Author Archives: joykirkwood

Seahorse Box

yellow seahorse box, 1 front viewyellow seahorse box, 2 - 3 sided viewyellow seahorse box 7Been updating one of my wee seahorse boxes today. Front, top, and sides are painted and the back is a sculptural seahorse across the open box which has a starfish charm and the drawing of a seahorse inside. 4″ X 3″ X 1.5″.

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Posted by on August 22, 2014 in acrylics, mixed media, seahorses



Cat with a Grin

Joy Kirkwood's Cat with a Grin in treeIt’s been such a busy summer! Two weddings and then 6 weeks of teaching Summer Art classes. No time to blog until now. One of the classes focused on papier mâché animals (ages 8-12) and as a demo I began, and finished, ‘Cat with a Grin’. He is the first in a series of papier mâché works that I’m creating based on colourful drawings of imaginary creatures drawn by my oldest son when he was 8. This picture was one of many taken of him in a tree. The garnet and gold colours he wears are Mount A colours, the university in NB where I graduated from.

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Posted by on August 19, 2014 in dragonflies


Past meets Present

MET KandinskyEver since I was a university student the idea of going to New York and seeing the galleries there seemed like an impossible dream. Finally went in June of this year and saw incredible work. Life changing. Me as a student at Mount A is juxtaposed with a painting by Kandinsky that I was particularity fond of and that I saw at the MET Art gallery. Joy Fine Arts Bldg 1976

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Posted by on July 13, 2014 in miscellaneous, photographs


Prism Light

prism light closerainbow flamerainbow on wallWhen I was 12, I read Pollyanna and after that all I wanted for Christmas was prisms to hang in the window to make rainbows in my room. Mom tried to find them but no luck back then. Almost 20 years later, for my birthday, when I was grown and had children of my own, came this prism into my life, found by Mom. She never forgot, or never stopped looking. That’s the kind of Mom I have! Was thinking of this early yesterday when my kitchen was bathed in little rainbows early in the morning, all in thanks to a Mom’s love that never stops giving. Love my Mom!

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Posted by on June 6, 2014 in photographs


Back to Watercolours

watercolour study at Sorrento Centre beach, BCWas away for the weekend (Sorrento, BC) and took time to visit the beach and to paint. Summer is a great time to get back into working in watercolours. It’s easy to carry around and pulls you outside to work. Light is so necessary for this medium and there’s lots of that in the summer! Feeling rusty (it’s been awhile) but that’s another thing I like about watercolours, it teaches you to simplify and clarify and I look forward to seeing how my work changes the more time I spend with the medium.

Background: As a student at Mount Allison University I was taught watercolour/drawing by Ted Pulford. Looking at his work online brings back memories of a lot of field trips we did in pursuit of good places to paint. (

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Posted by on June 3, 2014 in drawings, watercolours


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Flower Study

flower study with flower close upThe weekend was spent taking a trip to the Southern Interior of BC. The cabin we stayed at was at the Shuswap Lake Motel and Resort in Sorrento BC on the south shore of Shuswap Lake. It was a lovely location (adjacent to the Sorrento Retreat Centre) and a place I hope to go back to soon. This drawing is part of my ‘draw every day’ intentions and was a study from the basket of flowers by our door. Drawing, painting outside in the early morning air was and is a wonderful way to begin a day.

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Posted by on June 2, 2014 in drawings, watercolours


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Poppy Drawing

PoppyYesterday’s example of an ink brush painting of a tree from one of my art journals was rustic in comparison to today’s more fine tuned and detailed image. This picture is a pencil crayon study of a poppy from a series of plants I did for a botany journal some 10 years back. (MacLeod in brackets is the name the image was published under)

These two images back to back show the diversity of style that a lot of training can bring to one’s artistic abilities.

Art Journaling with Joy Kirkwood, Ages 11-14, August 11-15, 2014 @ Place des Arts,Coquitlam, BC (

Description: “Discover fun ways to animate words and transform your journal into a work of art. You’ll learn innovative ways to use basic art materials and techniques that include; ink, pencil crayon, watercolour and collage as you become adept at expressing and putting your words and images together on a page.”

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Posted by on May 22, 2014 in drawings


Art Journals

tree image ligherIn the summer I am hoping to teach ages 11-14 techniques on creating an art journal. Looking through my own journals is a good place to start. I’ve always loved drawing tress so it is this image of the trunk of a tree that I drew a year or two ago that has caught my attention tonight. The sparseness yet gritty energy and sense of character seems to define most of the trees I draw or paint.

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Posted by on May 21, 2014 in drawings, watercolours



5 Steps to Papier Mâché

starfish-papier-mache-steps colourTeaching papier mâché this week (and for 5 weeks in the summer) has me updating my handout information on the 5 steps I use in the process. This is primarily for a 3d relief project (see rhinoceroses in previous posts); a project that is flat on one side and meant to be hung on a wall. I did many of these in the schools I worked with for 2 reasons. Working on one side was a time saver and yet the techniques were covered. Easy enough to adapt to a 3d project. Secondly, the projects had a better chance of being displayed once they got home if they hung on the wall. 5 years after one such project (wetland birds) I was visiting a new friend and notice in the downstairs hall a large grey heron; a piece created by her son in my class so many years ago. Was nice to see how his creativity had been acknowledged and honored in such an affirming way. And that the project stood the test of time. I often varnish them as well to protect them afterwards.

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Posted by on May 14, 2014 in miscellaneous, mixed media, papier mâchè, seahorses


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Summer Fun Classes – Coquitlam BC

I will be part of Summer Fun at Place des Arts in Coquitlam for children ages 5-14 in July and August, 2014. Parents can choose which week works best for them and enroll their child in 1 or up to 6 classes a day. Classes run for 5 days or 4 on holiday weeks. There are many teachers and classes to choose from. I’ll be teaching 4 art classes over the 6 weeks so if one week doesn’t work then students can choose another. From July 7 to August 8, 2014 I’ll be teaching  ‘Build a Bug’ (papier mâché) and ‘Printmaking M.E.S.S’ (basics) for 5-7 olds. For ages 8-12 there will be the popular ‘Papier Mâché Creature Shop’ class. Love seeing what animal or imaginary creature they create! I will end the summer with ‘Art Journaling’ for older youth (11-14) August 11-15.
The classes fill up quickly (registration has started) so if you are interested in enrolling your child check out: to register. Images below are my own examples I use for teaching:

1 red and black dragonflyart project acPainting Watercolour StarfishKangaroo with signature

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Posted by on May 5, 2014 in dragonflies, drawings, mixed media, papier mâchè, watercolours


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