Friday, 22 June 2018

Creativity Challenge - Week 25

Blog 25

With company at our house and working part-time, it was more difficult to set aside time to be creative. While I was watching some of the World Cup soccer games with my family, I was able to continue knitting my temperature shawl and felting flowers on my table runner. I also felted a butterfly for my Creativity & Me: Felting Butterflies & Flowers workshop on Friday, July 27 at 1pm - 3pm.

Nevertheless, I spent last Friday morning with my friend Janis painting poppies in her yard. It was my first plein air painting time since our trip to Kamouraska in September of last year. It felt so great to be outside in the warm sun, and to be able to fully concentrate on painting without distractions.

Three Poppies, acrylic, unfinished

Anne Warburton and I also continued writing and editing our blogs about “Creating Art with Groups”. We complement each other very well. It is exciting to see everything come together. The blogs will be published together with the video clips on July 6 and 13, 2018.

On June 21, I went to the Humanics Institute Sanctuary and Sculpture Park with a couple of members of the Ottawa Plein Air Adventures Group. I knew many of the members already from Arteast as well as the Urban sketchers. While most participants stayed until the afternoon, I only had time to stay until noon to create one watercolour pencil sketch of the sculpture called “Friends”, one of my favourite sculptures of the park.

If you would like to try something new, I am holding one painting and one felting workshop in July:

July 20: The Energy of Vincent van Gogh

July 27: Felting Butterflies and Flowers

Here is also the link to the Painting Party in the Humanics Institute Sculpture Park on July 15, 2018: .

For more information, please click on the links or go to my website

In addition, I am offering a new promotion for you: if you register for 5 events at the regular rate and pay only half the price then when you register for your 6th event. There is no expiration date for this promotion. This promotion starts with my July events and is valid for both painting parties and workshops. Once you have registered for 5 events, I will send you the promotion code for the 6th event.

If you have any suggestions for materials or techniques you would like to have covered during my July projects that I will post from Monday to Friday on my business page on Facebook, please send me an email to

Friday, 15 June 2018

Creativity Challenge - Week 24

Blog 24

My creative week started off on the right foot with our visit to the Ottawa Little Theatre on Friday, where we saw the immensely funny British farce “Move Over Mrs. Markham” about love, infidelity, trust, and revenge. During the play I managed to sketch a little bit despite the challenge of the fast moving actions of the actors and the many bursts of laughter.

I also drew a couple of characters from “The Loud House” for one of my “Cartooning and Drawing” courses. “The Loud House” is an American animated television series about the chaotic life of Lincoln Loud. He is the middle child and only boy in a large family of 11 children. 

This was also the last week of my “Cartooning and Comic” classes. Two groups had picked “Toothless” from “How to Train a Dragon” for their last class, while the third group chose the “Loud House Characters” I already mentioned.

After weeks of neglect, I finally continued my temperature shawl. It is exciting to see how the design unfolds now that we have reached warmer temperatures and a different colour scheme. I will post a photo next week.

On Sunday, I visited Ottawa’s Ornamental Gardens with my family. The Ornamental Gardens are situated at the Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa, Ontario. At the moment, the peonies and irises are in full bloom. There are also some amazing trees. I wish I had been able to spent the day painting, but I am happy that I did have a change to take some pictures of the breathtaking beauty. I have to go back with my painting buddies. 

While I still did not manage to paint outside, I was able to continue the tree painting that I started during my knife painting workshop a couple of weeks ago. I showed the participants the use of different kind of painting knives to bring texture and energy to a painting. As I use student grade paint during the workshop I added a layer of professional grade paint when I reworked the trees and roots. Hopefully, I will be able to show you the finished work next week.

Inspired by some beautiful pansies at an ice cream shop, I also finished a yellow one and created a pink one on my table runner.

As life’s pace is usually slower in summer, I would like to invite you to bring more creativity into your life. From Monday to Friday during the month of July, I will post 15 minute art projects on my Facebook page that will hopefully inspire you to follow along or to practice whatever inspires you. Is there a technique or a medium that you always wanted to try out? If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment or send me an email to

Friday, 8 June 2018

Creativity Challenge - Week 23

Blog 23

Climax, acrylic, 10" x 10"

Last weekend, I finally made it back into my studio to paint. I finished the tulip painting that I had started at the beginning of April. It felt so good to be painting. I had hoped to paint a second time this week, as my friends and I had plans to paint at the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum, but these plans fell through due to the days of rain.

Instead I met with one of my friends for a craft morning. She was knitting and I felted a blue lupin. Later, I also continued to work on the poppies that I had started last week.

During the “Cartooning and Comics” classes, I demonstrated scenes 3 and 4 for all three groups. All but my 5 - 7 year old students were able to finish their comics this week.

At the beginning of the week, I met with my artist friend Anne Warburton to collaborate on a blog post. We were both very excited about working together and had a lovely chat. However, it was quite out of our comfort zone to record the session, but we did it anyway. It is not perfect, but it shows us in an authentic way. I am sure we will get better with time. You will be able to see the video and read the blog in a couple of weeks.

If you would like try something new, I would like to inform you about my first outdoor painting party in the beautiful environment of the Humanics Sanctuary and Sculpture Park in the idyllic Cumberland Village.The painting party is open to everyone who enjoys the peacefulness and beauty of nature to get inspired to create their own artwork; it will be a lasting memory that will bring continuous joy to their home. This is an event to connect with others, relax and have fun. I will guide the participants in creating a beautiful lotus painting. No experience is necessary. All the materials are provided for you.

The fee of $ 42.50 includes all materials and the admission to the sculpture park for the day. Parking is free. If you would like more information please contact me by email to To reserve your spot please send an e-transfer to Don't forget to send a separate email with the security answer.

Friday, 1 June 2018

Creativity Challenge - Week 22

Blog 22

With my “Cartooning and Comics” spring session nearing its end, we started our big project: the creation of our very own comics. I showed the students some Calvin and Hobbes comics, and the students of each course voted for their own favourite. Over the last couple of days, I used the comics as references to create three different comics with characters from our sessions in the poses shown in the original comics.

My students can either follow what I demonstrate in class or pick their own characters in the poses I draw. Most students were happy with my choices and followed my demonstration. While I only draw the characters, the students have to create the story by adding the setting and speech bubbles. It was wonderful to see with how much excitement they went to work. Our comics consists of four images. While I already drew the whole sequence, the students finished the first two images this week. It will be interesting to see how their stories unfold next week.

Despite my intention to go painting with some of my friends, our schedules were just not compatible this week, but I managed to felt some more flowers onto my table runner. First, I added some white and red poppies. Then, I started to felt some lilac blooms. It was not easy to create the small petals. I am not quite happy with the result. I will keep working on all three flowers.

Today is the last day to register for my Flower Felting Workshop at the beautiful Da Artisti Studio & Gallery in Cumberland Village on June 3, from 10am to 12pm. In this 2 hour course, I will be showing you how to create your own flowers with wool by felting it on a 5" x 7" felt base. The final product can be framed and displayed anywhere in your home. No prior experience is necessary, and all materials are included! Registration is limited to 8 participants, and is priced at $50+tax.
To register please go to:

Friday, 25 May 2018

Creativity Challenge - Week 21

Blog 21

Drawing in class

Finally, I was able to make more time for art. For my Cartooning and Comics classes, I drew the main characters of the movie “Captain Underpants” as well as Bendy from the video game “Bendy and the Ink Machine”, a survival horror video game as I discovered when I did some research. I often wonder how these young kids know about so many villains. Whether it is Darth Vader, Deadpool, the Joker, or Bendy, I am surprised when I read about the characters and the games and movies featuring them. They seem definitely more violent than what I read and watched as a kid.

Drawings as Preparation

Drawing in class
Or on second thought, perhaps they are not so different. When I think back to Grimm’s Fairy tales or Wilhelm Busch’s stories that my parents read to me even at a young age, they also contained a lot of violence, even though we did not realize it, because we concentrated on the “Happily ever after” ending of the heroine or hero. Without consciously noticing it, the tales taught us about dangers and morals, and how to behave to be safe and to be polite.

As video games and movies are much more available to children of all ages and let the story of books come to life on the screen, let’s hope that these fictional characters will also help kids to differentiate between good and bad. We, the parents, guardians and instructors play a big role to make sure that the children see the consequences of violent behaviour and the value of taking positive actions in real life.

I am not a big fan of violent movies and have never played a video game. I prefer to see movies or read books that are funny or romantic, or documentaries that show happy relationships between creatures and the beauty and fascination of nature.

On the weekend, during a bike ride with my son and a walk with our dog, the fields of blooming trilliums captured my eyes and inspired me to create a felted trillium flower on my table runner. I wish I could also create lilac blooms that I love so much, but they seem very difficult. Regardless, I will attempt to make one and tell you next week whether I was successful. In the worst case, I will just create another flower out of the beautiful lilac coloured wool.

If you like flowers and would like to learn how to felt them, I am happy to offer my next Flower Felting Workshop at the beautiful Da Artisti Studio & Gallery in Cumberland Village on June 3, from 10am to 12pm. In this 2 hour course, I will be showing you how to create your own flowers with wool by felting it on a 5" x 7" felt base. The final product can be framed and displayed anywhere in your home. No prior experience is necessary, and all materials are included! Registration is limited to 8 participants, and is priced at $50+tax.
To register please go to:

Friday, 18 May 2018

Creativity Challenge - Week 20

Blog 20

When this blog is published our house will have just gone on the market. I am sure you can understand that I did not have any time to be creative. I only drew Star from the show “Star versus the Forces of Evil” for one of my drawing classes. The rest of the time, I spent decluttering and cleaning out the basement, including my studio.

It was probably good to be under pressure as I find it really hard to let go of things. As a creative person even little things can give me ideas for a future use in an artwork. Having to clean out my office to stage it for potential buyers forced me to make some tough decisions, especially because I will probably not have another studio that is as spacious in the house we will be moving into.

As much as going through the stuff was both physically and mentally exhausting, it feels good to look at my cleaned studio. As I did not clean it out as much as in the rest of the house, this is the only room in our house that I still like to be in and hopefully will still be able to create artworks and teach in the next couple of months. The rest of the house is now staged for upcoming visits, and all the personal items are removed to give the house a more neutral look. As I did not follow the advice to have our house painted in the fashionable grey tones, at least I don’t feel like I am in a dead house, although it feels static. I don’t feel like spending time in any of the rooms anymore, because I am afraid to unsettle things.

At this point, I am hoping to sell the house fast, even though it will not be easy to leave. Our house is a custom house, that I designed and for which I picked out every floor, cupboard, blind, and wall colour (except for my children’s rooms). It feels like one of my artworks, only that I had people to help me with the realization. My father is an architect and he put my vision into the plans of our house. We had to make some sacrifices during the building of the house due to financial considerations but it still looks mostly like my vision.

When I designed the house, it never occured to me that I would move before being in my old age, but now that my children are out of school and both my husband and I have long rides to work every day, we had to review our priorities.

When I started to sell my artwork, I also had a hard time of letting go. Now, I decide before I start a painting whether it will be for sale or for myself. The only exception is the one painting I pick at the end of every painting trip as a reminder of the wonderful memories.

I hope that when it is time to leave our house, I will be able to remember the wonderful memories and feel good knowing that a new family will be able to enjoy and make the house their own, the same way I hope that my artworks will bring continuous joy to their new owners.

Queen of the Night, acrylic,
8" x 7 3/4"
I wish all of you a wonderful Victoria Day weekend! Will you visit the Ottawa Tulip Festival or any local park or forest to see nature’s beauty? Or will you be glued to the television to watch the royal wedding with all of the beautifully dressed people? If this long weekend is your start for the cottage or camping season, I hope that you will create wonderful memories.

Friday, 11 May 2018

Creativity Challenge - Week 19

my lotus flower from the retreat

Blog 19

It is time for my new blog. I had a very busy week, but still was able to carve out many moments of creativity.

It all started with my “Painting with a Palette Knife” workshop on Friday. The two participants had a great time and were quite successful in using the knife to create texture.

all three images are unfinished, mine is the one on the left

In the evening, I went to the Ottawa Little Theatre, where I saw “Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lily”. As most of the times I am at the theatre, I enjoy sketching while watching the performance. Since I started sketching at the theatre, it helps me to remember the plays we have seen. It is almost like creating cue cards.

On Saturday, I went to a fabulous Mayan Bola Workshop at Hikano Yoga Studio in Cumberland. Not only did I learn a lot about angels, but we also made our own spiritual necklace with a pendant that produces a soft calming sound to remind us of our angels.

The “Yoga & Art Retreat” that Jackie Leduc and I hosted at Hikano Yoga Studio was a big success. After Jackie created a calming mood during a morning of yoga and meditation, the participants went for a short walk, enjoyed Jackie’s delicious and healthy lunch, and were very excited to create their lotus painting. The lotus is a flower full of symbolism; it is associated with eternity, purity and peace, self-awareness, love and compassion, the overcoming of suffering and spiritual development. It also symbolizes beauty, fertility, prosperity, and eternity, and it is perfect subject for a spring retreat when nature awakens in an explosive way that surprises me every year. After a long-lasting dormancy suddenly everything is full of colour: a painter’s dream. I hope I will have time to paint outside soon.

At the beginning of the week, I created the three drawings for my three “Cartooning and Comics” classes. While Tomato Head from the video came Fortnite was fun, and Darth Vader interesting to draw, I had a hard time with Wither from Minecraft. I was dreading the drawing as I do not like the square shapes and difficult perspective of the character. This was definitely out of my comfort zone. Needless to say that I had a lot of trouble with the drawing. It is so much easier to draw something that you enjoy, but on the other hand it was a good challenge.

For a nice relaxing finish, I will spend some time working on my temperature shawl. I had put it aside for the last couple of weeks, and I am excited to see how nature’s design will look.

If you are still looking for a Mother’s Day gift, some of my still life paintings that are on sale until Sunday are also some nice flower paintings that will provide joy for a long time.

I wish all of you who have two- or four-legged kids a Happy Mother’s Day! If the weather is nice, head out and enjoy nature. If you live in the Ottawa area, the Tulip Festival that starts today will surely thrill you and might inspire you to create art or update a flower bed in your garden.

Friday, 4 May 2018

Creativity Challenge - Week 18

Pink Peonies, acrylic, 20" x 16"
Blog 18

When it was time to write this week’s blog I was literally panicking. Due to my friend’s visit and our moving preparations, I had not spend any time creating. At first, I wanted to let you know that there would just be no blog this week, but then I remembered some events of the last couple of days.

Creating something does not only start when you put something onto paper or canvas. The process starts already when you do research or work on ideas for new work. On Sunday, my friend and I went to the new opening of the Ottawa Art Gallery, 50 Mackenzie King Bridge, Ottawa. In all these years that I have lived in Ottawa, it was my first visit to the gallery. It was on my bucket list for ages, and the opening in the new building was just the perfect opportunity. The new building is very modern, bright, and welcoming. Among the many artworks, you can find the Firestone Collection of Canadian Art with many works by the Group of Seven, as well as many modern works by contemporary artist. While we did not go onto the outdoor rooftop terraces, I am sure they will be widely used during the warmer months. In the studio space, it was wonderful to see the many projects that were provided for kids of all ages. When I had a first look at their programmes, I saw that they have an event called "Sketchy Thursdays" on the last Thursday of every month where you can learn observational sketching techniques, in the summer even "en plein air". These workshops do not only look interesting but are free.

While I did not like all the art that was displayed, it got my own creative juices flowing. Sometimes, a piece for which you do not particularly care can get you thinking outside of your own safe box, or you might decide to give a new medium a try. I can definitely recommend a visit to the Ottawa Art Gallery. The admission is free and the building can be reached easily both by car and bus.

The students of my my three “Cartooning and Comics” classes created beautiful drawings of the Dark Voyager, Luke Skywalker, and the Pokémon characters Eevee and Pikachu under my guidance.

Over the weekend, I put together my new exhibition at the wonderful Black Walnut Bakery, 979 Cameron St, Cumberland Village, Ottawa, Ontario K4C1A1. If you have not tasted the delicious baked goods in this small bakery and café, you do not know what you have been missing.

While I have enough paintings for many exhibitions, putting together the artworks for an exhibition is a lot of work because you want to make sure that the pieces look good in the setting and harmonize with each other. I hope my artworks bring you joy when you spend some time in their cozy café. All paintings are for sale and make great Mother's Day gifts.

At the time when this blog is published, I will be teaching a knife painting workshop. Following the request of learning to paint trees, I spend some time this week going through my photos to find images of trees that will be suitable to teach how to use different kind of knives for different effects. If my students agree, I will post pictures next week.

Lastly, if you love flower paintings, I will gladly guide you in the creation of your own unique peonies painting that will bring you joy for a long time in next Friday’s Peonies Painting Party (May 1, 2018 from 1:30pm to 3:30pm at 1270 Kinsella Drive, Cumberland, ON). For more details please go to my website

Thank you for reading my blog.

Friday, 27 April 2018

Creativity Challenge - Week 17

4th Chute, Eganville, Ontario

Blog 17

I have been on vacation this week. It was a week of re-energizing and re-focusing. Usually I use our spring week at the cottage to spend time with some of my painting buddies to paint outside catching the first signs of spring. However, this year a friend of mine from Germany is here to spend some time with me. For this reason, my blog will be quite short. We enjoyed the sunny spring weather, went for long walks, and relaxed while reading, playing games, and watching some of my favourite DVDs.

Unfortunately, the landscape looked rather dull. In the wooded areas, the paths were still covered in snow, the lakes mostly frozen, and the fields had the colour of washed out green-yellow. If I had planned to paint, I would have found some scenic spots nonetheless, even though many areas would not have been accessible with my painting equipment. However, I had hoped to show a brighter countryside to my friend. In the spring this area usually looks amazing. We still made the best of our time. We enjoyed the sun and saw lots of wildlife: turkeys, a fox, a beaver, hundreds of Canada geese, chipmunks, a groundhog, and even some beautiful butterflies. Lots of inspiration for new animal paintings!

While on an outing to Lake Clear in Eganville, Ontario, I sketched the ice-covered lake with the mountain in the back.

On the rainy Wednesday, I also prepared the drawings for my three Cartooning & Comics classes: the Dark Voyager, Luke Skywalker, and the Pokémon characters Evee and Pikachu.

I also continued felting my table runner which has lots of new blooms. The spring weather is inspiring me to create all these beautiful flowers.

If you are in need of a mini-vacation, I would like to invite you to the Yoga & Art Retreat at Hikano Yoga Studio in Cumberland, Ontario, on Sunday May 6th from 9:30am to 4:30pm. For more information and to register please go to

While Jackie Leduc will lead you through a mindful morning filled with yoga, meditation and breathe work, I will guide you in the afternoon, when we will be painting the beautiful lotus flower shown on the left.

Friday, 20 April 2018

Creativity Challenge - Week 16

Blog 16

I am looking forward to a week of vacation that I desperately need. The past week was an almost completely a write-off. In the race against time, I hardly found time to be creative. Thursday, the day of my friend’s arrival, was my deadline to clean up all the rooms on the main level of our house, to finish my bookkeeping, as well as to write my April newsletter. I managed everything in the very last minute. Unfortunately, all of this is also the reason why this week’s blog is quite short.

Here is what I managed to do:

I continued my temperature shawl that shows now nature’s temperature game of the last four months.

On Sunday, two lovely ladies braved the coming ice storm. Together, we created three beautiful peonies paintings. If you missed the Peonies Painting Party this time, I am offering another one on Friday, May 11, 2018, from 1:30pm to 3:30pm at 1270 Kinsella Drive, Cumberland, ON, K4C 1A9. The price is $35 per person. The maximum number of participants is 10. To reserve a spot for this event, prepayment is required by April 11, 2018 by e-transfer to

For my three Cartooning and Comics courses, I created sketches of Yoda from Star Wars and the Pokemon Fire Cat “Litten”, which I truly enjoyed. With the third class, I drew “Toothless” from the movie “How to Train a Dragon”, a cute dragon that I had already used in a recent course.

Now, I am looking forward to spending a week at the cottage with my friend and my dog Alex. I am sure I will find some time to felt and maybe even sketch.

Have a great week! Thank you for your continuous support. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can help you to start or finish a project. It will be my pleasure to guide you in improving your skills and having fun in the process.