September 2020

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"Life is the art of drawing without an eraser."
John W. Gardner 


MGA Fall Launch Meeting at Milne Dam Conservation Park

We braved the rain on Wednesday, Sept. 9th to meet at Milne Park’s Lakeside Pavilion. We were protected from the elements and enjoyed the opportunity to meet in person once again. It was a safe afternoon with plenty of space for physical distancing and everyone wore masks. It was a chance to meet new members, reconnect with old friends, hear about MGA’s exciting fall season plans and see what everyone has been working on. 

We realize the weather prevented many people from coming and are planning to meet again at the Lakeside Pavilion on Wednesday, Sept. 23rd from 2-4 pm. It is easy to spot the shelter from the parking lot. More information about the meeting will be posted on the MGA website soon and an email will be sent to all. We look forward to seeing you there.


The fall season is shaping up to be an exciting one with many activities and opportunities planned:

Sign up before September 30th to take advantage of the EARLY BIRD membership fee of $70. 


For several years artists have participated in the “True Patriot Love” helmet auction with proceeds going to
families of military veterans. Two of our members have volunteered their time and talent to this worthy cause:

"A Morning of Sunflowers" by Robin Potter

The artwork has been created with a mix of acrylic paint, collage of painted papers, and fabric. The fabric sunflowers originated from dinner place mats. Through this piece I am acknowledging the hard work of our military, sometimes in perilous conditions--and that from that hard work, their families as well as those of all Canadians are able to sit at dinner tables and enjoy the hope and bounty of our land. The sunflowers turn their heads to the sun and are a symbol of hope, while their stems and seeds provide nourishment and medicine. Sunflowers are an important traditional medicine in the Indigenous tradition, representing loyalty, good fortune, and good harvest.


“Thank You” by Edward Abela

This year's helmet is to honour and thank all the 'Front Line Workers'.  My previous helmets over the past twelve years have all been in direct recognition of Canada's Military. But this year I felt the need to honour another army of workers who also put their life on the line during this stressful pandemic time. To them therefore my artwork is in gratitude for their labours.


Thursday September 17th,  Milne Park

Ray McNeice and Margaret Grandson’s house in Stouffville by Edward Abela

“An artist is an explorer” — Henri Matisse 

Sometimes leaving the house or studio and venturing outdoors is exactly what you need to find inspiration for your art. Plein Air painting provides a way of experiencing your subject that can add richness and depth to your paintings. You experience the world as a participant and take time to see and create a piece of art by engaging with nature. 

Join us at Milne Park (McCowan Rd. entrance) on Thursday at 10 am. There is no entrance fee. We will meet at the pagoda in the far back parking lot near the pond. Bring warm clothes and hopefully the sun will shine! 

Enjoy this short video of a plein air painter and her very neat watercolour travel kit:


PEERING IN: Bi-Weekly Zoom Peer Critique
Next critique: Wednesday, September 16th @ 7:30pm

Every other â€ªWednesday night artists are invited to join in the MGA's Peer Zoom Critique. Participants will share art that they've been working on and will receive excellent supportive and constructive feedback from their peers. Interesting observations and discussions will give the artists an idea of how they might improve or proceed forward with their work. Please let us know you plan to attend by the Sunday before and submit your ONE painting to Susan Weisz at by the Monday before the critique.  NOTE: Participants can join the meeting up to 15 minutes in advance, which may help to start the meeting on time.  Late artists will be added to the next critique in two weeks.

COMING UP ROSES: Morgan Park Pool Mosaic

Although the long-awaited installation of the MGA's collaborative mosaic 'COMING UP ROSES' is still a few weeks away, we've superimposed this wondrous piece into its' permanent home at the newly renovated Morgan Park Pool facility so you can have a sneak preview. The building will soon be closed for the season, reopening summer of 2021. But rest assured  you can have a closer peek as the piece will be viewable from the front entrance glass doors as well as through the side window. Enjoy the journey into Markham's history!
12 x 12: GET PAINTING!

In preparation of our Christmas show and sale, its time to start creating your paintings on 12 x 12 inch gallery canvases. We are now scouting sites and hope to book two weekends in November in a high-traffic site with physical distancing measures being respected. We want to create stunning displays of your work, which is why we are calling for uniformly sized paintings. Watch for our next newsletter (October 15th) for more information.

ART FILMS: An art film series is being offered at Cineplex Richmond Hill. Starting September 16th:  A Night at the Louvre: Leonardo da Vinci.  For more  information go to:


My first artistic endeavours were in England where I took night school classes in dressmaking, millinery and hand-sewn lingerie.  I’ve always enjoyed being with artistic people but it wasn’t until I retired that I joined MGA and started painting. Through the wide variety of workshops the group has run over the years, I’ve been fortunate to have taken classes with many excellent instructors who challenged me to experiment with a variety of media and styles. Unfortunately, none of them have been able to convince me that drawing is fun.  
Experiences with many different techniques have brought me to my present abstract work in acrylics.  I’ve enjoyed participating in shows as well as taking on volunteer roles in the group.  That has given me the opportunity to get to know people better and build friendships.  I’ve found members always willing to share their knowledge and offer suggestions when asked. 

I’m looking forward to when we can again load our paintings in our cars and meet face to face.





Art has always been an integral part of Ruth’s life through drawing, painting, graphic arts, illustration, ceramics, theatrical set designs, photo ops & interactive art, scenic murals, and digital art. Her artwork gravitates towards illustration and stylized realism, strong in contrast and colour. Ruth’s eclectic enjoyment of the arts has served her well as an art instructor in schools, community art classes, private lessons and “paint nights” in Canada and for five years in Papua New Guinea. She has been member of the Markham Group of Artists since 2009. Ruth also enjoys the arts as a musician and through her love for theatre. Her life motto is, “Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.” 

Ruth’s art can be found on Instagram (ruthartoy) and her website ( which is currently under construction. 

Woodland Wings: Interactive Photo Op  
Interior Acrylic Mural, Feb. 2020, (11’ x 21’ or 3.3m x 6.4m) 
Location: Aaniin Community Centre (2nd floor), 5665 14th Ave, Markham, ON

A narrated slide show (3 min.) of the mural can be viewed on Ruth’s YouTube channel (Ruth Toy)

 This large, woodland scene was created to engage viewers in two ways:

Photo Op:
Three sets of large, brightly coloured butterfly wings are photo ops for people of various heights, from toddlers to adults. People are encouraged to stand in front of the wings and have a photo taken of themselves as a butterfly. 

The remainder of the mural is filled with various creatures to promote investigation and imagination.  A legend, in the form of a scroll, hangs on a tree and lists 82 images to search for within the mural. Observant viewers will also find a few “Easter eggs” (hidden images) within the painting. The name of the painting and the artist are also listed on the scroll. 


Oil or Acrylic Adult Classes

 8 WEEK PROGRAM: (3 hr sessions)

VENUE: 314 Mill Street, Richmond Hill
Sunday mornings
10:00 am to 1:00 pm
OR Sunday afternoons 
1:30 pm to 4:30 pm  
OR Wednesday afternoons 
1:30 pm to 4:30 pm

 11 WEEK PROGRAM: (2 hr 15 min. sessions)

VENUE: Virtual (via Zoom) 
 Wednesday mornings
9:45 am to 12:00 noon


Whether painting in oil or acrylic, some things are a must. We will talk about good composition, drawing, perspective (linear & colour) and form pattern (values). ‘Helpful Hints" is where we’ll talk about what works and where to make improvements . I always strive to help people ‘really see’ and ‘understand’ what they're looking at and to understand how ‘things really work’ in order to produce competent paintings, all taking place in a fun, positive environmentCome and get involved.  You never know what will happen...but I do!

For more information contact:  
Olga Senyk | | 647 393 6586  


This easel will hold your palette, paints, brushes and more.   Can fold down to approx  6"  wide .

Available colours:  
Rustic Red , Caramel or Sunlit      

For more information or to order, contact Olga Senyk
647 393 6586

Canvas size shown is  4' x 3' but capable of holding larger sizes.

Supporting the arts:
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