Painting Without Lines & Dreaming of Museums

Painting Without Lines & Dreaming of Museums

I am a tidy person.


Perhaps this is why an illustration style with black ink lines containing the colour comes more naturally to my hand. But it is also a constricting genre, both practically and professionally. I struggle to call myself a  Painter  – with a capital  P  – because of these lines. I know the style I have nurtured over the past couple of years places me firmly under the category of illustrator, but I balk at this title. Do not get me wrong! I like the images I create with these tidy lines, I like them enough that I am in the process of illustrating a cookbook and am loving every workday dedicated to a new recipe (to get sneak peaks into this project sign up to my newsletter).

So what is the problem? Well, I have this dream – to have a piece of my artwork hanging in a museum in Canada as part of a permanent collection. In all my museum lollygagging I have seen very few collections of illustrated works. Those I have seen were mindblowingly phenomenal, and primarily contained pieces created by artists who made their mark during the golden age of illustration. Artists such as Gerhard Glück and Angjeo Uvodic. Go ahead, take a look, they are awesome!

While I am working hard to generate a living using my skills as an illustrator, a big but (up until recently) silent part of me has been brooding in the background, unhappily unable to see a path towards realizing my ultimate goal. It was not until a few days ago that I clued in to how this voice has been building volume. I was flipping through my daily sketches, the ones I post on my front page here, and started smiling when my conscious brain recognized a shift in how I have been expressing myself lately.


Fewer tidy lines, colour without hard boundaries, mini thoughts on paper that are breaking farther and farther away from descriptions which can be firmly defined under the title – Illustration.


I have gathered these baby steps here as a bookmark, a place I can look back to years from now as a reminder of the budding moments pushing towards a new branch in my work. I hope you enjoy this collection of mini paintings.


Impressions of a Forest – 16 January 2017


Tea Bag 4 O’Clock – 28 January 2017


Playing With Colour – 6 February 2017


Winter Colours – 12 February 2017


Mandarin – 14 February 2017


Magic Hour – 16 February 2017


Fading Into the Distance – 21 February 2017


Memory of a Sunset – 23 February 2017


Chickadeedeedee – 26 February 2017


Birch Bark Curl – 4 March 2017


It is unlikely that I will give up creating illustrations, they are too much fun, but I am glad that the  Painter  in me is starting to emerge. There used to be a strong internal struggle between my illustrator and painter, but that seems to be fading as I rebalance my time between the two styles. A relief really, it was no fun listening to them bicker.

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  1. Sylvia

    I have no idea how one could paint without outlines. I just know that an artist next door who does watercolours and has been doing them for 30 years still draws outlines for her paintings.
    My favourites of the above are “Memories of a Sunset” and the “Chickadee”

    • Genevieve

      Oh! I still use pencil to sketch in the general shape of a subject, except for pieces like ‘Impressions of a Forest’ (glad you like it 🙂 ). By Painting Without Lines I am referring to the black outline often seen in illustrations.

  2. Sylvia

    Oh, I forgot to mention the other one I really like “Impressions of a Forrest”


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