Friday, 29 December 2017

Thank you

Blog 53
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. This last blog of the year will be very short, as I am spending the time between Christmas and New Year's Day with my family.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank each of you for your support. Being an artist is not always easy. I feel lucky to be able to paint and to share my passion with you. However, what you usually hear about are the successes. There is also frustration when a project does not turn out, when I come back from a show without sales, or when I am working on the rather boring administrative side of my business. These are the moments when your support is even more important. Thank you for coming to my exhibitions, reading and commenting on my blogs, newsletters, and social media posts. I will do my best to keep you entertained throughout 2018.
Following are the last two days of the 2017 advent calendar:

Day 23:
“Mountain Road” was also painted during the painting trip to Kamouraska. We painted on a monadnock above St-André on a day, when it was too windy to paint close to the river. We needed a sheltered spot to set up our equipment. At the end, our whole group had the same idea and we spent the day painting together.

Day 24:
“Sweet Candy” is a 12” x 12” acrylic painting of our beautiful Golden Retriever who died totally unexpected almost three years ago.
We adopted her in early January 2006 just after Christmas. When we met her for the first time at the Humane Society, she was still named Coco, but considering all the sweets we had during the Christmas holidays, we renamed her Candy. The name was very fitting. She was such a sweet and happy girl. The portrait shows her hoping for a treat.
I hope you enjoyed my review of some of my 2017 artworks.
I am wishing you a happy and successful year 2018. May you make time for yourself and let art brighten up your days.
If you would like to create a visual reminder of your vision for a great 2018, I would like to invite you to my workshop on January 7, 2018 from 2:30pm - 4:30pm at 1270 Kinsella Drive, Cumberland, ON, K4C 1A9. The vision board will help you to focus your energy on your goals in the upcoming months. The fee for this workshop is $15. You can either pay by cash, by cheque or by e-transfer. For more information please send me an email to I will provide all the materials, but please feel free to bring some travel catalogues or your own magazines or pictures.

Friday, 22 December 2017

Advent Calendar Day 16 - 22

Blog 52

Christmas is almost here. I hope you are ready for the festivities and can enjoy a quiet day tomorrow. 
Today, I am publishing the images of my advent calendar days 16 to 22. As my blog is only published every Friday, I was debating what to do about the last two days of my advent calendar.  If you would like to see these two images before Christmas, please go to my Facebook page CXX, where they will be published on December 23 and 24 at 7:30am. I will also include them next Friday in my last post of the year 2017.

Day 16:

I created this 12” x 24” acrylic sunflower painting of one of the two sunflowers that we had in our garden. This is the first painting of a triptych that I have in mind. It shows the flower past its prime but still standing strong.

Day 17:

The 12” x 48” acrylic painting “Turtle Family” shows my love for water turtles. I have had turtles for years and find watching them entertaining. Unfortunately, they are a lot messier than the turtle family in my painting.
The photos show you the progress of my work. I had the long canvas for many years. Some years ago, I wanted to paint a tropical fish scene. I even prepared the gallery canvas with some areas of glass beads for the fish painting, but then I lost interest and put the canvas aside. When I picked up the canvas this spring to work with the glass beads again, I felt more like painting turtles. I quickly realized that I had to be careful not to push down the brush and painting knife too strongly, because some of the beads got loose and fell of the canvas. However, I was able to create a nice texture due to the beads.
Later in the painting process, when I had finished my painting, I spread another layer of glass bead gel on top of most areas of the artwork to create the bubble effect.

Day 18:

“Fall at Petrie Island” is a felted version of the painting with the same name which I sold a couple of years ago. The felted piece looks like an abstract version of the original painting. It was difficult to create the foliage and reflections they way I envisioned them.


Day 19:

The 8” x 10” acrylic painting “View towards Île aux Corneilles at Low Tide” was painted from a picnic table at the Avenue Le Blanc in Kamouraska during this year's painting trip. It was my most productive painting day of the year, as I worked on five paintings. So far, I finished four of them.

Day 20:

This year, I was very attracted to sunflowers. This painting is called “Stages of Life”, an 11” x 14” acrylic painting that I started during our Kamouraska trip sitting in the school’s flower and vegetable garden in St-Denis.

Day 21:

The 10” x 12“ felted artwork “Cardinal” was a gift for my mother who loves birds. It was my first attempt at felting a bird. Even though I love watching birds, especially during winter when they come to our feeders, it has been decades since I painted a bird. The painting of chickadees hanging on a feeder also ended up at my parents house. I do not even have a picture it.

Day 22:

“Nature's Mirror” is a 12” x 16” acrylic painting of a beautiful quiet fall scene that I started as a demo piece in the landscape painting course I taught at Bob MacQuarrie Recreation Complex. I took the reference photo at a spot close to our cottage in the Whitewater region.
When I start a painting as a demo, I like to show the participants how I start my painting process and how to continue from there. During a class, it is not my focus to paint my painting, but to help the students to create their best work.
To finish my painting, I need the quietness of my studio to concentrate on my work.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas! I hope some of you will receive an art related gift, whether it is an artwork, art materials, or a certificate for a workshop or course. Art brightens our lives every day and not just in the Christmas season.

Friday, 15 December 2017

Advent Calendar - Day 9 - 15

Blog 51

This week is already the second week of  my count-down to Christmas. In this blog, I show you the entries for day 9 - 15.

Day 9:

The 8” x 10” oil painting “The Old Hut at Pointe-aux-Orignaux” from this year's painting trip to the Kamouraska region is my second painting of the subject. The first painting called "The Green Shed" from the 2009 trip hangs in the Rockland Museum. Unfortunately, I do not have a good picture of the first painting.

Day 10: 

“Jessie Blue” is a 16” x 20” acrylic painting of the beautiful ragdoll cat with the same name. It was a commissioned work. I enjoyed painting her very much, but the best part was seeing the joy of her owner when she saw the painting.

For more information about the painting and the process of creations, I encourage you to go to read the following blog:…/Jessie%20Bl….

 Day 11:

The 10" x 20" oil painting “Kamouraska Sunset” is my first plein air painting of a sunset. It was amazing how fast the scene changed. Capturing the essence was a challenge, but the fact that our whole group was painting together was so much fun.

If you missed my travelogue of this year's trip to Kamouraska, please go to for the first part.

Day 12:

“Canada 150th Tulip” is an 11.5” x 8.5” felted version of the artwork I created as a demo painting for my painting parties. I love the tulip that was grown for Canada`s 150th anniversary. The one in my artwork has the advantage that it will never wither.

Day 13: 

The last painting I finished so far this year is the painting of this summer's paint-out at the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum. The 10” x 8” acrylic painting “The Essence of Summer” was not an easy painting. I was struggling with the gazebo for a while, wishing I had just painted the flowers. The top of the painting has undergone some major changes. At one point I had attempted to put the ceiling in, but was very unhappy with the result on my canvas.

 Day 14:

The 10” x 20” oil painting “View from Notre-Dame-du-Portage” was my second painting of the same panorama. The first painting was the 12” x 24” oil painting ”St. Lawrence Panorama” that I created in 2010.

Day 15:

"Luscious Greens” is a 12” x 9” acrylic painting of part of the Humanics Institute Sculpture park that I started on site. However, after about two hours, the mosquito repellent lost its effectiveness and we decided to call it a day. I finished the painting looking into the woods of our property. Due to the amount of rain we had everything is so luscious and green.

If you are enjoying my blog, please forward it to family and friends. Thank you for helping me to increase my audience.  

Friday, 8 December 2017

Advent Calendar: Days 1 - 8

Blog 50

As I had already announced last week, the blogs of the weeks until Christmas will contain an advent calendar of some of my 2017 artworks.

This blog contains the images of the first eight days. If you do not wish to wait for the weekly count-down to Christmas, you can go to my Facebook page at, where a new image is revealed every morning at 7:30am.  As not everyone sees the images automatically on their timeline due to the Facebook algorithms, I decided to bundle them weekly in my blog.

Day 1:
This is a 9" x 6 1/2" felted version of my acrylic painting "Winter Glow". The original acrylic painting is 36" x 24". It was fun to create the dramatic winter landscape in a smaller scale in wool. It was not easy to create the soft transitions.

Day 2:
"I'm Watching You" is the first cat portrait I created this week. I started the 8" x 10" oil painted when my student wanted to paint a cat. She had picked a picture that I used as a reference to start my painting. Once I had the initial sketch on my canvas board, I changed the cats appearance to make it my own original work. Therefore, this cat painting is not a portrait of a specific cat.

Day 3:
The third artwork of this year's advent calendar is the 11” x 14” oil painting “At the Narrows Bridge”, which shows the view from the covered bridge over the Fitch Bay Narrows towards the hills. I painted it dressed in thick winter clothes, including battery heated socks, during the spring Plein Air Ensemble trip to Orford, Quebec.

Day 4:
The 20” x 10” acrylic painting “Pink Tulips” was started en plein air. I was disappointed that I did not manage to go to the Tulip Festival this year and decided to paint right in my own backyard.

Here is a link to a video of my painting experience:

Day 5:
This felted artwork was done for the Navan Fine Art Exhibition & Sale shoe project. The 10” x 12“ piece was inspired by the boots that my daughter wore as a young child. I loved them so much I kept them for her.

I picked this artwork for December 5, as German kids will put their boots in front of the door at night, so that St. Nikolaus will bring them some goodies overnight.

Day 6:
The 10” x 8” acrylic painting “Miko Sitting in the Sunshine” is the second painting of our cat. I started it during our summer vacation when I had a lot of time to paint, because the weather was not really nice enough for being at the beach. This painting was for my daughter who always misses her lovely companion when we go away for a couple of days.

I thought it was finished, but when I actually saw Miko again after our vacation, I made some further adjustments. Later, I even took the painting out of its frame again, when the lines of his front leg bothered me.

Day 7:
This artwork is an oil painting created with water soluble oil paints. I have to admit that I really like to work with this type of oil paints. You get the advantage of the oil colours with the convenience of an easy clean up using water.

“Unspoiled” is a 9” x 12” painting inspired by a photo taken of a lake in the Kamouraska region. I started the painting as a demo piece for my student who wanted to paint a landscape with a water. She picked this image from a variety of photos I presented to her.

Day 8:
 " Hansi", is a felted squirrel that I created after the squirrel in my acrylic painting "The Cheeky Squirrel".

Since I was a young child I have loved watching squirrels. The German word is "Eichhörnchen", which was much too difficult to pronounce for a toddler. So I named them all "Hansi".

I hope you enjoyed this first part of my advent calendar and will return next week. If you enjoy my blog, please share it. Thank you for helping me to increase my audience.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Enjoy What You Are Doing

Winter Glow: You can see the acrylic painting and the felted artwork during my Open House.

Blog 49

It is already December: a very busy month for most of us. Many of us are attending more social events in December than at any other time of the year. Then, there is the preparation of the house for the festivities, the baking, the cooking, and last but not least the buying of gifts.

With all this busyness, it is important to ask yourself whether you are really enjoying what you are doing or whether you are only striving to prepare the perfect holidays for the people around you.

Last weekend, I went to Baz’Art, a local winter arts market, to volunteer at the Arteast booth. Arteast is a visual arts organization in the East Ottawa area that is very active not only for their members but also in community projects. I have been a member for almost 20 years. Even though this is a busy time of the year, I have helped out at their table during this event for a couple of years. We are allowed to bring greeting cards and one painting for sale, but participating is not about selling our art. It is just a pleasant opportunity to spend time with fellow members, while giving demonstrations and talking to the visitors. It is such an energy booster.

I feel the same way about my yearly Open House. It is my chance to invite my customers to my house to show my latest paintings to them. I get a chance to talk to them about my art and hear their reactions. I don’t feel rushed, because I did not have to rush to set up my artwork. Plus, I also enjoy to see my new art decorating the walls of our house. When I made the list of 2017 artworks, I was surprised that I have created about 40 artworks this year despite my lack of creative time. My painting trip to Kamouraska definitely helped to raise the number of paintings. However, it is not about the number of artworks that I created but about the memories I associate with them, how looking at them makes me and others feel.

For many years, I wanted to make everything perfect for the holidays, especially for our kids. Over the years, I have learned that it is more important to cut down on some things to enjoy the time together. It is also important to take some time for yourself. Art is a wonderful way to get lost in a different world, whether you create it yourself, visit an exhibition or a show, or immerse yourself in a book.

If you enjoy looking at art and live in the Ottawa area, I would like to invite you to drop in for my Open House at 1270 Kinsella Drive, Cumberland, ON, K4C 1A9, from 10am to 2pm on Saturday, December 2, 2017. You will be able to see my new paintings in the setting of my own home. If you are not available this Saturday, you are always welcome to make an appointment with me in order to see certain paintings in person.

There will be lots going on this Saturday in Cumberland Village: The Cumberland Farmers' Market has its Christmas Market, the Lions Club hosts the annual Breakfast with Santa, the new gallery Da Artisti on Old Montreal Road will be open, and from 3pm  to 8 pm the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum will also be open with its Village of Lights.

Thank you for reading my blog.