Log In to post Community Art News

To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.

By All Means Create with ...

Kathy van Gogh

What's in a name? A lot when yours is shared with a famous relation. Our By All Means Create with… series draws to a close with decorative artist Kathy van Gogh.

Kathy knows the voice of her inner critic well - bearing the name van Gogh deterred her from creating for almost forty years of her life. As a means to paint while not being regarded as a “painter”, she chose to enter the creative world through the decorative arts. In the process, she has found ways to use the critic's voice to make the pieces she loves a success.

Watch By All Means Create with… Kathy van Gogh and start working together with your inner critic to make each artwork a masterpiece in its own right!

Share this inspiring video with your creative community on Facebook or Twitter!

If you hear a voice within you say you cannot paint, then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced. -Vincent van Gogh

Inspired by Vincent van Gogh’s words and the artists who illustrated them in our video By All Means Create, we decided to delve deeper to find how artists silence their "inner critics" and push past their creative blocks.

Watch the series By All Means Create with... for a glimpse into the practices of 11 creative individuals and come away with inspiration and ideas to create, create, create!

Fiona Tang

Go big and lose yourself in your work! In the tenth installment of our By All Means Create with … series, see how Fiona Tang harnesses the objectivity of her inner critic to filter her creative thoughts until she feels the ultimate urge to let her subject matter out, and onto paper … in a big way!

Creating massive, energetic drawings of animals is Fiona Tang’s passion. Using charcoal, graphite, and chalk pastel mixed with her own vigorous working method, she uses the power and beauty of her subject matter to create images that feel as though they are jumping off the paper and into reality. Follow her on a journey into and out of her drawings in our latest Opus video.

You can stay up to date with all of Fiona’s work by following her on Tumblr or Facebook.

Michael King

Plein air oil painter Michael King joins our By All Means Create with … series as the ninth artist to share how he overcomes his creative blocks.

With a style that borders between representational and impressionist, Michael’s paintings embrace the mood of the location, drawing the viewers’ attention to his focal point. Drawing from his personal approach to painting, Michael has developed a four step process for assessing his paintings while working under tight time constraints due to the the unpredictability of the elements.

Watch our latest video and discover how Michael approaches his artwork with a practical eye when his inner critic attempts to bring him to a standstill.

Justina Yang

Number eight in our By All Means Create with … series is structural engineer and creator of Fiber Lab, Justina Yang.

From bits of string and wooden spheres to beautiful coloured papers, Justina utilizes movement and form as the structural base for her work. Her intricate kinetic and origami sculptures fuse the beauty of math, science and art to produce entrancing creations that turn her studio into a magical playground.

Discover how Justina uses determination and acceptance of critique to call upon the genius of “the genie” in order to find the spark within her art.

Justina creates all of her origami sculptures with the incredibly versatile Canson Mi-Teintes Paper, perfect for paper crafts!

Danielle Krysa AKA The Jealous Curator

The seventh installment in our By All Means Create with … series is The Jealous Curator, Danielle Krysa.

Since this spring’s release of her book, Creative Block: Get Unstuck, Discover New Ideas. Advice & Projects from 50 Successful Artists, in which she invited artists to share how they overcome their inner critics, Danielle has been holding talks and workshops everywhere from her home province of BC to Oprah’s OWN network and beyond. Her most recent workshop was at Opus Granville Island, where she merged her own personal accounts of being blocked with her favourite unblocking medium of collage (also the subject of her latest book, Collage: Contemporary Artists Hunt and Gather, Cut and Paste, Mash Up and Transform – available at your local Opus store!).

Danielle demonstrates that you are not alone in facing your inner critic, and offers pure inspiration to by all means create!

Read the full story of what caused Danielle’s creative block, and discover how she is overcoming it in our exclusive article, A Creative Block Comes Full Circle.

Kim Werker

The sixth artist featured in our By All Means Create with … series is the writer of Make It Mighty Ugly: Exercises & Advice for Getting Creative Even When It Ain’t Pretty, Kim Werker.

Kim recently spoke at Creative Mornings Vancouver on the topic of Failure, something she has learned to embrace by purposely creating ugly work. No matter where you are in your creative journey, accepting failure is something that can help you thrive and your art flourish.

We would like to give a special thanks to Creative Mornings for having Opus as a sponsor, and giving us the opportunity to connect with the Vancouver arts community in a new way!

Make sure to watch Kim’s full talk at Creative Mornings by visiting their website www.creativemornings.com

Teressa L. Bernard

In the fifth instalment of our By All Means Create with … series, self-taught artist Teressa L. Bernard shares how she continues painting by using an alternative medium in order to overcome her creative blocks.

To break free from the fear she encounters in her bigger works, Teressa turns to mixed media as a source of calm and emotional detachment. The world of mixed media excites her so much that she has continued playing with paint and paper in order to explore new avenues in her art.

Distract your inner critic and watch our latest video to see how playing with an alternative medium can yield its own work of art, and lead to new ideas for an original piece.

Ross Penhall

Shut up and paint! In the fourth video of our By All Means Create with … series, ex-firefighter and now full-time landscape painter Ross Penhall discusses how he looks at his artwork as a series of problem solving exercises, in order to be less precious about his paintings.

For 29 years, Ross balanced his life as an artist and firefighter in order to pay the bills and fund his art career. Now retired, Ross finds himself in his North Vancouver studio doing something creative every day. His passion is painting warm and enigmatic landscapes, which cover the ceiling and walls of his studio.

Watch our latest video to discover that sometimes overcoming the inner critic is as easy as just showing up.

Alfonso Tejada

In the third artist in our By All Means Create with … series is architect, urban designer and plein air artist Alfonso Tejada.

Alfonso has dedicated the past 15 years of his life to painting outdoors en plein air. This focus has allowed him to merge his two passions; traveling and painting with watercolours, which he combines into teaching workshops across the globe.

See how he overcomes his sleepless nights and calms the “Little Giant” inside his mind with our latest inspiring video.

“Watercolour is one of the main mediums I enjoy working with. I enjoy the spontaneity, the explosion, the incredible results you get. Always needing to be ready for the challenge, for improvising with the unexpected nature of the media.” - Alfonso Tejada

Mandy Tsung

The second artist to join our By All Means Create with … series is figurative surrealist painter Mandy Tsung.

She is well known for her unique representations of the female figure — with her artwork crossing borders to central creative hubs like San Francisco. She works in a variety of mediums from oils and acrylics, to the gentle touch of watercolour as seen in the commissioned painting she is working on in the video.

Join Mandy in her home studio as she shares her challenges when reconciling with her inner critic to by all means create!

Marney-Rose Edge

The first artist in our By All Means Create with … video series is painter Marney-Rose Edge.

Though she is a well known for her watercolour paintings of intricate, light infused flowers, Marney-Rose has recently been experimenting with oils and acrylics. Her most recent experimentation led to her "Nest Series", which can be seen throughout this video.

Take a look inside Marney-Rose's East Vancouver studio and see how she silences her inner critic to by all means create!

By All Means Create


Your By All Means Create project is absolutely fantastic. I think you have hit the nail on the head when you created this wonderful project. So many people, like me, think that we are just not good enough, do not know enough rules of painting or shading or whatever, and we unconsciously let that little voice take over that tells us we cannot paint. I love your new project and now that you are letting well known artists tell us and show us how they overcome that little voice, we do not feel so intimidated to dare pick up that drawing pencil, that drawing pen, that watercolor brush to dip in our watercolors, or those get out that canvas and oilpaints or our brushes and acrylic colors, etc..... I wish that you could keep on doing this project every month, as I truly think it is one of the most amazing and truly inspirational projects I have ever seen. Well done, Opus staff!!
You scored 1000% with this idea.

Thank you, Teressa, for your lovely words of inspiration.
You have so many thoughts that make us want to pick up a paintbrush. Like you said, "It is only a piece of paper". You are right when you say that perhaps we do beat ourselves up about our artwork before we let others beat us up. Your words inspire self confidence. Your works of art are lovely and you have such good ideas, such as adding pieces of rice paper or tracing paper to your painting! How unique! For amateur artists like us, we never thought about doing that.
Thank you so much, Teressa, for sharing your thoughts about overcoming that little voice inside us that says "We cannot paint". You will probably never know how much your little video has meant to us.

Thank you, Danielle. I totally identify with your comments about creative blocks and what your art teacher at university said to you to devastate you. A similar thing happened to me when somebody asked to "critique" all my artwork, and being naïve, I said "Okay". The person's nasty comments for each piece of my precious artwork just devastated me for years.... but, as the saying goes: "what goes around, comes around" for that nasty person. You absolutely are wonderful, you identify with "the creative block" we all have. Your solutions are unique and FUN. Thank you so much for sharing these great ideas. Thank you also, Opus, for getting these inspirational artists to share their solutions on these videos. Please keep this project going. We are all watching and learning.

Hi Lidia,

Thank you so much for your words and suggestion to feature Fiona Tang. Her work is incredible, as is she. You'll be happy to see that shee is now part of the series! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24pEeRqHy4M

All the best!
Crissy - Opus Art Supplies.

I keep going back and watching and listening to the wonderful videos that Opus created with these fantastic artists. Each artist gave us great inspirational ideas, told us their own experiences where they had been somewhat discouraged, and told us how they overcame those dark valleys and did pick up their brushes and PAINT. Thank you so much to each artist, you will all never know how much your individual, sharing, projects and thoughts have impacted myself, and, I am sure, many others.
Please, OPUS, continue with this project. I think it has been one of the most creative projects to encourage ALL of us who hear that discouraging voice saying, "You cannot paint"..... and yes, we have "picked up our brushes and started to paint and create our own inspired pieces of artwork".
Thanks again to all the wonderful artists for sharing your talents and advice, and thanks to OPUS for this fabulous project. Please keep it going!

Thank you so much Opus for once again, creating a month long creative project for us all to participate in, even if we are not very good at art. After all, art is a way of expressing ourselves, so, if somebody else does not like it.... well, so what. As long as we all create something that WE like, then that is the whole purpose of your February project. I promise that I will do my best to contribute my tiny bit of creativity to your great project.
Thank you for the kindess of your invitation. What a great way to approach the month of February with a great creative project for all of us to contribute to and add a bit more beauty to this world.

And thank you for your kind words LizzyandJohn, both about these videos and about the Opus Daily Practice Challenge.

The biggest struggle with creative expression is not getting comfortable with your materials or learning perfect technique. It's pushing through when you hear the voice that says you cannot. So glad the artists in the videos help with their words and that the challenge takes the next step, helping you put it into action!

Hope you enjoy participating in this year's daily practice challenge! :)

Thank you for saying so, Anonymous friend! :)