Art Courses

Foundations Program

We are dedicated to continuously growing and a part of that is developing our education program so we can offer artists the resources to flourish.  The Foundations Program is our newest development in education.


Foundations Program 2018 



The foundational elements are as important to a visual artist as grammar and spelling are to writers. To become a professional at what you do you need to have a strong grasp of the rules of your trade. You can learn a lot from the school of hard knocks, but we’d like to offer you a much easier, faster, and less agonizing path; practical hands-on foundational training.


While “foundational training” may not sound like the most exciting thing to spend your time on, it is very difficult to be creative when you struggle with composition or brushwork. Have you ever spent hours pushing paint around your canvas without understanding why your painting just isn’t working? Stop wasting your time and making yourself frustrated. Once you get your foundations down you can get back to enjoying your creative process, you can truly develop your skills, and begin to build a solid artistic career if that is something you desire. This foundational work is necessary if you want to be good at what you do.


The Foundations Progam is a series of 10 classes, each focusing on 10 different fundamental concepts and taught by 10 different instructors, which aims to provide an introductory, high-level overview of what every artist should know. Each of these instructors are wonderful artists in their own right and also have at least a decade, often two decades or more of teaching experience. We’ve lined up a different instructor for each evening so you can benefit from their collective wisdom, all of whom have collaborated with each other to bring you a cohesive and progressive foundational program.


Class Schedule

Week 1 - Elements of Design: The Tools to Make Art

                Instructor: Jan Crawford, AFCA


Week 2 - Principles of Design: How to Use the Tools to Make Art

                 Instructor: Lalita Hamill, AFCA


Week 3 - Drawing for Painting: The Art of Seeing

                 Instructor: Mark Anthony


Week 4 - Painting as an Extension of Drawing

                 Instructor: Rick McDiarmid, SFCA


Week 5 - Tonal Values

                 Instructor: Alan Wylie, SFCA


Week 6 - Colour Theory & Mixing

                 Instructor: Gaye Adams, SFCA


Week 7 - Brushwork

                 Instructor: Paul Chizik


Week 8 - Backgrounds, Layering & Glazing

                 Instructor: Janice Robertson, SFCA


Week 9 - Visual Reference Sources

                 Instructor: Liza Visagie


Week 10 - Inspiration, Creativity, Expression, Narrative

                 Instructor: Suzanne Northcott



*Corresponding weekend workshops that will expand on each topic will be open for registration in Fall 2018.  Stay tuned for details.



Program Options

A) Wednesday Evening 10-Week Program from February 21 2018 - April 25 2018 

    Time: 6:30-9:00pm

    Location: Federation Gallery, Granville Island

    Cost: $365 for Members / $415 for Non-Members





B) Saturday Full-Day 10-Week Program from February 17 2018 - May 5 2018 

    Time: 9:30am-4:30pm

    Location: South Surrey Arts & Recreation Centre and Willoughby Community Centre

    Cost: $685 for Members / $735 for Non-Members



Registration for both programs are now closed

Stay tuned for details regarding full weekend workshops on each topic in

Fall 2018



"Mark was EXCELLENT!  I am getting so much out of these Foundations classes!  Hooray for the Federation designing and presenting this program!  Truthfully, I am learning more now than I was ever taught in the Second and first half of Third year of BFA classes at UBC in 1993-95, before I chose to drop out.  Really and truly!"

                                                                                              - Anonymous, 2018 Program



Instructor Biographies



Gaye Adams has been painting professionally and instructing painting for over 30 years.  She is passionate about painting the effects of light in a representational fashion, and the challenge of creating the illusion of light and its many presentations in the landscape and elsewhere keeps her returning to the easel. In this last decade, painting en plein air has turned into a consuming passion as it is painting a particular day, with smells, sounds and movement as opposed to painting a moment frozen in time as happens when utilising photo references only.


She is a believer in putting first things first when it comes to teaching students to develop their painting skills, starting with a strong foundation of basics in all aspects of art making in order to give students the tools they will need to fully express themselves as they move forward in their development as painters.


Gaye is an award winning painter and shows her work locally, nationally and internationally She teaches in Canada, the United States and abroad.




For over 30 years, Mark Anthony's great passion for artistic tradtion complimented with his own strong European roots has lead him into a career in representational drawing based  on the poetic charm of the old-world European  studio. His professional history  includes owning and operating a small Alberta based portrait studio/gallery, working with private, historical and municipal heritage projects, and teaching hundreds of students of all levels in the grand tradition of observational and classical drawing. Currently, Mark teaches regular classes in fundamental studies, traditional drawing and portraiture, on the North Shore. 




Paul Chizik's paintings are rooted in the classical tradition with a contemporary approach. He works in the custom of painting major scale canvasses in the studio as well as the plein-air custom of working directly outdoors in a variety of environments where the natural splendor or raw urban power is immediate.


His work ranges from landscapes, to portraiture, figurative narratives and still life. As artist, mentor and teacher Paul hopes to have the art of painting regain its role as an exciting, current and vibrant visual medium with a renewed urgency.













Jan Crawford was born in Vancouver but moved to Penticton where she was raised on an orchard setting. She holds a B.ED art major from the University of B.C.  a printmaking major from Emily Carr University and an AFCA Signature Status from the Federation of Canadian Artists. Jan spent twenty uears at Malaspina as a printmaker, there she produced over a 140 large colourful waterbased monotypes. Many of these prints are in galleries, wineries and private homes. A series of six large monotypes are apart of the Kelowna Art Galleries private collection. These prints were published in a book “Nexus” :Histories and communities. Today Jan works in acrylic . Her recent work focuses on “preserve”  giving attention to the iconic jars of the Okanagan. A symbol of cultural identity. Crawfords work can be seen in  Kelowna , Penticton, Calgary , the Vancouver International Airport , the Lakeside resort and Okanagan wineries. Jan has shown her work in Municipal as well as private Galleries. Recently Crawfords work was featured in Galleries West Magazine (summer addition 2016) under : “Artists to Collect”. 



Lalita Hamill has been a professional artist for twelve years.  She is described by students as being an enthusiastic, knowledgable person and born teacher who is able to appeal to all levels.  Lalita has a philosophy degree and learned traditional painting methods while attending the Vancouver Academy of Art.  She runs a successful atelier and art assessment program in the Fraser Valley, and is represented by Gallery 204.  Lalita values high quality, technique, persistence, curiosity, courage, and artistic integrity.


I paint and teach to gently awaken in myself and others that which has been lost, hidden, or buried.”











“Although drawing was a favourite pastime during childhood, my education and much of my early adult life was spent working in a technical and industrial environment.   Many years have passed  since starting a study of painting and art history in 1970 and in spite of endless hours in the studio and thousands of paintings later, I am still driven to pick up a brush and push some paint around, to improve and fulfill what seems to be an ever elusive creative pursuit.”


Paintings include works in oils, acrylics and watermedia. Ideas are explored and interpreted in a range of creative expression including representational, semi-abstract and abstract.  The visual images are developed using  a variety of forming processes and randomness and explorative techniques are often employed to reveal unique surface elements and energy in the finished work. Subject matter most often integrates human activity and surroundings in a visual narrative that invites the viewer in, to discover and explore, to complete the story or continue the inner journey or experience.


Richard is a signature member of both the Federation of Canadian Artists (SFCA) and the Northwest Watercolor Society (NWWS) and was a member of Painters at Painters, a prestigious B.C. artist's peer group. He has served the Federation of Canadian Artists for many years in positions at the board level, VP level, and as the initator of numerous studio art educational programs within the organization as well as with other local arts organizations. Annual workshop instruction included activity in Canada, US, Britain, France and Spain. His many award winning paintings have been exhibited in solo shows, group shows and international shows including, The Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours, the Federation of Canadian Artists, and the Northwest Watercolour Society, to name a few. Examples of his paintings and articles have appeared in art publications including International Aritsts's Magazine. Richard's paintings can be found in commercial galleries and corporate and private collections in many countries worldwide.  




 Suzanne is an interdisciplinary artist whose explorations have crossed into the worlds of poetry, video, photography, and textile. Her subject matter over thirty years of work has included the human body, crow migration, butterfly cycles and bog wetlands. She values the freedom to study in an organic way, allowing the subject to suggest the methodology, watching to see how what is learned in one domain informs another.  As an instructor, Northcott works to illuminate mysteries of the creative process with humour and insight and is known for her ability to help students break through to new personal ground in their work.


Northcott’s work is held in numerous private and public collections.




Janice Robertson launched her career as a professional artist in 1989. She has received many awards over the years and is currently represented by six commercial galleries.


Janice is a signature member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, Artists for Conservation, Landscape Artists International and the Northwest Watercolor Society. She served as President of the Federation of Canadian Artists from 1999 to 2001. She is listed in Who’s Who in Canada and her paintings are in collections throughout the world. She is also a popular and well-respected workshop instructor, and the author of 2 instructional books on acrylic painting. 


Janice lives in the historic village of Fort Langley BC,  with her artist husband, Alan Wylie.


I love to paint light and the beauty of simple things. After over 30 years of painting, I am still learning and discovering new ways of expression. It is a privilege to be able to make a living at something that I find so joyful- I am very grateful"




Painting is a visual experience concerned with clarifying thought and to awaken in us the simplicity and unity of an impression. Liza applies traditional oil painting techniques along with investigative and innovative approaches within a modern and contemporary context. The structural and optical challenges of oil painting is at the forefront of her subject matter which ranges from site specific landscapes to narrative based still life. Liza's interest is in documenting the ever changing natural

environment by working directly in nature and from her experience of studying various landscapes and cities around the globe.




Alan Wylie was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1938. In 1960 he graduated from the Glasgow School of Art with a degree in Mural Design and Mosaics. He immigrated to Nova Scotia in 1967 and began a career as a full-time artist, teacher, and Art Gallery owner. In 1974 he moved to British Columbia and now lives in the historical village of Fort Langley with his artist wife, Janice Robertson.


Throughout his career, Alan has participated in 76 solo shows, and innumerable group exhibitions, and has won many prestigious awards in Canada and the United States, including the Spilsbury Gold Medal (four times) of the Federation of Canadian Artists, Vancouver, the Grand Prize at the First Annual On The Edge International Exhibition in Canada, the Gold Medal of the California Watercolor Association, San Francisco, the Rouse Gold Medallion at the Adirondacks International Exhibition of American Watercolors, New York, the High Winds Medal (twice), the CFS Medal, the Mario Cooper and Dale Myers Medal, the Alden Bryan Memorial Medal, and the Dong Kingman Award, at the American Watercolor Society, New York, First Prize in the Louisiana Watercolor Society Annual International Exhibition in New Orleans, Best Flat Artist Buckle, Calgary Stampede 2015, and numerous other awards in International Exhibitions.


He is a Senior Signature Member and Past President of the Federation of Canadian Artists (SFCA), receiving their Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007, the Canadian Institute of Portrait Artists (CIPA), the Northwest Watercolor Society (NWWS) the California Watercolor Association (CWA), the Louisiana Watercolor Society (LWS),the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolor (CSPWC), and a Dolphin Fellow (the first Canadian to achieve this distinction ) of the American Watercolor Society (AWS., d.f.) In 2006 he was the first international juror of selection for the 105th. Philadelphia Watercolor Society Exhibition, has served as juror of selection, for the 139th. American Watercolor Society International Exhibition in New York, and juror of awards for the 29th. Adirondacks National Exhibition of American Watercolors,Old Forge, New York. He was one of only two Canadians invited to show in the First International Contemporary Watercolor Exhibition in China, and made an honorary Member of the Jiangsu Watercolor Research Institute..


Alan is also a noted mural and mosaic artist, with forty-five completed works in Scotland, Canada and the United States.



Cancellation Policy

You may withdraw until 4 weeks prior to the workshop start date and receive a full refund. No refunds will be allowed after this date. We reserve the right to change or cancel any of the educational programs. if we cancel a workshop, a full refund will be given to all registrants. In the event the instructor is unavailable, either an alternate instructor with similar credentials or a make-up workshop may be arranged.