Thursday, December 6, 2012

More about SPAIN in 2013!

Greetings ~
If you have been contemplating jumping in for the fun in Spain next October 7-15,  there is still time to claim a spot or two!  Mike and Hilary, hosts of the "Flavour of Spain" getaways sent some photos recently to offer a peek at what the experience looks like. They've just returned from Andalucia, after a great 2012 season- sounded amazing. I am so looking forward to next fall. Whenever a group of people gather together in the spirit of creativity, and in a beautiful place no less, the odds are in our favour  for an inspiring alchemy to occur, leading to exciting results.

I've made a little collage with some of the photos from my recent Salt Spring
workshops. It was an incredibly creative summer! I'll post again soon, sharing some details and images of the work we did together.

To Register for my workshop in Spain, October 7-15, 2013 contact:
Cindy Horton at Travel Concepts
Cindy Tel: 604-926-8511
Toll Free: 1-800-661-7176

Thursday, October 11, 2012


If you are a lover of art, travel and food, join me for what’s sure to be an amazing week in Andalucia, Spain - October 7-15, 2013!

Each year, Mike and Hilary Powell, owners of “Flavour of Spain”, host a variety of creative learning vacations at a special place called “El Molino” (The Mill), in the hills above Malaga.  I’m pleased to announce that they’ve invited me to be one of their art instructors in 2013.

Here’s their website, where you can learn everything you’ll want to know about Mike, Hilary and El Molino. I met with them in  Vancouver, BC in August, and came away so excited about what they’ve created, and grateful for this opportunity!

And this is a link to the brochure detailing my workshop, and that of painter Gail Short, whose workshop will run simultaneously with mine.

This is a snapshot of what you’d be agreeing to, if you say YES to Spain 2013:

Feast for the soul-A week of pure creative focus and comraderie, in a relaxing and authentic rural Spanish setting.
Feast for the body- Genuine Spanish cuisine and tapas, prepared with care by our host daily, and served in the courtyard.  
Feast for the senses- visit to the vibrant Cordoba market. Take morning or evening strolls  among the olive trees.
Feast for the heart- excursion to witness the passion of a traditional Spanish Feria - Flamenco performance.

About my workshop:
I’m looking forward to having a full week to immerse with participants in a very approach-oriented exploration of the potential in every photograph to be much more than a record of what is seen. We’ll practice a workflow meant to capture and convey the essence of experience, transforming your photographs into personal works of art.
We’ll begin at the beginning- with inspiration, which will be easy to find!   

Other topic areas of the week include:

Seeing and being in the moment:“Deep noticing”.
Practicing awareness when composing a photograph.
When, and which, equipment matters, and does not matter – to you.
Telling a story with feeling, with one image or many. 
Adding spirit and personal style by hand-painting digital prints.
Developing a personal workflow that yields images that more truly convey your experience. 
Computer users will have the option to learn my favorite digital compositing techniques. 

* All levels welcome, however participants should come with working knowledge of their equipment.
* Knowledge of Spanish language is not necessary. All class time will be in English, and excursions led by English speaking hosts.
* Details about how to prepare, and what to bring, will be provided upon registration.

Price: CAD $3,390
Airfare is separate. See the brochure for more details.

Registrations are made through:

Cindy Horton at Travel Concepts in Vancouver, Canada:
Phone: (604) 926-8511, Toll-Free: 1-800-661-7176

* If you would like more information about the hosts, accommodations, food, Spain or travel arrangements, please contact Cindy Horton at Travel Concepts.

* If you would like more information about me, or the workshop, feel free to contact me directly: tel: 250-537-6120.

Amy Melious knows her stuff—she's a good teacher, and best of all she's a smart, caring person who's really easy to be around”. Nick Bantock

By participating in Amy’s workshops, I acquired a wealth of knowledge and experience. With her love for nature, Amy encourages us to see the beauty that surrounds us in a holistic way. The atmosphere in her workshops is relaxed yet goal-oriented; her gentle and generous leadership helped me overcome some of my own creational barriers and gain trust in my judgements and abilities.”
Denise Okan

Sunday, September 9, 2012


1. A group of related persons, as a clan or tribe.
2. (used with a pl. verb) A person's relatives; kinfolk.
1. Of the same ancestry or family
2. Having a similar or related origin, nature, or character

Science, and religion both, will tell us that if you go back far enough, we are all related.
I don’t think we need anyone to tell us that. Kindred spirit friendships, extended family, and community, weave threads into the fabric of our lives as real, strong, and eternal as the DNA daisy-chain that leads to each of us.

I come from a small, close family. Beyond that critical fortune, I’ve long had a sense, that we are always gradually gathering with our broader “tribe”, one soul at a time, as we travel through life. Our sense of belonging unfolds as we learn from, and about, the family we are born into, the family we marry into, the children we take under wing, the friends we choose, people we live or work beside, even long departed authors and artists who we meet through the legacies of their work.
I find the whole thing beautifully complex and mysterious, and all joy and pain included, I am honored and grateful for my part.

My family history is like many others. It is more questions than answers, like a puzzle missing lots of pieces. Earlier than is usual, my siblings and I became keepers of the flame, care-taking the family photos and letters. Over the past twenty years, I occasionally visit the boxes in my care. It’s a little like checking the rear view mirror while driving down the road you’re on. Each time I look, I gain a new and deeper sense of where and who I am in the scheme of things, and that each of us is like a vessel, carrying all that came before us.

This series of images is both homage and inquiry; a conversation with souls, each as unique as the individual stars the sky, - and it is a discovery of how, like constellations, we are all connected.
Each time I endeavor to journey into a new body of work, I am reminded of the vast rewards of creative process. It has so much to teach us, when we agree to participate.
May the torch that is passed to each of us ignite in our beings a blazing awareness of our greatest inheritance- whole-hearted presence.

-Amy Melious, September 2012


One more week
A show of scenics, at Fernwood Cafe on Salt Spring
  • Summer Hours:
  • Open 7 days a week. 10:00am on Saturdays. 9:00am - 5:00pm all other days.
  • 325 Fernwood Road
  • Salt Spring Island, BC, V8K 1C3

Sunday, February 19, 2012

2012 Workshops on Salt Spring Island

The new year is well under way. Spring leaves are just beginning to emerge from branches near my home.  I'm working indoors these days, under grey, rainy February skies. The quiet of this season feels important. At the same time, there is a vitality to it that I love -  a sort of hushed excitement with it's own momentum and promise, like music that slowly builds into a wildly triumphant crescendo (like flowers are!) by about August. 
We are a lot like plants, I think, in the way we go about life by the nature of the season. I look out onto the still bare earth in the garden, knowing that there is a tremendous amount of activity going on just beneath the surface. By the way, last weekend, our local seed exchange was packed. I take that to be very good sign for things to come. 
Speaking of planting 2012 Photographic Art Workshops catalog is ready! You'll find the summaries and general information posted below. If you would like to receive the full catalog by pdf, please drop me an email request.
Information for additional workshops taking place outside of British Columbia will follow at a later date. 
My best wishes to all. May you see beauty in your life today.


March 11       Sharing Your Work            
April 21-22     Inner Landscapes         
May 11          Sharing Your Work          
May 12          Flower Portraits              
June 1           Sharing Your Work          
June 2           Printing Your Images         
June 23-24     Mounting  to Wood          
July 8-9         Inner Landscapes                   
July 10          In the Field                           
July 19          Sharing Your Work          
July 20          Printing Your Images       
July 21-22      Hand Painting          
July 27          In the Field                 
July 28-29      Flowers Extravaganza       
Mar - Aug      One on One Creative Photoshop: 
                    6hrs Private Training       


Sharing Your Work with the World

You have images. Now what?
Many people have an abundance of amazing images hidden away like a well kept secret.  The images live in computer hard drives, on discs, or in boxes in closets. Have you thought about what would you like to do with your images, and who might be waiting to see them?

This workshop is about discovering real options, and gaining insights about how to act on what you decide. I will present the most valuable aspects of what I’ve learned over the last twenty five years of practicing photography as my full time livelihood. I have been directly involved in everything I will teach you.

By the end of the day, you will have learned important vocabulary, and gathered useful resources to help you in taking steps toward sharing your images with the world for personal or professional purposes, or both. This information is intended to help you develop your own “roadmap” and an action plan.

Working as a small group will allow us to personalize our explorations by drawing on samples of your images, and you will be encouraged to voice your ideas and dreams for them.

We’ll discuss topics such as:  Representing your own work, approaching galleries, getting published, working with agents, contracts, internet platforms, arts & craft fairs, creating products, reproductions vs originals, and more.

$145 +hst   Four dates available: 
March 11, May 11, June 1 or July 19th. 
Participants are encouraged to bring a representative sampling of work. 
6 participants per class.

The Art of Photographing Flowers­

If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, 
our whole life would change. -Buddha

 At the breakfast table, in the garden, on a hillside, at the market…with a mystical magnetism, flowers never fail to reach out and capture our imaginations, inspiring us to record and share their beauty.
But how can we possibly do them justice? That is our quest.
Working both in the studio, and outdoors, with cameras in hand, we will spend the day enjoying the company of flowers. You will learn the “must-have” contents of my gear bag, as well as the beginning, middle, and end of my approach to photographing flowers throughout the last twenty years. 

Flower Portraits: A one day intimate study of flowers, fresh from the garden! Part lecture and demo, part hands on photo session.

May 12     $145 +hst

Photographing Flowers Extravaganza!  A two day total immersion in the art of photographing flowers in studio and garden settings. We’ll begin at the Salt Spring Farmers Market where we’ll gather blossoms. Then, move on to the studio for comprehensive hands on photo sessions both indoors & out. Lecture and demo time will be interspersed, finishing with downloading and review of images. This is going to be a lot of fun!

July 28-29    $255 +hst

Mapping the Inner Landscape

Sometimes a single photograph speaks a thousand words. Other times, a photograph is just the beginning – a key to unlocking hidden stories.

In this two day creative intensive., we’ll use multiple images in Photoshop, as well as mixed media techniques, to explore and express dimensions of experience beyond the captured image. You will discover methods for articulating your vision, gathering its parts, and putting them all together, to tell your tale.
Spread your wings…

Participants will be asked to bring images and a laptop. All other materials are supplied. Participants should come with basic Photoshop skills for maximum benefit during the first day of this workshop.

 $255 +hst   Two sets of dates are available: 

April 21-22  or July 8 - 9 

Hand Painting Digital Photographs

Learn to take your images to the next level, with the personal touch of your own hand.

Hand-painting is an inspiring and fun collaboration between artist and image.  With the first few simple strokes, an image takes on greater depth, and the heart of the author begins to emerge.

In a relaxed, bright studio setting, over the course of two days, I will work with you, step by step, and side by side, guiding you through the process of applying texture and color to digital photographs, using acrylic paints, pastels and pencils. Working in both color and black & white prints, you will learn techniques such as accentuating lines, enhancing highlights, tinting large areas, and more.

Tips for selecting optimal printing surfaces for your images, handling and presenting your finished artwork, and the option of using oil paints will be discussed.

July 21-22   $255 +hst  

All art materials are supplied.
You will be asked to bring work prints. Suggestions for selecting them will be given upon registration.
All levels welcome. 6 participants per class.

Mounting Images to Wood Panels

A mounted image holds a space in a room in a very special way, similar to the way an original painting influences the atmosphere far beyond it’s frame.

Freeing an image from the boundaries of a framed border can transform it from being an object, into becoming an experience.

Along with a mat and frame, glass is still traditionally used with photography to protect the print and display it elegantly. For certain images however, choosing to mount images to wood panels is especially effective because it allows for the elimination of the barrier, and distracting reflections, created by the glass. A beautifully mounted image allows the viewer more immediate access to the world within the image.

In this very hands-on workshop, you will learn to produce mounted artworks, from start to finish, using all archival materials and processes.

You will leave with a piece of your own work, ready to hang, and the knowledge to continue the technique at home with simple tools and easy to find materials.

This course is divided between two consecutive days to accommodate drying times.

June 23 - 24  $145 +hst

Participants will be asked to bring a selection of prints to choose from for mounting.
6 participants per class.
Most of  the materials used are water based. 
Please notify of any chemical sensitivities in advance.

Making Your Own Fine Art Prints

This is a high quality, relatively low-tech, approach to printing your own images on traditional and alternative media., using affordable equipment.

In this workshop you will learn what it takes to do all or most of your own printing in your own home or studio. I’ll teach you the basic vocabulary of printing, and will demystify the printers, media, and ink options available.

Using your images, we’ll experiment with a variety of papers and fabric samples. 
Emphasis will be on creating fine art prints with maximum archival properties.

We’ll also discuss why and when you may need the precise knowledge or specialized equipment of fine art printing experts, and you will receive resources for locating those services locally and beyond.

$145 +hst Two  dates are available for this one day workshop.

June 2 or July 20     All levels welcome.6 participants per class.

Into the Field with Cameras
Spirit always stands still long enough for the photographer it has chosen. 
-Minor White

The intention behind this day long photographic exercise is to heighten awareness, expand experience, and clarify how best you can gather up a strong image, that captures your experience, into that little frame, in the box we call a camera. 

Rather than being about “taking” a picture, this workshop is about how to be deeply receptive to the gift of the image that presents itself to you.

The day will begin in the studio with samples and a preparatory discussion on subjects such as seeing, light, color, depth, composition, narrative and presence. Then, we’ll put our walking shoes on and head out to photograph near the studio on Salt Spring Island.  In the afternoon, we’ll download your images, view your selections, and discuss the results.

$145 +hst  Two dates are available for this one day workshop.
July 10   or July 27  All levels welcome. 6 participants per class.

Creative Digital Techniques: One on One

When a little goes a really long way….

This season, I am offering a limited number of one on one sessions specifically focusing on creative techniques using Photoshop. To the photographers out there for whom this was designed….you know who you are. Here you go - this is for you!

I think of this very concentrated learning opportunity as being like a short bridge between where you are now, and where you might like to go next, with your work.

A total of six hours of customized personal training will be divided up into two or three sessions, according to personal preference.

The content of each session will be tailored very specifically to each photographer’s, starting place, artistic goals, and learning style..

Practice tasks will be assigned to follow each session, and detailed notes will be provided afterwards to use as an ongoing resource. A complimentary 1 hour follow up for Q&A is included.

$275 +hst  
Dates arrangement between March  - August 2012

Sessions will take place at my Salt Spring studio, unless other arrangements are requested. 
For sessions in other locations, or off island, additional fees may apply.
Skype sessions are an option.

There is a world within you no one has ever seen 
A voice no one has ever heard  -  not even you.                    
-Paul Moray


Due to the limited class sizes, advance registration and payment is required

Registration by phone is preferred:   (250) 537-6120
To register by regular mail, please email to request the form.
IMPORTANT: For all mailed registrations, please be sure to call to verify that space is available.
When you call, a space will be held for you for five days, to allow time for your form and payment to arrive.

Payment: Visa/Mc or Checks accepted.
After registering, you will receive confirmation by email (please specify if you prefer standard mail). Confirmation will include a receipt, directions, and additional information and instructions for preparing.

Fees include all materials, coffee, tea & delicious light snacks.
Cancellation policy: Rainchecks will be given in lieu of refunds for registrations cancelled. However, In the event that extreme circumstances should force the cancellation of a workshop, all registered participants will be fully refunded.
*Apologies that the studio is not wheelchair accessible. 

                                                                                               Photo (above) by Elehna de Sousa. Thank you Elehna!

                                                                                               Bio photo by Shari Macdonald. Thank you Shari!