Aug 132014

Metchosin International Summer School of the Arts 2014

I was privileged to have been a part of the two week Artist in Residence programme this past summer.  The residency was facilitated by artist Suzanne Northcott, a gifted teacher and artist.

MISSA Suzanne Northcott

The hand of Suzanne working on clayboard.

Summer studio workshops based in the arts have been going strong for the past 30 years at MISSA.

It’s held at Lester B. Pearson College, a United World College.  Opened in 1974, it’s one of 13 such colleges and schools around the globe.  It’s large campus in sited on one of the most beautiful spots in the world in Metchosin, Vancouver Island.

Two other instructors I was fortunate to meet and spend time with during my two weeks were Don Taylor and Pauline Conley.


Don Taylor is a talented bookbinder from Toronto who taught the popular Coptic Bookbinding course.  Don is also the creative force behind Pointyhead Press.  His book Illustrations for Macbeth by Dechard Rinderpest is a tour de force of dark creative hilarity.  He’s a generous teacher with a wonderful sense of humour.

MISSA Pauline Conley

Pauline Conley  There is a very joyful quality to Pauline’s work. Here is a woman unafraid of colour. She taught another well attended course, Beyond Representation, at MISSA. An artist from Ottawa, she’s a curator, cultural administrator, and, a very engaging speaker.  At her artist talk, I loved hearing her description of collaborations and creative process; often the nuts and bolts that can sustain a studio practice.

Check out her work at 

Photo credit:  Pauline Conley


Throwing at the wheel overlooking Pedder Bay.

One of MISSA great strengths and most enduring programmes is ceramics.  This can be attributed to the vision of Founding President Emeritus, Robin Hopper.  Judi Dyelle was key in the administration of the school.  Both are award winning and internationally reknowed master ceramic artists.


MISSA continues to attract talented instructors and ceramics artists.  The kiln firings always draw great interest. Work produced is of a very high standard.

Visit Robin Hopper and Judi Dyelle’s website:


Aug 132014

Paintings from the Float House

I worked on these pieces in my studio at MISSA simultaneously, using a limited palette.  I had a lot of fun mixing the blues.

MISSA Number 5

Number 5  mixed media on canvas  18″ x 22″

MISSA Life Saver

Life Saver  36 x 48″  acrylic on canvas

MISSA The Offering

The Offering  18 x 22″  acrylic on canvas

MISSA Still Harbour

Still Harbour  18 x 22″  acrylic on canvas

MISSA Sentinel

Sentinel  36 x 48″  acrylic on canvas

MISSA Big Blue

Big Blue  36 x 48″  acrylic on canvas


Aug 132014

Around Campus at Metchosin International Summer School of the Arts

MISSA was an inspirational place to produce lots of work.  My float house studio in the Marine Centre, across the gangway, second level.


The gangway led to the studio with a wall of windows facing Pedder Bay.


The entrance to Pedder Bay harbour, and beyond, the Pacific Ocean.  I saw sea otters, raccoons, seals, and bald eagles on my way to work every day.

MISSA Laurie

Taking a break from the studio, minus the painters apron.


From the ocean, a recovered 42′ Gray Whale skeleton is a sentinel for the campus. This powerful icon inspired many of the visiting artists.


Inspiration at MISSA came in all forms.  Here’s a still life created by the Residency Facilitator, Suzanne Northcott.  She provided guidance to our group with unfailing humour and warmth.

MISSA is a creative hotbed offering workshops that cover many arts practices: painting, drawing, ceramics, sculpture, writing, music, bookbinding, printmaking, and many more. The school attracts a wide variety of participants from many parts of the world.  Being at MISSA means that artists, who often work in isolation, find community that speaks the same language.

Lester B. Pearson College acts as host to MISSA when the international student body is away for the summer.  It’s the perfect place for an arts based summer school.