Lauren McKinley Renzetti, artist.

accomplished Toronto visual artist, teacher and curator


Lauren McKinley RenzettiI am drawn to nature,  the slow opening of a seed, a lizard’s skin, the human eye up close and personal,  our planet from space, molecules under a microscope.   I am interested in where art comes from, the tools , the materials, and the stepping stones made by other artists before me.

Unlikely Spoon Collection


Unlikely Spoon Collection

I am part of the Group classified as the 1% or the people of the Haves. I have shelter, food ,clothes, family, a job, health and wealth. The Syrian crisis led me to thinking about the two main classes:  the HAVES and the HAVENOTS. Spoon Collections reside in many homes collecting dust, always unused. This is a testament to being a Haves. If this is spoon collection  never gets used, then why not make it out of very unlikely materials; hair, nails, volcanoes, the moon, toxic waste, and concrete etc.  This is the beginning  thought process for these works.  They are conceptual,  silly, dark  and commenting on what us Capitalist Haves spend  our hard earned money on.   -August 2016

Sacred Dot Paintings

Sacred Dot Painting

I have always been intrigued with Australian Aboriginal Dot Paintings. The tools they use  are round dowels of various sizes. The way of painting takes a lot of guess work out of how to paint but also is an interesting problem. with pattern and design. This is a  meditative practise as much as an art form.  I started out painting  objects that were  sacred to  me as an artist. Then I branched off to things that I thought were sacred through time, religion, daily life and nation.    August 2016

classes with lauren

classes with lauren

Have a question? Send an email.


 Fall:  Intro to Painting   January 7- March 4 , 2019.  10am-1pm or 6-9pm  , 8 weeks, 

This course introduces students to a variety of techniques in painting, ranging from different paint application methods to developing an awareness of volume and form. This foundation-level course draws upon the AGO’s painting collections as inspiration for painting projects. Students will complete a variety of projects using acrylic paint, due to its rapid drying properties.

ADULT PROGRAMS with ARTiculations  2928 Dundas St West
, Toronto ON
 (west end)


Schatanna of Eco Wisdom by Lauren Renzetti
Schatanna of Eco Wisdom









Colour Theory for the Practicing Artist  Part 1 

Feb 9 or  May  4  2019 . from 1130-430  pm ( bring your lunch and all materials)

Fee $107.35 (includes Taxes and surfaces only) Limited Space Please book Now!     Location:  ARTiculations  2928 Dundas Street west

Colour Theory for the Practicing Artist  Part 2 

  Feb 10 or  May  5  2019 . from 1130-430  pm ( bring your lunch and all materials) Fee $107.35 (includes Taxes and surfaces only) Limited Space Please book Now!     Location:  ARTiculations  2928 Dundas Street west

IN Part 1: In this full day workshop students will explore how colour works in relation to  its neighbours on the colour wheel. We will paint our way through true primary , secondary and tertiary colours along with homologous, analogous and complementary colours. Along the way we will gain some language about colour from hue, warm , cool,   tint, tone, intensity , simultaneous contrast, luminosity and what each colours value is on the grey scale.   We will also look at Colour Theorists, Itten, Munsell,  and Goethe. This is a hands on workshop where you may use the paint you already have to create useful colour wheels and value scales that help you further understand what your chosen palette can do .

IN Part 2: In this second workshop the use of colour in practical exercises will help hone the skills of  what colours to use when . We will look at creating depth, space,  lustre ,  luminosity as well as the theory of Extension  and Simultaneous Contrast.

If you are wanting to explore colour theory in its truest sense then using  acrylic gouache** is the best medium to be working in  as it dries  quickly, matte (with no sheen) , is opaque, and does not flake. Holbien is a  great brand. Reeves is  inexpensive  but may flake. We want paint to be ideally opaque and matte so  the hue won’t be influenced by the surface or by the shininess of the paint.   **Colour theory can be done in  any paint medium; watercolour, oil, tempera,  and acrylic; however all of them have their own challenges. Watercolour should not have the use of white as the paper acts as the white and paint is transparent but does dry quickly. Oil paint takes a  long time to dry and can act quite transparently with a sheen and turns muddy quickly. Also more brushes are needed as clean up is challenging . Acrylic comes in many brands  that  varies in sheen,  transparency and opacity along with “open paints” that are sticky and take a really long time to dry.  Tempera of a low quality will mix unevenly with a gritty nature and can flake off after it dries.

Materials list:
2H or HB pencil
Palette that can hold many  colours at once (several  plastic yogurt lids are great )
#2, #4, talkyon( very soft usually uised for watercolour, synthetic)  round tipped brush and or #4, #6 talkyon flat edged  brush – it makes a smoother surface than hogs hair brushes and holds paint better.
2-3 Water containers, paper towels
As this course is about learning about how your paint qworks with the colours you already own this is what would be greta to have in your palette. The colours needed for this workshop are: (titanium) white, (ivory) black , yellow,  red and or magenta, and   blue .  If true primaries are unavailable then owning cadmium red medium, magenta, lemon yellow, cadmium yellow medium, ultramarine blue, pthalo blue( green shade)  or cyan are your good suggestions as  options .You can take these two workshops over and over again and switch out what colours you use….. Exploring other yellows;  like  ochre or  naples,   reds ; pyrole, carmine, permenant rose and blues; turquoise, cobalt, or cerulean are great ways to further  what your personal palette does. 

 Meditative Dot Painting Workshop   Sunday February 24th, 20219.

1230-430pm Adult- 4hrs- Fee: $62.15

Learn about the Australian Aboriginal dot painting technique. Using  small sticks and dowels of various sizes to create an intricately patterned tile. No painting experience is necessary. This is a great technique for those interested in pattern, rhythm and colour mixing. The state of being is altered through music and the simple action of painting dots to become a meditative state.

Art for Cancer Foundation , AFC Place, 1884 Davenport Road, Unit 1, Toronto M6N 4Y2  please register  through this web site: 

Art For Cancer Workshops

Saturday January 26, 2019.  from 1030-130. Landscape Painting Techniques- FREE.  

Learn how to create a contrived landscape with a dozen techniques ranging from graduated wet blend to scumble -smuffato,  soft to hard , spatter, stipple, dry brush, schlapitka , wet into wet, pounce, impasto and sgraffito. Then apply this to a sample picture you choose and actually apply these new found techniques.

Saturday February 2, 2019. from 1030-130  Meditative Dot Painting- FREE .

Learn about the Australian Aboriginal dot painting technique. Using  small sticks and dowels of various sizes to create an intricately patterned tile. No painting experience is necessary. This is a great technique for those interested in pattern, rhythm and colour mixing. The state of being is altered through music and the simple action of painting dots to become a meditative state.

ARTIST’S OUTDOOR RETREAT: Connecting with Nature August 25- 30, 2019. Unicamp Of Ontario, 638159 PRINCE OF WALES RD, MULMUR ON  L9V 0C5 Registration: 519-925-6432 or

August 2019

SUMMER RETREAT at UNICAMP, north of Shelburne

ARTIST’S OUTDOOR RETREAT: Connecting with Nature August 25- 30, 2019.

Unicamp Of Ontario, 638159 PRINCE OF WALES RD, MULMUR ON  L9V 0C5

Registration: 519-925-6432 or

Connecting with Nature with Lauren  McKinley Renzetti. Using Unicamp and environs as our inspiration with its picturesque vistas, mossy craggy caves, dappled ponds, rolling hills, fantastic forests and expansive skies. We will explore the perfect location and capture the light of morning, afternoon, dusk and sunset. In three or  four sessions a day create a series of studies in watercolour paint or pencil , ink  , chalks or pastels,  with on location drawing and painting.( Lauren would like to work  mostly in watercolour this year but don’t let that hinder you if you have the room for other supplies. Waterdcolour lightweight and  is so easy to carry around. ) These studies can be  small and detailed  and can then be a spring board for larger works back in your studio or be finished works in their own right. Go off on your own, or stick with the camaraderie of the group. Be introduced to a variety of techniques and strategies to create interesting composition. This retreat is for all abilities, whether you are a practicing artist or just starting out, you set your own pace. Bring your own materials. Unicamp Of Ontario Registration: 519-925-6432

Program Fee: sliding scale $150, + Accommodation & Food about  $350

Dates: August 25-30, 2019. Sunday 4pm- Friday 4pm Limited Space BOOK NOW!

 photographs courtesy of Oliver Yang
Supplies & Things to Bring

Suggested Art Materials List  Basics: * means optional  Small Travel Sketchbook, along with a Canson Mixed Media Sketchbook 7 x9 , or 11 x 14 -heavier  paper for wet studies – For sunrises and sunsets the view changes dramatically every few  minutes so a few sketchbooks or surfaces is good so you can do very quick sketches.

2h,2b, 6b pencil, erasure, sharpener , paper stomp, erasing shield,  *pilot fineliner or a waterbased ink pen , *watercolour pencils-derwent is lovely, reeves is economical and good too, *(digital) camera or phone with camera, water containers with lids, *foldable seat or bucket with towel to carry and sit on, blue painters  masking tape to create borders on longer  studies.ask for the  Non stickier tape,

*- option – small portable outside easel

for watercolour  water paints wet or dry, palette, talkon brushes  round, flat sizes #2-8 , sponges, wax crayon or masking fluid*, plexiglass board 18″ x 24″ , masking tape, 140lb paper block pad or individual sheets  of Waterford .

 or   for acrylic * means optional  paints white, black, lemon yellow, deep yellow, alizarin red, ultramarine blue, pthalo blue, cerulean blue, permanent green, hookers green, yellow ochre, raw sienna, burnt umber, dioxanine purple(the more colours you have the less you need to mix, you can “get away with” YRB white & black) brushes:talkon, hogs hair rounds & flats #2-8 depending on surface size *palette knives, * sponges, 8-15 surfaces :canvas pad, or small canvas boards

 Other Things to know: Unicamp is an Unitarian Universalist Camp It follows the 7 UU principals that believe we should respect all life and the earth. Explore all 7 principals through art making and quiet reflection!

 Accommodation:Unicamp has 3 types of accommodation 50 tent sites (up to 6 people), 6 rustic dorms with bunk beds, bathroom and meals in dining hall and private cottages (for 6 people) with shared kitchens. Cottages and dorms go fast, so book early. You can order tasty meals in the dining hall or cook your own food. Food is usually 60% vegetarian, and they can accommodate most special diets with notification.

Bedding:Bring sheets, pillows, quilts or sleeping bags- it can get to as low as 5 degrees at night this late in the season.

Clothing:Be prepared to Layer up and layer down. During the day the weather is sunny and hot, but once the sun sets temperatures do drop. Unicamp has a 3 acre spring fed pond with swimming and canoeing. Towels, bathing suits, sweaters, wet weather clothing, sun hats, sunscreen, bug juice are also recommended.

Directions:From Shelburne take County Rd. 124 north to Redickville, go east (right) on County Rd. 21 past Honeywood to Prince of Wales, go south to #638159. There is a large sign on the left. Please note that GPS and internet map programs tell you to take County Road 20. Please do not do this as it will bring you up from the poorly maintained bottom of Prince of Wales Rd. Please take County Road 21 (some maps show Side Road 25).For more detailed information including maps please visit website:

Paint in  Tuscany with Lauren from September 7 -21,2019.   Sign up for one or two weeks.  Space is limited to 12 participants!  Registration and Information:

September 2019

When– From Sept 7 to Sept 21, 2019.  2 weeks,   leaving Toronto Sept 6/13 overnight, arrive in Rome morning of Sept 7 or the 14, 2019 .

 Package includes: -Pick up and drop off at the Rome airport and transport to Villa which is about 2 hours from Rome.  -7 or 14 nights shared accommodation with own bathroom in an authentic Tuscan farmhouse -6 or 12 days of painting classes- plein air mostly (4-5 hours per day) with Lauren Renzetti -3 meals per day, with wine included with dinner prepared by inhouse gourmet chef -A Visit to Cetona and a visit to Orvieto- nearby Tuscan towns.

Cost for 1 week double occupancy/sharing a room $1500each or $2000single private for one week- single private room/bathroom

Cost for 2 weeks $ 2750each, sharing a room  or $3500single private room and bathroom for 2 weeks

Note price does not include flight cost (estimated at $1000)

Art Making Schedule:

  Sunrise drawing /painting -1hr.- Optional

8:30-9:30am Continental Breakfast


Possible Technique building -1hr.

Painting session outside 1-3 hr.


Painting session outside 1- 3 hr.

7:00 Dinner

Sunset Painting- 1hr.- Optional

Here is a sample itinerary that was shared with the 2017 tourist and painting program. I may include the opportunity to paint/draw the sunrise and sunset depending on the views available to us. They will always be optional.

All Painting workshop
Day 1 Saturday- Arrival
1-1:30 Transferred from airport in Rome to our villa (2.5hours)
5:30 Meet and Greet at Villa Alari
7:00 Welcome Dinner
Day 2-  Sunday
8:30-9:30am Continental Breakfast
9:30-11:00Grounds-Local Tour (identifying painting spots)
11-1pm Intro-Painting in studio
1-2pm lunch
2-3:30 painting outside
3:30-6:00pm visit Cetona
7:00 Dinner
Day 3- Monday
8:30-9:30am Continental Breakfast
10-1pm painting outside
1-2pm lunch
2-4 painting
7:00 Dinner
Day 4- Tuesday
8:30-9:30am Continental Breakfast
10-1pm Painting Outside
1-2pm Lunch
2-3:30 painting
3:30-6:00 visit Chiusi
7pm Dinner
Day 5- Wednesday
8:30-9:30am Continental Breakfast
Visit Florence explore mixed media etc.
7pm Dinner
Day 6- Thursday
8:30-9:30am Continental Breakfast
10-1pm Paint
1-2pm Lunch
2-5 Paint
7pm dinner
Day 7- Friday
8:30-9:30am Continental Breakfast
10-1pm Paint
1-2pm Lunch
2-5 paint
7:00 Farewell  Dinner
Day 8- Saturday Departure
8:30am- Depart for aiport 9AM Visit market in Cetona
8:30-9:30am Continental Breakfast
1-2pm Lunch
2-5pm Paint
5:30 Meet and Greet arrivals at Villa
7:00 Welcome Dinner