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About meArt and Beauty

Colour me Happy with Artist Ian Varney

By 04/04/2012January 28th, 201710 Comments


Last year it was my birthday when my True Colour Expert Workshop was held in Toronto. As a special treat, I got to spend the day with Ian Varney in his studio.

My workshop will be there again this year June 6, 7 & 8, 2012 (my birthday on the 7th).

Ian uses wax paint which dries very quickly. Oil canvases take months to dry so this is a great medium to use.

I took some photos of Ian’s beautiful art when I arrived and then got to work on mine!

Here was my blank canvas.

Ian starts with images he finds in magazines or anywhere, he had a pile to choose from. His art turns into unreal and beautiful nature, mine. . . well let’s just say it needed some work.

Years ago I participated in a course where you create collages about your life and this helps you notice things about yourself that you wouldn’t normally see. I treated my little piece of art the same way that day.

But look, it got worse and worse, the more colour I painted on it. First we melted the wax in a pan and to mix colours, then I used a paintbrush to create my art. The wrought iron gates I chose started to resemble a prison in some way and that freaked me out!

I suddenly lost the ability to even mix colours which surprised my artist friend but he generously made me colour after colour.

And I left it there, wanting no part of it when it was finished because, well it was terrible.

Here’s Ian looking handsome as he works on one of his pieces.

And then right before Christmas, a box arrived with my little piece of art, cleverly turned into an Ian Varney piece, with a little Colour me Happy underneath. It will have the perfect home in my new house in the country!

Ian Varney discovered his passion for art after 23 years of being a family physician. His art can be found in galleries across the country.

It’s never to late to find your expression in the world!

Related posts:

Do you have Good Taste?


Learn how to test colours properly so you don’t make this mistake, download my eBook, How to Choose Paint Colours: It’s All in the Undertones.

If you would like your home to fill you with happiness every time you walk in, contact me.

To make sure the undertones in your home are right, get some large samples!

If you would like to learn to how choose the right colours for your home or for your clients, become a True Colour Expert.



  • A great post about an artist whose work I don’t know. I’m also an artist in addition to being a decorator and one of my favourite mediums is encaustic. Nothing gives you a better understanding of colour than having to constantly create your own mixes. . No trouble with undertones if you constantly mix because you know what went in and you’re always adjusting.

  • Dianne Tant says:

    LOVE this post…because I’m an artist too. love Ian’s work…your piece (and the squirrel) is great!

  • Well, I am definitely not an artist, but love this piece. Having recently taken an acrylics class, I’ve once again decided that the only painting I will do will be on walls and furniture.

  • G says:

    thank you for being so ‘real’…. i have created things i have left behind, wanting no part of….. i love that your friend created ‘beauty from the ashes’ for you……..everyone should have and be a friend like him.

  • Mom says:

    Voi kun oli taas mukava kirjoitus.Kiva kun niin aidosti jakaat omia kokemuksiasi.Upea maalaus oli Sinunkin ensimmainen tyosi.Mom

  • The wonderful world of art! Thanks Maria for sharing your process. There are many times I reach a state of “scream”–this isn’t turning out but THAT’S where the magic can begin in freeing yourself and your emotions! My sister and I found art to be a very healing process; greater than we could ever imagine. Rhinda

  • I love your little piece!! What a delightful surprise!!!

  • Beth says:

    Hi Maria,
    I love your blogs and always read them. A couple of blogs ago you mentioned doing the Landmark courses. I am a Landmark Grad and completed their Curriculam for Living along with several other things! From reading this blog about your collage I bet you did the Self Expression and Leadership course. Great Self Awareness Education! Thanks for Sharing your Art experience! Beth

  • How wonderful that your little project turned into such a Masterpiece.

    Encaustic painting can be such a fun medium as dabbled in it many years ago. If I recall correctly, my favourite tool was the pencil torch. -Brenda-

  • Maria,
    Isn’t is just so amazing how “we” as deisgners can find the PERFECT piece of art for a wall, but put a paintbrush in our hand and we are lost. It makes you appreciate just how much talent goes into every piece we choose for a room or home. Kudos to you for putting yourself in front of a “new” blank canvas. I’ll take four walls anyday!

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