Maple Bay Painters
A community of Cowichan Valley visual artists


To register, note your interest, or ask questions about any of the workshops hosted by Maple Bay Painters, email us at: Once registered, a materials list and other information will be provided to you. Unless otherwise noted, our workshop location is the Stratford Room at the Cowichan Exhibition grounds, and run from 9:30 am to 3 pm, on a Tuesday.

On Tuesday, October 17th, join acrylic artist, Carolyn McDonald, well-known for her colourful, abstracted landscapes among other subjects. Over a 6-hour workshop, she will lead you into bolder techniques for creating representational or figurative paintings. Participants will work in acrylics to create a painting of their own, using reference photos and distilling an image of your choice to improve composition and focus on what is most important. Carolyn will share processes for how she abstracts parts of her paintings and help you add originality and impact to your own, using a combination of abstraction and realism to make a painting more powerful and, importantly, develop a style of your own.

Registration for this workshop is now open for members until October 2nd, and thereafter will be open to non-members, as seats allow, to a maximum of 12 participants. The fee is $50 for members, and $60 for non-members. To register or ask questions, email A list of recommended materials for the workshop will be emailed to you, once registered.

Carolyn is a recent member to the Maple Bay Painters. She grew up in a small town in Jamaica, where she returns often to teach and paint. She earned a Fine Arts degree and a Canadian teaching certificate, was the head of a high school art department in Jamaica and taught in Ontario. Carolyn has exhibited in Canada, Jamaica and Puerto Rico and has given workshops on teaching  art and, with the Art Starts program, has worked as an in-school artist.



A big thank you to Nanaimo artist, Tom Shardlow, AFCA, who provided Maple Bay Painters with a fantastic acrylic workshop, called "Keeping it Simple", on April 18th. Participants enjoyed it so much that Tom has agreed to come back and do it again sometime in early 2024! So stayed tuned for when a date is confirmed or if you'd like to go on a wait list for it.

For those who missed the April workshop, here are a few of Tom's words describing it:

"Painting can be one of the most difficult and complex of undertakings. There is a plethora of rules, all of which can be broken. However, keeping it simple can cut through the confusion and produce rewarding results. This one-day workshop will focus on simplification to develop both strong design and appealing variation. We’ll work slowly through the various stages while building your painting on a black gesso ground." 

Learn more about Tom and his work on his website at:



A big thank you to our last workshop artist, Zann Hemphill, who provided us with a fantastic 'Painting Animals' workshop on January 17th. She truly inspired everyone on their creative journeys!

Thank you Zann!

In this workshop, Zann guided participants toward more successful paintings. She led us through the creation of a small painting, using photographs of our own favourite animal subject as reference, whether a beloved pet (past or present), a friend’s, or “anything with fur or feathers, paws or scales”! To learn more about Zann and her work, visit her website and blog, with videos, at



Thank you to Roger Jackson for his November 22nd Still Life workshop! Roger is currently the President of Maple Bay Painters and has a lot of experience painting and running workshops in the Cowichan Valley, as well as being a member of the Federation of Canadian Artists. See more about Roger and his art at:








Thank you to Nanaimo artist, Sara Robichaud, for her September 20th demonstration of Golden's acrylic products at our September 20th meeting. It was super, especially with participants receiving free samples of Golden products.





Some previous workshop images: