A new oil painting- Sea Foam

I finished this oil painting dyptic (Sea Foam, 11 x 14 each, on wood panel) a couple of days ago, and though I haven’t photographed it properly yet, I wanted to share.

Part of a series on natural flow systems, this piece illustrates in light turquoise the sea foam that roils on top of churning water. In general I’ve used my own emotional/ psychological and spiritual questions and needs to guide which natural design imagery I choose for each work in this series.

I started this piece when I was thinking about flow and connections between people that allow them to create something together (I had a project in mind that was beyond my scope and abilities alone).

I imagine we’re like the foam tumbling through the deep and unknowable current driven forces of our lives and circumstances. We can eventually find each other through a combination of will and chance for a moment to make contact. I guess through painting this I was expressing a hope for this to happen for me.

That was last summer (I seem to work on these paintings in slow time) and the connections appear to be made. Fingers crossed.

Oil paintings

Finally took photos of some of the oil paintings I’ve been working on over the past year. All centre on the theme of natural flow systems. 

Petal Veins 16 in x 20 in

Feathers 2 ft x 2.5 ft

Oil Painting- flow through

This painting is part of a series about natural flow systems in nature.  I began thinking about this when I read a book that proposed the “constructal law,” developed by Adrian Bejan, a mechanical engineering professor at Duke University and expert on thermodynamics.

“The law of physics that accounts for the phenomenon of evolution of organization (configuration, form, design) throughout nature, inanimate flow systems and animate systems together. A principle that essentially places the recurring patterns we see in nature into the world of physics.”

-Adrian Bejan

I found this deeply comforting, as it spoke to a sense of order amidst chaos and interconnection on the deepest level.  I often think of nature as an anchor, especially in our modern frenetic and anxiety provoking mental landscape.


2 ft x 3 ft, oil on wood panel


This painting is based on an aerial view of a river in Iceland, and centres around concepts of flow, transformation, and cleansing. Though inspired by personal and emotional experiences, the moving through and washing away that flowing water symbolises are welcome acts as we witness Trump’s first days in the White House, and the chaos and harm that he is creating.  The idea that something greater than the human brain has dictated that life must be in a perpetual state of flow, change, and impermanence is comforting.

Moving water is also raging, violent and transformative of the landscape it flows through. I am not proposing that we are passive witnesses of the world’s craziness, but part of the rapid, turbulent currents as well. Our energies of anger, seeking justice and united strength are essential to this project of transformation.

Nature, societies, technologies- all exist in a state of perpetual evolution.  If this is a stage, and we are on our way somewhere else, let us transform intentionally, together,  into something better.


Read a 2016 interview with Adrian Bejan in National Geographic.

Goodbye 2016

This was a fun though somewhat melancholy event at Renegade Studios.  This multidisciplinary space was home to musicians, theatre groups, and visual artists, and is another soon to be casualty of condo development. A bit of an unofficial extension of Vancouver’s Eastside Culture Crawl, this space was the art home to my talented friend Maddy Andrews.  Maddy is a multidisciplinary artist who uses acrylic, textiles, and oils. Wall space was also shared with my mom, Jan MacLean, who paints in acrylic. The informal space was a nice way to share my newer work in oil, alongside some older prints of pet portraits and kids books.


Painting with oil

After getting a little frustrated with acrylics, I decided to switch to oils.  I am working on a series about natural flow patterns, and this painting is of the San Andreas Fault line.  It will be incorporated into the album artwork for one of my favourite local artists, AutoHeart.