Fearless Abstract • Acrylic Painting Workshop by Samantha daSilva

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Swinton's Art Supply, Instruction & Framing

7160 Fisher St SE

Calgary, AB T2H 0W5


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Freeing Weekend Workshop

  • Saturday July 13, 10am-4pm
  • Sunday July 14, 10am-4pm


Join professional artist Samantha daSilva, as she shares her unique method of painting: Rollers rather than brushes, tables instead of easels, lots of paint and water, canvas manipulation and plaster, sand and wood shavings to create ethereal textured abstracts.

This workshop covers a basic overview of acrylic paints & mediums, the emotional language colour and so much more. Students will be encouraged to find and explore their own artistic style in a safe, supportive environment.

All experience levels are welcome.

Workshop Outline

  1. Why is there so much fear in art?
  2. Philosophy: “The process of creating evolves into ideas.”
  3. Materials Overview: Thin Profile VS Gallery Profile Canvases & Student VS Artist Quality Acrylics
  4. Why & How to Tone Your Canvas
  5. Fearless Abstract Painting Foundational Techniques: Using nature as a starting point, paint application with a roller, color blending, canvas manipulation & paper towel lifts
  6. Texture Building & Making Your Own Mediums: Gel Medium, Modeling Paste & Plaster
  7. Translucent Layering
  8. Varnishing Like a Pro

In addition, heart-centered discussions will be offered to assist you to let go of fear, silence the inner critic, turn up your intuition & explore your own artistic style in a safe, supportive environment including: What will make painting easier?, Compassionate Critiques, How to tell your painting is finished, and so much more!

Art Instructor Bio - Samantha daSilva

Beneath her amiable personality burns a fervent fire to express life through art and dialogue. Samantha daSilva is a professional artist, educator, curator, and avid blogger living and working in Calgary, Canada.

Born in Brazil, Samantha was inspired at an early age by her copiously artistic family. Her grandmother, a portrait artist, her aunt, an accomplished jewelry designer, and her mother, a watercolourist, all influenced Samantha to experiment with a variety of mediums.

Upon graduating high school, Samantha opted out of attending art school for a career path that was ‘safer’ and ‘more secure’. But life has a magnetic force that pulls you back to where you need to be. Ten years and an array of tumultuously revelatory experiences led her back to her initial love: art.

Intent on making up for lost time, Samantha dedicated herself full-time to creating and teaching art. Her passion for abstract painting has manifested itself though prolific expressions of art on canvas and varying media. Since ’08, Samantha’s work has been exhibited in over 100 different group and solo shows across North America.

As an educator, Samantha has instructed at various public & private institutions throughout Canada and the US.

Fearless Abstract Painting is both philosophy and technique.

The philosophy is simple:

The process of creating evolves into ideas.

You might ask:

“You mean, I don’t need an idea before I begin?”

Precisely! Contrary to popular belief, you do not need an idea before you begin to paint. The process of creating will evolve into an idea.

“OK. But what exactly does that mean?”

As a fourth generation artist, I was no stranger to the creative process. I was encouraged to indulge in all things creative from a very early age. But as the years went on, I became like so many of the artists I meet today: Paralyzed by fear.

  • Fear of the blank canvas
  • Fear that your idea isn’t good enough
  • Fear that your idea had not only been done before, but done better by somebody else
  • Fear that due to lack of technical skill, you would not be unable to give the idea that’s in your head, shape and form on the canvas
  • Fear that your work will be judged
  • Fear that your work will be ridiculed
  • Fear that you will have “proof” that you aren’t a real artist or really creative after all

Well, it’s no wonder that there is so much fear in art! We put so much pressure and the burden of expectations on ourselves!

Enter Fearless Abstract Painting

The technique:

No easels, no brushes, no pallets, no colour wheel and no preconceived ideas.

What? Really? Is that possible?

Yes! And it’s wonderfully liberating. And addictive.

When you push the paint around, add water, tilt the canvas and play the process begins to take shape into an idea.

Our inner creativity (often dormant or silenced by many layers of “realistic”, linear-type thinking) begins to blossom, grow, and bring balance back into our lives, reminding us that there is a creative source in all of us.

I’ve seen it thousands of times.

Most haven’t picked up a brush (much less a roller!) since kindergarten, or they’ve been painting for years but they feel rigid and stiff.

The result is that they begin to paint and think in a whole new different way when they use the Fearless Abstract Painting philosophy and technique.


Supply List: (PDF HERE)


• 2 Canvasses 24” X 30” each (thin or deep profile)

Acrylic Paint: (Approx. 200 ml each)

  • Yellow Ochre
  • Payne’s Grey
  • Titanium White
  • Blue
  • Green
  • Red

Please bring suggested colors and any other colors that resonate with you.

Other Materials:

  • 1 small paint roller – 9 inches long (from top to bottom) & 4 inches wide
  • 4 – 4 inch replaceable foams to fit the roller
  • 1 Gloss Gel (Approx. 450 ml)
  • 1 Molding Paste (Approx. 450 ml)
  • 1 Gloss Varnish (Approx. 450 ml)
  • 1 Large spray bottle
  • 2 - 3 Rolls of paper towels
  • 1 Saran Wrap
  • 1 Painting apron
  • 1 Palette knife (any size)
  • 3 ‐5 Landscape / nature photos that inspire you

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Date and Time


Swinton's Art Supply, Instruction & Framing

7160 Fisher St SE

Calgary, AB T2H 0W5


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