recent paintings and news

recent paintings and news

Friday, February 24, 2012

More Murmurations


part 1 of triptych, 10x10in
mixed media on aluminum primed panel
Jan Yates, 2012

part 2 of triptych, 10x8in
mixed media on aluminum primed panel  
Jan Yates, 2012

part 3 of triptych, 10x10in
mixed media on aluminum primed panel  
Jan Yates, 2012

mixed media on aluminum primed panels 
Jan Yates, 2012


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Encaustic Workshops coming in March

The upcoming month will be crazy busy but I did manage  to arrange two encaustic 'mini' workshops and possibly a third full day workshop-still fleshing out dates/time on my calendar for the latter.

I enjoy conducting these shorter workshops and my students, some never having picked up a paintbrush, quickly become excited and inspired-shedding any pre-conceived notions of how intimidating art-making might be. 

 For returning and practising artists that are familiar with the medium, these sessions offer time and materials to explore new and challenging ways of working  and enable them to expand on ideas and approaches. 

Participants will thoroughly immerse  and engage  in a variety of techniques, or if they wish, can focus on one or two. At all levels, there will be  lots of hands-on time to play.

Encaustic Workshop @ the Grimsby Public Art Gallery
Wednesday March 7, 2012 (1 session)
From 5:00pm– 8:00pm
$30 + $20materials
to register
phone:  905 945 3246 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            905 945 3246      end_of_the_skype_highlighting 


Ancient and intriguing, this method of painting originated in Greece, where it was used for the earliest easel and mural painting. A heady combination of colour, melting wax and heat, encaustic mixes dry and oil pigments in hot beeswax. Artist & educator Jan Yates has been working with this luscious medium for over 15 years and will share techniques including image transfer, photo collage, colour, glazing, layering, drawing, mono type and cold wax techniques. Classes are enjoyable for those with no previous art-making experience as well as returning artists who want to further explore this alluring and tactile medium


Encaustic Workshop @  my studio (Grimsby)
Tuesday, March 13, 6~9pm
to register:

Monday, February 20, 2012

studio sale

Even though I have expanded the studio, I am running out of space so am offering a few original works at a reduced price.

Friday, February 17, 2012

winter plein air & random show images

This week I have been working in the studio -still drawing - but I needed to get out and paint from direct observation. For the last month I have worked in either encaustic or dry media and have been craving the sensation of painting with oil- in it's fluidity, immediacy and movement. So I packed up my gear and set off late afternoon when the light was interesting, but didn't venture far from the studio. I wasn't sure how the weather would hold and in feeling so rusty only brought one small canvas. (which is NOT what I tell my students-always have at least two surfaces, no matter what!)

This painting is merely a study-an exercise. It was good to be back out there-felt like home-which I was, I suppose.

February (study), Niagara escarpment, oil on panel, 8x10in, available

Below are some random images from the exhibition 'This land is OUR Land: the Greenbelt Dichotomy

As usual I forgot to take pictures at the opening, but it was packed and a LOT of fun! Thanks to all who came out-your continued support is deeply appreciated.

Planting by the moon, encaustic on panel, 10x10in, 2012

Fallow, encaustic and aluminum on panel, 12x40in, 2012

Greenbelt Dichotomy

Tired Eskar, installation by Jefferson Cambel Cooper, portraits by Michelle Teitsma

greenbelt dichotomy close up 2012

Almanac Moons

May, Supply & Demand
Oil on canvas
Collection of J & K Barrett

‘Niagara’s very limited fruit lands are the best in North America, and they are much threatened by development despite the Greenbelt protections. Fruit farmers are aging and are increasingly under huge financial pressures, and neither their farm expertise nor the land can be replaced elsewhere. And, crucially, if the government is not prepared to save this unique part of the Provincial Greenbelt through a substantive investment in the land and the farmers, through payments for easements, we will be left not too far in the future, with a “token” fruit belt having blossoms but no real farmers on the land. In fact the very success of the Greenbelt will be totally undermined, as after all, if the government cannot save the best lands in Canada what other part of the Greenbelt can they protect for farming and for feeding Ontarians?’

Val O’Donnell, President,
The Preservation of Agricultural Lands Society (PALS)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

drawing on reflection and murmuration


I don’t think I am alone –fellow artists have told me that they feel a little lost after a show. It is part of growth--time to reflect as well as be open to ideas that have been waiting until deadlines are over. I really enjoy this transition time. I go into the studio with open heart and mind-no plan-and intuitively pick out media-intuitively play-intuitively follow my gut-no pressure-no deadline-just be.

These mixed media drawings came out of this 'letting go'-and I now have an inkling of where they are taking me, although I won’t be disappointed if we change course.

I have always been interested in migration, primarily in birds and the natural world, although lately our own migration, and im-igration, also seem to occupy my thoughts. Perhaps it is because I will be travelling to Ireland soon for my residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre. I find myself interested in perusing a series of starling murmurations. Although I have seen them here on the Niagara escarpment, the magnitude of this phenomenon went viral when  posted on this video. Ironically it was filmed in Ireland. 

 study-Murmuration, mixed media on aluminum primed panel, 10x10in, 2012

So a few of my latest ‘art plays’—will see where they will take me. 

Reflection, Niagara Escarpment, mixed media on panel, 12x40in, 2012

 Kama's beeswax crayons, aluminum pigment, and charcoal

February, mixed media on panel, 8x10in, 2012

*my friend Mockingbird 'ducking' for cover on the studio porch...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

New season classes:

I have just updated new class dates-info below....

Mentoring Mondays

These sessions are primarily self directed. You can work inside the studio or outdoors ala plein air. I will be available to guide you and address your individual needs in a mentorship approach. These sessions are ideal for those just starting out or for the more seasoned artists who wish to push themselves in a new direction. This is also an inspiring environment for those who simply need time to work. Participants provide their own materials. If you are new to art-making I will be happy to recommend materials and media most suitable for your needs.

Ongoing Mondays:

6:30 -9PM

Spring/Summer series begin
Monday, May 15
$85 for a series of 4 sessions.

Exploring the Surface: Painting with Cold Wax.

Encaustic painting is not the most convenient way to work-especially if you have limited space or are travelling. Texture, depth, movement and fluidity can still be achieved via working with cold wax, oil paint and drawing materials. I will show you how to mix your own cold wax medium and share techniques and materials used for this versatile painting technique. Recommended for artists with some painting experience.

Workshop 1:

Saturday, June 9

$70 includes most materials. A list will be provided upon registration
Workshop 2

Wednesday, June 13

$70 includes most materials. A list will be provided upon registration

Plein Air in the Vineyard

Jan Yates has been painting Niagara’s Vineyards for over fifteen years and is a well-known instructor in the Niagara region.

Each session will be held outdoors in Niagara’s beautiful vineyards and participants will enjoy a complimentary glass of Niagara wine to enhance the ambience of the plein air experience. These sessions are enjoyable for those with no previous art-making background as well as more seasoned artists who want to push beyond their comfort level. For a full course description please contact the artist. Sessions are in oil or acrylic and a materials list will be provided upon registration.

Workshops are held *Fridays:

*You can opt to take 1, 2, 3 or all 4 classes. $45 per class

June 15

July 13

August  10

September 14


Plein Air Painting for the Experienced Artist

*All sessions are held on the Niagara Escarpment, a Unesco  world biosphere reserve. Orchards, fields, vineyards and big skies are abundant!

These in-depth sessions will address challenges specific to the outdoor painter. After my trip to Ireland I have learned about packing light, working with a simplified pallet, preparing surfaces and working fast before the rain comes! I will share techniques including pre-mixing predominant seasonal pallets, building composition and economy of brushwork. You will be responsible for your own supplies and a list is provided upon registration. Some outdoor easels are available.

Workshops are held  *Saturdays

*You can opt to take 1, 2, 3or all 4 classes. $50 per workshop


May 26

June  16

July 14

August 11

Encaustic Painting

Dates and Times

  Wednesday, June 6, 1-4PM
$65 includes most materials

 Saturday, June 23, 10 – 1PM
$65 includes most materials

Class size is limited and students have ample time to work hands on with this fluid and luscious medium.

*registration can be paid securely online via paypal

Friday, February 3, 2012


This past week was hectic in planning, packing and transporting work to be featured at the Grimsby Public Art Gallery  for the much- anticipated exhibition: This Land is OUR Land: the Greenbelt Dichotomy. 

Below is a series and statement that the director selected for the show.

One element of being part of a  public exhibition is that the director/curator has the last word on what is selected and where it goes. Some works intended for the show were edited out-and I have to accept that. This is part of the deal -not fun-but in the 'big picture' of this group show, where it is all about balance, her decision was sound.

I have also posted an intro video, although they hadn't finished installation and my lighting was not yet adjusted. I hope to remember to bring the camera to Sunday's opening when everything is pulled together.

encaustic collage triptych on panels, 8x30in, 2012

Statement to accompany work

Since the Greenbelt policy was implemented five years ago I have noticed more abandoned fields in rural Niagara. Once farmed and thriving with orchards and vineyards, these fallow fields are now housing wildlife. They grow milkweed for monarch butterflies, sweet wildflowers for our bees, and provide food and camouflage for many bird species.  

 One species of migrating birds, the Bobolink, are provincially listed as ‘species at risk’. For the past few springs, in open escarpment fields, I have had the immense pleasure of encountering these bold as brass yellow headed songsters. The unmistakable " bubbling delirium of ecstatic music that flows from the gifted throat like sparkling champagne," "a mad, reckless song-fantasia, an outbreak of pent-up, irrepressible glee," and "a tinkle of fairy music, like the strains of an old Greek harp."  Such exuberance –especially after making one of the longest migrations in the Western Hemisphere—a round trip of approximately 20,000-km  from Brazil, Paraguay, and northern Argentina!

‘Ontario's Greenbelt is home to 78 of over 200 provincially listed species at risk in the
province, like the Bobolink, Redside Dace and Jefferson Salamander.

Since being established in 2005, it has prevented the conversion of natural and agricultural lands into sprawling residential development.

Despite this early success, this report highlights the need to strengthen existing provincial policies and laws to address on-going threats to the integrity of the Greenbelt from pressures like road development and aggregate extraction.’

David Suzuki Foundation