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September 22, 2017

An Artist “Beckoned by the Sea” – Women Living & Working the Cascadia Coastline

“Cleaning the Catch” by Peggy Burkosky

We all have a sense of the unique history of a coastal lifestyle and heritage that is at our doorstep here in British Columbia. Sylvia Taylor‘s newly released and already at the “top-of-the-charts” best-seller “Beckoned by the Sea” is a unique anecdote of coastal living that benefits from hard – working individuals, and in this case namely women.

I thank Sylvia for her invitation to be one of 24 women featured in her book – women that have varied skills and passions and necessities to thrive and survive on the rugged Cascadia coastline.

It all calls for celebration as we head over to the west coast of Vancouver Island British Columbia to begin the 2017 Cultural Heritage Festival hosted by the Pacific Rim Arts Society. I’m especially looking forward to the exhibits and presentations and am thankful to be chosen to exhibit at the Sept 27 – 30 Art Show at Black Rock featuring West Coast Women artists. Who doesn’t love a day-trip with a night or two in Ucluelet and Tofino? What a perfect weekend and week to take it all in with this festival!


September 9, 2017

Travelling Brush in Hand – September 2017

We’re gearing up for a great hands-on painting workshop right around the corner – this coming Sept 15, 16 17 at Phoenix Art Workshops in Richmond BC Canada and it’s not too late to contact these great folks to sign up. This weekend workshop will have us all prepared to usher in the great historical event – the Grand Prix of Art in Richmond BC Canada the following weekend Sept 23, 24.

My Grand Prix of Art experience this July in Qualicum Beach, hosted by The Old School House Arts Centre was el grande for sure – won an award, sold the plein-air painting at the event, was commissioned to do another one and last but not least I won a Phoenix Art Workshop brush! Now I’m ready-to-roll and looking forward to more painting in the streets.

The big focus of the Sept 15, 16, 17 workshop: Lighting and Mood in Street Scenes. Simplifying values, shapes and palette are the key ingredients to capturing the nostalgic scenes we encounter in our travels.

July 4, 2017

Peggy Burkosky “Lighting and Mood in Street Scenes” Phoenix Art Workshop Sept 15 – 17

Phoenix Art Workshop

Weekend Workshops
This is the first in a series of Weekend workshops introducing some extraordinary guest instructors. The workshops will feature a Friday night lecture and demonstration, followed by a two day workshop.

Our first artist is a very talented watercolour painter and fantastic instructor from Vancouver Island
Peggy Burkosky – “Lighting and Mood in Street Scenes”
Friday Night Demo, September 15:  7pm – 9:30 pm
Saturday, September 16  9:00am – 4:00pm
Sunday, September 17 9:00am – 4:00pm
Internationally-recognized watercolour painter Peggy Burkosky shares years of painting experience in this intensive weekend workshop. Students will explore strategies and techniques for clarifying light and shadows, learning to alter mood and atmosphere while simplifying perspective and value drawings.
Friday night demo only $10 ( priority seating is given to students registered for the workshop – All classes are held at our third-floor Studio at 12211 First Avenue, Steveston British ColumbiaRegistration is first-come, first-served — Phoenix Art Workshop – register in store, by phone at 604-448-1860, or by emailing sales@phoenixartworkshop.com
July 4, 2017

Join the Festivities – Sept 23 / 24 2017 Steveston Grand Prix

Winner 2015 Grand Prix of Art, Steveston by Peggy Burkosky

Rain or shine it’s that time again! I’m happy to hook up with this action-packed event. The great thing about these events is that you can hang out with the artist and watch a free demo, ask a few questions and get charged up to go do it yourself. The picturesque Japanese fishing village of Steveston, situated at the mouth of the mighty Fraser River, is the stunning location for the 7th annual Grand Prix of Art, Steveston. Nestled between 100-year old cannery buildings, boat-works, and largest gillnet fishing feet in North America. This idyllic waterfront community is straight out of the pages of a John Steinbeck novel and the event has become a model for many similar events across BC and the Pacific Northwest. Over 100 artists of all ages and experience levels join us for a day of intense fun and competition, as artist race against the clock in this three-hour painting challenge.
7th Annual Grand Prix of Art, Steveston
Saturday, September 23 – 24, 2017
Presented by Phoenix Art Workshop and the Travellingbrush.com
in partnership with the City of Richmond, local businesses, and an amazing community.

The Event: Saturday, September 23rd is “Race Day.” competitors arrive at Britannia Heritage Shipyards for check-in at 9:00am, easels and art supplies in tow, artists are assigned a painting location by random draw and then head out to their locations for the start of the grueling competition. The painting race begins at exactly 10am and at 1:00pm artists are ask to put down their brushes, return to the shipyards, and prepare their paintings for display and adjudication. All our partners, artists and volunteers are treated to an amazing lunch, with an invitation to the general public to join us for live entertainment, the award ceremony and the sale and display of artwork.

Awards are presented to top artists in both adult and youth categories, with over $2000 in cash awards and prizes. Registered photographers are encouraged to document the entire event, uploading 5 unedited images for our photo essay contest before the stroke of midnight, adding to the excitement and the thrill of competition.

The exhibition will remain on display in the historic Seine Net-Loft at Britannia Heritage Shipyards on Sunday, September 24th from noon until 4:00pm. Hundreds of people are expected enjoy artists painting on location during race day or to visit the exhibition casting their votes for the People’s Choice Award (presented at 3:00pm Sunday September 24th, along with the “Best Photo Essay,” “Best Overall Photo,” and our “Instagram to Win” contest winners.

For More Information on the Steveston Grand Prix of Art, please visit event web site:


July 4, 2017

Classic Asian Brushwork For Watercolours

Kiwako Yamazaki Burkosky

What a rewarding experience it has been to search out traditional painting methods in Japan. Being somewhat of an advocate for respecting classic studies, you can imagine our delight when my daughter-in-law Kiwako and I just visited the June 2017 Exhibition of International Sumi-e Association. Just as we walked in the entrance we heard the announcement that a live demo of master painters was about to start. It turned out to be more than that – it was a hands-on workshop and of course we jumped in! Kiwako painted this with confidence and accuity – she has obviously done this before! I admire the brevity of expressive strokes. Basically, all the strokes done in this piece are either “Zouhou” – upright brush, or “Rohou” – oblique brush. Zouhou is painted with the brush held completely perpendicular to the paper. Rohou is painted with the brush held at an acute left or right angle to the paper. The gradation of dark to light is achieved by loading the tip of the brush with ink and adding extra water to the brush tip as needed.

Sumi-e painting, which refers to any ink painting derived from Asian brush techniques, embraces classic calligraphic brushwork. Originating in China over 6000 years ago as calligraphy, it went beyond the written symbol to images and pictures which influences ink painting throughout the world to this day.

Traditional sumi-e is painted on rice paper or washi – both derived from natural plant materials such as cotton, linen, bark, and bamboo. Naturally 100% rag cotton watercolour paper is an excellent support with a similar organic feel.

Think of calligraphy as a design element (line) that varies in width with variation of expression – slow and deliberate, quick and expressive, thick, thin or gradated, curved or straight, rough or smooth. All of these strokes can be produced through any watercolour brush, and I literally mean any brush since even a “flat” vs a “round” will produce interesting results.

A fabulous and free resource for further study: The Project Gutenberg EBook of On the Laws of Japanese Painting by Henry P. Bowie. This book has an excellent overview of the various Japanese painting styles and mentions the use of line in another classic style somewhat similar to line-work used in Art Nouveau.



This simple exercise includes Rohou and Zouhou strokes. Most often the larger upright components of the bamboo stalk are painted from bottom to top in Rohou strokes. Leaves are painted upwards or downwards in Zouhou strokes.

Garden Boughs by Peggy Burkosky

Now let’s see how those brush strokes work so well in the watercolour medium. I like to think of the strokes as much like practicing a golf swing (although I’ve never mastered golfing yet I can appreciate the principle!). Loading the brush with heavy pigment at the tip, brevity of strokes, creating distance with lighter values – it all adds up the same way as painting in a classic manner.
















Kaburaki Kiyokata 

Here we see yet another classic use of line illustrated here in a style called BIJIN-GA (pictures of beautiful woman), created in the early 1900s by Kaburaki Kiyokata, a great painter of the modern Nihonga (Japanese-style painting). Such elegant, minimalist line! He developed his career as an illustrator, later turning to painting in the Japanese style and creating his most famous works of graceful young women and the everyday life of common town-folk. I had the delightful opportunity to visit Kaburaki Kiyokata Memorial Art Museum located in Kamakura. I have somewhat of a passion to see these traditional art forms mentored to following generations. Having trained in commercial design 40 years ago with Swiss art director Willie Westman in Vancouver British Columbia Canada, I truly appreciate the “apprenticeship” that comes from old school European and Asian artists. Willie was remarkably generous in teaching us young newbie artists how to illustrate, design and develop full renderings in perspective.

Apprenticeship is highly honoured in Japan. A few days after visiting the museum I was invited to paint with master painter Goyoo Ootake (seated in front). Ootake is a 3rd generation successor to Kaburaki Kiyokata. You can imagine it was a special day for me as I painted with along with this fun bunch of professional artists in Kamakura.




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