials and other aspects of art and then when you find that not enough - there so much more to learn through the local artists like myself and what can be offered through community centers, online and in private classes.

I will get back to writing more about fabriano paper and the phathlo green or winsor green blue shade in upcoming blog pieces.  In the meantime, there are some condensed videos on my You Tube site that you can view.

Just go create!!!! 

PS don't forget there is three more days to post your plein air pictures to the OPUS online challenge.  Take of picture of the piece you did in your sketchbook or substraight and get it online through instagram, with the hashtag #OPUSopc2021 - there is so many prizes offered - get out and pleinair.  More info on the events sections of

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July 15,2021
Phthalo green

I have tried this colour out - the blue shade by daniel smith.  I like it, but made the mistake of mixing it with a "green gold".  It just went muddy as I hadn't checked the original mix of colours in each tube.  Its one of the worst pieces of painting I have tried.  It looked great when first mixed, but when it dried - ugh!

So this is the first time I can truly say - I really need to work on my paint swatches before hand.  All the lovely drawing - only to be compromised by the paint colours.  I have this desire to just try some darks to bring it back to life - but after three applications, I know that transparency has disappeared.

So I went and tried some other flowers on a new 9 x 12 fabriano block.  I used my 4 winsor and newton sable and loved how the soft colours came out, but need to be careful to not overwork it.  I did a mixed warm grey backgroun and find it may be not quite what I should have done.  I have some white at the base that I wanted to keep and now think, it may have been better to keep it all white.  I'll let you know what happens.  It may be another failed attempt, but that's what testing and studying is all about.  Creativity comes from mistakes as well as wins - it can't all be smooth sailing!

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July 11,2021
More colour and light

As I continue with the Petunia, floral and foliage theme, I am really finding I start to understand the shape and line of the flowers I am painting.  I am also enjoying trying new colour mixes and even a a little guoache to accent some of the colour if necessary.  

I do find it hard to stay focused on one piece, so after getting some more Fabriano from Opus, I am going to try a variety of sizes of paper.  I also need to practise some more of the demo I will be completing at the West Vancouver Library on July 24th.  Weather is looking promising - not too hot, not too cold.

I haven't had a chance to try some of my new colours - phalo green in both the yellow and blue shade and that includes a "winsor green" with a "yellow" shade.  I have noticed several artist using this to help with the green leaves.

I have my new Petit Gris by Da Vinci - size 3 - I can't wait to try it out!

Lots more to test and practise and I hope soon to have more videos online.  Right now its nice just to paint and not have to explain and writeup each step. However, it does help when I do write things down and keep the process - I don't have to recreate the wheel if I like a particular mix.  I love the purple I get when I mix quinacridone rose with cobalt teal.  Things like that.

Happy Painting!

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