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Creativity Workshops​

These workshops appeal to new and experienced artists and writers alike.  Shary’s teaching approach emphases fun, encourages play and celebrates the pleasure of creativity.  The class atmosphere is relaxed and mutually supportive; offering professional guidance on art techniques and composition and encouraging exploration, curiosity and cross-fertilization of ideas between class participants.

If desired, Shary can supply a wide variety of art materials for art classes, or participants can bring their own. Classes range in length from 3 hours to three day sessions.

Mixed Media
Mixed Media

Mixed Media : Painting and Collage

Inspire your inner artist! Emphasizing fun and creative experimentation in a supportive atmosphere, this workshop lets you play with acrylic paints and a variety of mixed media materials, inks, papers, foils and imagery to create rich and textured surfaces for painting and collage. Learn techniques for photo transfer, layering, brushwork, integrating found objects and strengthen your understanding of composition and design.


From Photo to Fine Art: Hands-On Photo Alteration, Painting & Transfer

Liberate those beautiful photos stored away on your computer, cell phone or in a dusty box! Discover how to transform inkjet, digital and 35 mm photos into lush, hand-painted mixed media artworks. Learn techniques to print, distress, and alter photos so they possess the qualities of both photo and fine art. Try your hand at watercolour, acrylic, pastel, ink, cold beeswax and mixed media techniques. We will explore a variety of methods to print and transfer images to surfaces such as fine art watercolour, canvas and pastel papers, wood, fabric, tile, glass, metal and transparencies. Bring your own photos or use those provided.


Cloth Paper Metal: Mixed Media Art

Create amazing art surfaces by combining lush, handmade paper, gilded metals and innovative fabrics and fibres. Learn how paper, textiles and metals can be painted, fused, altered, layered, dyed, rusted, antiqued and printed with photographs. Blend your mixed media creations to make unique paintings, collage, wall hangings, 3-D sculpture and wearable art.



Collage offers endless possibilities to combine mixed media objects, fabric, handmade papers, magazine images, dried plants and paint together into evocative images. Play with colour, design and texture to create fascinating and evocative images and visual stories.


Painting Plaster

Create amazing surfaces for painting, marking, stamping and embedding mixed media objects into plaster. Play with acrylic paint and brush techniques to create a painting full of three-dimensional texture.


Outside the Box: Assemblage/Collage

Burst your collage and artistic expression “outside the box” by combining three-dimensional objects, ephemera, paint, images and mixed media elements into wall sculpture, shadow boxes, and 3D plaster paintings. 


Metallica for painting, collage and assemblage

Add the magical allure of history and antiquity to your mixed media and assemblage art.  Experiment with faux finishing paint and metallic treatments such as gold leaf, patina, verdigris, copper, silver, rust, foil and iridescence on wood, metal, canvas and fabric surfaces. Learn embossing techniques to create intriguing 3 dimensional metal reliefs, textures and finishes. 


Magnificent Monoprints

Explore fun and simple methods to create striking monotype and monoprints using a variety of hand-printed plates such as gelatin, Styrofoam, wood and Plexiglas.  Use your prints as stand-alone paintings, incorporate them into collage or create a colourful hand-made book.  You will take home a stack of prints to nourish your ongoing artistic exploration. 


Make your Mark - Ink Exploration

Explore a variety of brushes, mark-making tools and application techniques using colourful Indian, acrylic, calligraphy and spray inks. Experiment with gesture and a selection of paper surfaces.


Paste Papers

Put a modern spin on this 16th century art form using coloured paste. Experiment with unusual mark making tools to create beautiful and unique art papers that can be used for collage, artwork and handmade books.

Encaustic Beeswax

Introduction to Encaustic Beeswax: Mixed Media/Image Transfer

Create sweet-smelling textural paintings using molten beeswax.  Enrich your work with mixed media ephemera, image transfer, dried plants, and an amazing array of materials. Learn encaustic basics: how to colour, fuse, alter, highlight and gild with metallics.  You will bring home several paintings on wood substrates.


Encaustic Coloured Waxes, Tools, Techniques

Enhance your encaustic painting with molten coloured wax paints; explore tools such as the stylus, batik tjanting and hand-crafted Indian/Indonesian metal stamps. Learn techniques such as intarsia inlay, accretion, mark-making, achieving smooth surfaces and more.  Learn encaustic basics: how to colour, fuse, alter, highlight and gild.  You will bring home several paintings on wood substrates.


Encaustic Photography, Printing and Phototransfer

Learn a variety of techniques to integrate photos into the milky depths of encaustic wax.  We will use inkjet images printed on paper, fabrics and Lutradur spunbonded fibre.  We will also learn easy transfer and basic encaustic techniques. You will bring home several photographic works on fabric, paper and wood substrates. Students are welcome to bring personal photos and photocopies for use in class.


Hot Fabrication: Fusing Fabric, Fibre and Encaustic Beeswax

Discover the amazing translucent, layered, textural and sculptural effects that are achieved when combining sweet-smelling molten beeswax with textiles and fibres. Experiment with hand-dyed silk, cotton and printed fabrics to create innovative three-dimensional shadow boxes and sculptures. See the amazing translucent sculptural possibilities of hand-dyed or rusted spunbonded fabrics such as Lutradur and Tyvek. Learn a variety of textile photo printing and transfer techniques.  In this workshop, participants will learn basic encaustic techniques such as surface preparation, colouring, fusing, layering, stylus detailing, batik, highlighting and safety. You will take home a beautiful 3-D shadow box sculpture.


Encaustic Book, Paper Arts and Wax Monoprinting

Explore the translucent, waxy magic of encaustic on paper!  Learn to monoprint, stamp, scribe and iron on various papers using non-toxic coloured wax blocks and sweet-smelling beeswax.   You will bring home a stack of paintings and papers bound into a beautiful encaustic book.

Acrylic Painting

Amazing Acrylics

Experiment with the inspiring variety of effects possible using modern acrylic paints, fluid acrylics, gels, mediums and pastes.  Create lush surface textures and sensuous glazes; pour, stain, crackle and transfer images – all with this amazingly versatile art material. Combine these innovative techniques to create paintings on wood, canvas, glass and metal.


Fluid Acrylics

Unlike traditional acrylics, fluid acrylic paint’s versatility, intense colour and easy dispersal allows for unusual staining, pouring, resisting and glazing techniques. Learn to combine this medium with plastic, foils and collage materials to create striking creations. 

Textile and Fibre Arts

Textile and Fibre Arts

Experiment with the revolution in synthetic, spunbonded and natural fabrics, fibres, films, metallics and mixed media art materials.  In this no-sew class, learn how textiles can be painted, fused, altered, layered, dyed, rusted, gilded and printed with photographs.  Explore your imagination to create paintings, collage, wall hangings, 3D sculpture and wearable art that are rich with texture, colour and innovation.


Sculpting Light: Translucent Fibre Arts and Sculpture

This workshop will introduce participants to the amazing translucent, layered and textural effects that can be achieved using translucent spunbonded Lutradur fibres and acrylic paints.  Learn to paint, print with photographs, cut and collage this luscious fabric to build 2-dimensional wall art and 3-dimensional sculptures.  Explore the possibilities of LED lighting to enhance how light collaborates with fabric to create artwork imbued with depth, luminescence and profound beauty.

Creative Writing and Book Arts

Illustrated Art Journal

The journal is a time-honored medium to express innovative beginnings and celebrate the joy of creativity.  Use a variety of mixed media art techniques and writing exercises to craft a personal journal which will inspire. 

Introduction to Creative Writing

Do you love words? Find yourself scribbling down thoughts, feelings dreams and memories? Join a supportive group to explore simple and fun writing exercises which will help you craft your words into stories, poems, memoir or a personal journal.


Altered Books

Everybody has at least one great book in them!  Create yours by altering an existing book or blank journal using quotes or personal journaling, paint, stamps, photos, transfers, collage, niches and mixed media embellishments. 

Creative Process

Spark your Creative Journey

Inspire your inner artist with this fun workshop to discover what inspires you, tells your story and makes your creative juices flow. Play with a wide variety of mixed media materials and techniques such as intuitive painting, collage, mark-making, photo transfer and journaling to loosen up your creative spirit.  You will develop confidence, uncover your creative style, set creative goals and make a beautiful hand-made journal filled with images and reflections to kindle your ongoing artistic journey. 


Intuitive/Expressive Painting

Let loose your creative spirit and allow your sense of fun, intuition, imagination and creativity guide you and your paintbrush in this day of personal artistic exploration and process.  Play with texture, colour and expression using paint, charcoal, ink and variety of mixed media materials.

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