Workshops – Beat the Winter Blues

MERA has six unique workshops planned during the first few months of 2020 to help you beat those winter blues:
January 18 – Painting Birch Trees with Monica
February 1 – Beginner Dot Mandala with Carolyn Lunn
February 15 – Sunflowers Paint Day with Jan Griffiths & Heather Vriends
February 29 – Pass the Painting with Lynn Shwadchuck
March 14 – Introduction to Islamic Geometry with Sebastien Bacharach
March 28 or 29 – Memoir Writing with Jean Rae Baxter

See below for details

To register contact Trina Conboy at You must register at least 7 days before the workshop.


Painting Birch Trees with Monica
January 18, 11:00am to 3:00pm, $45

This workshop is designed to give you ideas about background color, texture and light. Then, step by step instruction is given for a three step technique to create birch trees. You’ll create your own forest.
Everyone leaves with a painting representative of their creativity and color preference. This is NOT designed to just copy another painting.
Check out the happy faces at my workshops!! All supplies are included. A minimum of 6 participants is required.


Beginner Dot Mandala with Carolyn Lunn (Rideau Lakes Reiki)
February 1, 10:00am to 1:00pm, $45

Mandala art is a meditative practice, used by many peoples and cultures around the world.  The goal is to use a creative medium to immerse oneself in a process of relaxation and patience,  rather than being concerned with an end product per se.   Benefits may include:  stress reduction, mental clarity, development of spatial awareness, and fostering of attention and concentration.  Participation with other people painting the same mandala also allows you to experience oneness and connectedness.

This fun and relaxing beginner level class will introduce you to a step by step process to create a beautiful Dot Mandala on your choice of 6 inch x 6 inch card stock or canvas, using acrylic paints and basic tools.   I will provide suggestions as to how you may adapt this art to any medium, including art stones.  No artist experience is necessary!!!    You will also learn about Otauna, a social enterprise with a mission to build on the dot mandala as a symbol of harmony and “connect humanity dot by dot”.

All materials (for in-class use) are included in the $45 fee.  If you wish to experiment with this medium at home (warning!  This is very addictive!), you may purchase your dotting tool set for $31 (tax included).  However, suggestions will also be given for making your own.

Minimum 4, maximum 8 participants.  If you have any specific questions, please feel free to contact Carolyn at (613-283-6663) or email


Sunflowers Paint Day with Jan Griffiths & Heather Vriends
February 15, 9:00am to 4:00pm, $30 plus $10 for supplies

An introduction to painting with Acrylics.

We will explore Technique, Light and Shadow and Colour Theory.

You will complete a painting of a Sunflower in this one class.

Lunch ‎is Potluck ( bring something to share). Drinks provided.

Minimum 5 participants.


Pass the Painting with Lynn Shwadchuck
February 29 1:00pm to 3:30pm, $40

A fun, fast-paced workshop for inexperienced artists and experts alike. We all work from identical photo reference on prepared boards with sketched outlines provided. Surprisingly individual paintings evolve as we add dabs of our single colour and pass left. When our original board comes back to us we’re set free to touch it up with everyone’s colours. It’s lots of fun to line up the paintings and see the variations at different stages. And you go home with a painting!

Instructor Lynn Shwadchuck is a lifelong illustrator and sometime painter. She participated in this workshop with the Land 0’ Lakes Artisans’ Guild and has never forgotten the experience.
Materials are included in the fee. All proceeds to MERA. Minimum 5, maximum 12 participants.


Introduction to Islamic Geometry, Sebastien Bacharach
March 14, 1:00pm to 4:30pm, $30 plus $5 for supplies

This half day workshop will serve as an introduction to Islamic geometric patterns. Participants will learn about the different families of patterns and draw two patterns, using the same methods craftsmen have been using across the Islamic world for centuries.
You will learn how to transfer the patterns onto watercolour paper and, if time allows, embellish them with a double weave.
Participants will receive a handout package with instructions for pattern construction.
No previous experience necessary and no math involved. Minimum 5 participants.
Materials needed:
– Compass. Preferably one that locks (with a screw in the middle).
– 12 inch (or more) ruler, transparent if possible.
– Pencils (2H, HB and 2B is ideal).


Memoir Writing with Jean Rae Baxter -Telling Your Story
March 28 or 29, 11:00am to 3:00pm, $70

A memoir is a story from a life, not the story of a life. It captures a memory and presents it from the point of view of the person who experienced it. That’s what makes memoir so unique.

This workshop will help you to create a memoir that people will want to read. You will learn how to organize your memories and life experience to make memorable a special person, place or time. Whatever your writing project, you will practise using the tools of fiction to make your true story come to life. By the end of the day, you will be on your way to writing a story to keep, to share with family and friends, and to pass on to the next generation. Minimum 5 participants.