My art shop has finally launched

Well friends, it’s been a long long time coming but I finally did it! I have a SHOP with some stock for you to … Tada… purchase!

To say it is about time Josyan, is an understatement. It has taken me years of imposter syndrome to get “over” and to finally bite the bullet and turn my raison d’être into the little buds of a real artistic career.

This shop represents me conquering my biggest critic of all, myself (and the all the fear that comes with).

About my prints:

It was a priority that the prints sold in my shop be printed on the best-quality art paper (museum quality and matte and with a bit of texture) and that the inks used oba-free (no bleaching chemicals used in the production of paper) as well as be archival, and finally be the best at replicating my colour palette.

After many test prints and many rounds of adjustments, I finally settled on a drop-ship (print on demand) option with Art of Where which is linked to my Big Cartel website. What does that mean? Well, when you order an art print from my shop, it will be printed on demand and will be sent you directly from an approved Art of Where printshop local to your area.

I have made my shop Canada only (only for now… promise!) and in CDN dollars. I don’t want to make a mistake at this point with US and Canadian currency not to mention the shipping do’s and don’ts.

Thank you to ALL those of you who have “Liked”, “Loved” or left me a comment, about my art posts on social media over the years. I wanted you all to know that those tiny hearts and thumbs up of approval and support have contributed to this next step in my art journey.

At this point, I must mention my partner Dan. Friends, he’s the one who has had to actually listen to my doubts, my fears and most of all, “be there” in the day-to-day. His support and encouragement has helped me grow (and keep growing) as an artist. I Love you and thank you for always being a great sounding board and never letting me give up.

Finally, I hope you will be patient with me while I go through the process of orders and shipments. I don’t expect any issues, but you never know. Dan and I placed a test order from my site and everything went smoothly so that’s definitely a good sign! If you do purchase a print from my shop, you can expect your order to arrive within 10 days of the order confirmation (at least, that was our first experience).

Thanks in advance for just visiting and poking around to see what is available. I expect to add prints over time and will be sure to advise you of new stock here and on Instagram ( find me at @josyan.mcgregor.art )

Thank you!



Beach scene in colour pencils

This was a screenshot taken from a vlog I watch regularly. It’s a capture of a beautiful beach in Cornwall in England.

I created the scene with my newly purchased Derwent Drawing Pencils. I added white and black Posca paint pens for some of the detail.

The muted tones of these drawing pencils are new to me and I find them the perfect way to challenge myself. Hope you find this as successful as I do.


A first attempt at oil pastels

it was an all-around frustrating day. That happens.
At their end of my work day, I work from home, I just decided to attack this Derwent Black Sketchbook. This, was the result after 20 minutes. I don’t think I have ever produced anything so fast and been satisfied with it. I see now that using a very strong emotion lis a rather important ingredient in producing art in general. Lesson learned.


Doorway series in the works


I know some of it doesn’t make sense (perspective-wise) but this came from my head and this quick little mixed media watercolour painting just makes me happy and that’s what matters. It’s my world and mine to create or interpret.

On to the next! Maybe even another doorway! I feel maybe a series is in order! Let’s see where this door leads to….

Doorways 1

Sealing a watercolour painting with cold wax medium – an experiment


I just spent a few hours this weekend experimenting with cold wax medium (by Gamblin) as a way to seal my watercolour painting.

I heard and read about this technique as an alternative to framing a watercolour painting which is traditionally framed and mounted under glass which is a costly undertaking.

After doing some quick research online, I was happy to see that it’s not a very difficult technique.

I first mounted my watercolour painting to a standard 1/4 inch hardboard (masonite-type) using the matte medium. I let that dry completely.

I recommend using heavy books as weights so that your paper adheres evenly and flat to your support of choice. Oh, and if you do that, please be sure not to have any matte medium going past your watercolour paper. You’ll definitely destroy the book cover jacket and the medium will probably not take the cold wax medium the same way and it will show in the final result. If your paper and hardboard are the same sizes that’s great 🙂 or simply cut your painting to fit the surface.

Next, I made sure to work in a dust-free environment. Although, that’s pretty impossible I tried nonetheless.  With a disposable latex glove, I simply spread a thin coating of the cold wax medium over my watercolour painting as evenly as possible. This time I spread the medium over the frame as well (not the sides – only the top surface). Again, if your paper fits exactly to your board, that’s great! I made sure I coated the entire painting (use a bright light to be able to see if you have missed any areas).

I then let this dry for a few hours but now I know overnight is best. When the wax isn’t tacky anymore, it’s time to buff the painting surface with a soft (again dust-free) cloth. I used a polyester type cloth and that seemed to work well. I’ll try others in the future.

Now, I used long even strokes but I suppose you can buff in a circular motion. I’m not yet sure if that makes a difference. I guess it’s up to you as to how much texture you want to see in the final result. More experimentation!

Here are some images of the final result. I do see some tiny specs of dust which is disappointing but heck, dust is everywhere 😦

I quite like the subtle shine and the texture it brings.

I think it was a success overall!

A close-up view of the cold wax medium result – I, unfortunately, don’t live in a vacuum chamber, hence the tiny specks of dust.

The experiment is done and I am happy!




Sometimes we are our own inspiration

We all scroll through sites like Pinterest and Instagram to spark up ideas these days.

But I think, as artists, we almost always overlook that our very own art can serve as inspiration.

Case in point: I painted this piece over 18 years ago and it still hangs on my walls. I sometimes think that should take it down at some point but I took a closer look today and this particular detail stood out and spoke to me.

The impasto texture technique, the colours as well as high energy markings on the right side gave me a whole new appreciation for my work and that perhaps I don’t give myself enough credit.

I examined it with newer fresher eyes and it totally inspired me.

I must do more and do less thinking about doing!

In the end, we should all look to our own work as a tool to further exploration and inspiration.


Creative work and art practice – they just don’t belong together


I decided to write this because I need to let this out.

Let me begin by saying I have always worked for someone else. However, recently I decided to plunge into the freelance graphic design world and I must admit, I was terrified. The prospect of not earning a steady bi-weekly pay was not what a Capricorn Gal like me is used to. Stability equals safe and comfortable, right? I really wasn’t sure I would feel the freedom that freelance is supposed to provide. Time would tell.

As of late March of this year, my contract was done with the museum and I was officially off on my own. I was lucky and had negotiated a good base contract before leaving my previous employer and that secured a start of the road ahead.

Some info about my work set-up:

I live in a suburb of Montreal (off the island) about 20 minutes south (with no traffic of course). My condo is about 1,000 square feet and open plan in style with two large bedrooms. My son, who is a full-time university student, has his own room but isn’t always home.

This means I had no choice but to set up my graphic design “studio” in the living room area. Not a bad spot either! I work on a beautiful teak MCM 1970’s desk and have lots of inspiration around me. The one main issue with this area is the lack of natural light. Not ideal admittedly but I would be okay. Right?

But sadly, after a few weeks in the darkish living room, I naively thought it would be a better idea to just move my business operations to another space – a space which had more natural light and was already set up to be a creative space. It was located in the corner of my bedroom which is dedicated to my art, sewing and crafting. I thought all this creativity would marry well since being a graphic designer is creative too. Right? Boy, was I wrong!

But this first: Business is great! I’ve been working on great projects and my graphic design business is running smoothly. I even created a website (Maker Flair Labs) for my business.

Back to the issue at hand:

Two months on since the “move” from the living room to the bedroom and I have to say, it’s been a struggle to do anything creative in that space. Every time I sit at my desk it’s to do business – graphic design. It’s no longer my space to practice drawing nor is it to paint nor is it to do embroidery. It has become my “work” desk. Even worse, I feel as though I have lost my creative mojo.

Over the last two weeks, I’ve been feeling down. My lovely boyfriend mentioned that he noticed that I was indeed in a slump. He’s even recommended that I move the “business” back into the living room and that the bedroom business-y space is not having a positive effect on my personal art practice. He is absolutely right! I need to physically separate the two spaces in order to regain my personal creative groove.

Believe it or not, I was keeping my graphic design books, business documents and Pantone charts in with my art books, my paints, my sketch pads, my fabric collection and my textile art and sewing supplies. Not so focused! Too much stuff going on in one space. I need to totally separate the two creative spaces. I know now this type of set up never really did make sense but I am new at this working from home thing so I forgive myself.

I am in the process of moving the graphic design studio and business back to the living room and it feels great.

I hope this will help me! Goodness knows I need to get my mojo back!

Now, I have to solve the lighting problem in the living room. Alas, it’s a small price to pay if I can put my personal art practice back on track. Any suggestions?

Have you experienced this sort of thing? I cannot be the only one out there. What have you done to refocus your art practice from your business practice when you work from home?

Yikes, I just spotted a paint splash on my computer screen from when it was in my craft corner. Ugh!