Friday, 28 December 2018

Farewell to 2018

Blog 52

Another year has almost passed. I hope I was able to provide interesting and inspiring posts for you during the 52 weeks. I will start the new year with another Creativity Challenge and hope that some of you will join me in my quest to bring more creativity into our lives. I also have some new ideas for my blog posts: interviews with fellow artists and art book reviews.

I hope you enjoyed a wonderful Christmas with your family and friends. Hopefully you had some time for yourself to relax and to indulge in your hobbies. I spent some quality time with my family. It was wonderful to have meals together, to play games, and to watch some funny movies. Usually, everyone is so busy with their own life.

Here are still the last three days of my Advent Calendar. Even though, Christmas has already passed, I hope that the images bring you joy.

Day 22:

"Abundance of Pansies", a 9" x 12" acrylic painting that I started in the summer with a group of friends who had picked my photo of beautiful pansies for our yearly "Painting in the Park" event. While the image seemed easy at first glace, it was not. I spent quite a number of hours working on my painting until I was happy with my flowers.

Day 23:
“Horseshoe of Rocks” is another 8” x 10” painting from the “Havre du Quai” in St-Roch-des-Aulnaies from September 10, 2018.

Day 24:
“Wild Pink Roses” is a 7” x 5” acrylic painting that I created right in the garden of our rented house. Over the last couple of years, it has become a tradition for me to create at least one wildflower painting.

At the end of this year, I would like to thank you for your support and wish you a fantastic year 2019. May it be filled with lots of creativity, fun, and happiness.

Are you ready for a great 2019? The start of the new year is the perfect time to create your vision for a great 2019. A vision board will provide you with a visual reminder of your vision and where you want to focus your energy. I offer a Vision Board Workshop on Saturday, January 5, 2019 from 2:30pm to 4:30pm. As vision boards are very personal, I posted a board with the topics that are important to me. During the workshop, we will use images of magazines, markers, and stickers to create a very personalized vision board. Perhaps you would like to take some time during the holidays to think and write about your goals for 2019. If you come across images that speak to you, collect them and bring them to the workshop. Registration deadline is January 2, 2019. All materials are included. You are welcome to bring additional magazines. You can either pay by cash, by cheque or by e-transfer to

Friday, 21 December 2018

Advent Calendar - Days 15 - 21

Blog 51

This week was the first week of my holiday vacation. I finally had time to paint. I needed this creative time to ground myself. The last couple of weeks, I had a heavy workload that left hardly any time for leisure. Hopefully, you also take some time for yourself as the pre-Christmas activities and preparations can easily get stressful.

Here is the next part of Advent Calendar days. I hope the images will resonate with you. May they brighten up your day and inspire you to put some creativity into your life, especially in stressful times.

Day 15:
While I was at the cottage in July, I painted the 10” x 10” acrylic painting “Daring to be Different”, a white peony that had a couple of pink petals while all the other blossoms of the plant were just white.

Day 16:
“St André Lighthouse” is a 14” x 11” acrylic painting of the lighthouse at the “Parc de l’Ancien-Quai” in St André, Quebec.

Day 17:
I started the 9” x 12” acrylic painting “Three Poppies” outdoors with Golden Open Acrylics. In the studio, I enlarged the poppies and added some more body with my regular Heavy Body acrylic paint.

Day 18:
“Calm Blue Water” is a 3.5” x 7” painting on an old wood board that once was a plate for a big marzipan pig. It was another oil painting that I created at the “Havre du Quai” in St-Roch-des-Aulnaies on September 10, 2018.

Day 19:
During the summer, I also felted this butterfly. I love to watch the butterflies dance around the flowers. Such beautiful creatures!

Day 20:
The 8” x16” acrylic painting “An Afternoon in Kamouraska” shows the view from the bank of the St. Lawrence River towards the quay in Kamouraska.

Day 21:
I finished a felted elephant in time for the reunion with my friend who loves elephants. It was wonderful to see the happiness this little animal brought to her. Hopefully, he will also bring her lots of good luck.

At the end of this blog, I would like to take the opportunity to wish all of you a Merry Christmas with family and friends. Enjoy the festive time, relax, have fun, share lots of yummy food, talk a walk through the winter landscape, and create new memories.

Friday, 14 December 2018

Advent Calendar - Days 8 - 14

Blog 50

Here is the second part of my Advent Calendar. Only 10 days left until Christmas. Are you ready for the holidays? I finished all my courses this week and plan to paint every day next week. I hope you have scheduled some time to relax and have fun into your busy days. Maybe, my artworks will take you onto memory lane, or will inspire you to put another item onto your bucket list of places to visit or skills to learn.

Day 8:
I started the bunny as a demo piece for a workshop, but it turned out to be too complicated and time-consuming. As a reference photo, I used the bunny that I painted many years ago. For the workshop, I ended up creating an easier version of a bunny.

Day 9:
The 14” x 11” “Sacred Places” shows the “Église Saint-Louis de Kamouraska” and some of the houses that are the owners’ safe haven. I am happy that I finally also finished this 2011 oil painting that I had brought to Kamouraska a couple of times to finish it on a rainy day.

Day 10:
“Beautiful Weeds” is a 7” x 5” oil painting that I created on the bank of the St. Lawrence River in L'Islet-sur-Mer. I was fascinated by the beauty of the flowers that seemed to consist of tiny little pearls. The funny thing is that I had never seen these weeds before our trip but found them growing not far from our house on a walk just after my return from Kamouraska.

Day 11:
I created this little watercolour painting during my trip to Germany sitting in my parents' garden. Watercolours are great for traveling because you do not need a lot of equipment.

Day 12:
I created "Sunny Kamouraska" on the last day of our Kamouraska painting trip. Marje and I decided to stay in Kamouraska, and went to the “Chemin Pelletier” and painted the view towards the church. As it was already quite warm in the sun at 10am, we made sure that we set up in the shade. However, due to the wind, I felt cold quickly and put my socks, boots, and winter coat back on. However, as soon as the sun reached us, I had to set up an umbrella to keep cool as temperatures kept climbing until they reached 30 degrees by 4pm.

Day 13:
The 14” x 13” x 6” felted water lily took me a lot of time and is not for sale. However, I can show you how to make your own. If you are interested in felting workshops, please contact me at

Day 14:
The 8" x 10" oil painting "Rocky Shores, St-Roch-des-Aulnaies" was created at the “Havre du Quai” in St-Roch-des-Aulnaies on September 10, 2018. It was one of the few days when we hardly had any wind, which is very uncharacteristically for the region.

If you are still looking for the perfect Christmas gift, all paintings that are listed above are still for sale. I also offer gift cards for workshops and painting parties. For more information please contact me at

Until Saturday, December 15, 2018 at 6pm, I am also offering five of my paintings that I created during the painting parties I held in a silent auction. They are all originals and all differ slightly from party to party but they are not any of my unique artworks that I usually offer on my website. Nevertheless, they make beautiful gifts for yourself or others that will bring joy for years. Plus, you will feel good about the money that you are donating to a worthy cause. 75% of the final bidding amount will be donated. Bidding starts at $40. If you are interested please visit my Facebook page and look for my five posts of December 8, 2018 at 5:30pm.

Friday, 7 December 2018

Advent Calendar - Days 1 to 7

Blog 49

As I had already announced last week, the blogs of the final weeks of 2018 will contain an Advent Calendar of my 2018 artworks.

This blog contains the images of the first seven 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 9am.  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 of my Advent Calendar:
This is the first year in which I did not create anything related to winter. Things in my personal life were too busy, but I was very active during the summer. My first image is a drawing of the sculpture "Friends" that I created at the Humanics Institute Sanctuary and Sculpture Park. This is one of my favourite sculptures of the park because family and friends are such an essential part of my life. I created this watercolour pencil sketch on site when I went to the park with a couple of members of the Ottawa Plein Air Adventures Group. In some areas of the drawing I added water to create the watercolour effect. I love my watercolour pencils, as I do not have to carry a lot of materials with me, and I can decide to leave the drawing as a coloured pencil artwork or turn it into a watercolour painting.

Day 2:
I finished the “8 x 10” acrylic painting “The Old Shed” during a July morning at the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum where I painted an old shed that nature is slowly taking over.

Day 3:
"Flower", the little skunk, was a gift for a friend of mine. Isn't she cute? If you would like to learn how to create felted little creatures, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Day 4:
This 10” x 10” acrylic painting “Climax” is a painting of greenhouse tulips that I purchased in February when I just needed a reminder that spring was coming. The tulips were at their prime when I painted them. Months after I had finished and signed the painting, I looked at it while sitting in front of my easel and working on another painting. Suddenly, I felt the need to make some slight changes to the bottom shape of the vase to and felt much happier when I was done.

Day 5:
“Grounded” is the very first painting that I created during my painting trip to Kamouraska, Quebec. We set up our equipment right in front of the rented house at Ave LeBlanc in Kamouraska, Quebec.

Day 6:
“Baby Bateau” is 8” x 10” oil painting that I started in 2011 and finally finished on the only rainy day during our painting trip to Kamouraska in September. This boat has been anchored across from the house for all of these years that we have come to Kamouraska. We have only seen it being driven once.

Day 7:
“ Pink St. Lawrence River” is a 5” x 7” oil painting that I created on the bank of the St. Lawrence River in L'Islet-sur-Mer. I did not feel inspired by the scene but the rest of  my painting buddies had agreed upon the spot. At home, I changed the colour of the water to a stronger pink to bring more liveliness into the image.

I hope you are enjoying the review of my artworks and the stories behind them. Next week, I will post the next seven artworks.

Friday, 30 November 2018

Angel Painting

Blog 48

This is my last holiday project for this year. Starting next week, I will post my yearly advent calendar that gives you a review of the artworks that I created during the last 12 months. I will post a new image every day starting on December 1 on my Facebook page In my blog, you will receive a weekly summary of the posts.

The last project is the angel painting that I also am offering as a painting party. It is the perfect project for all ages. Who can say no to such a cute angel?

Here is a list of the materials:
16” x 20” (or 8” x 10”) canvas
Acrylic or poster paint (I used white, yellow, red, and a little bit brown, but you could also get premixed skin colour.)
Stickers (hearts, stars, etc.)
Glitter glue (optional)
Palette, white plate or cutting board
Water container
Paper towels

Here are the steps to create your Advent calendar:

1) Draw the angel onto the canvas
Start with simple shapes: a circle for the head, then attach a triangle without the top for the dress. The shoes and ears are half circles, the hands half ovals. The wings can be any shape you like. Mine look like parts of a star.

2) Paint your background.

3) Paint the dress, the wings and the face.

4) Add the details once the base colour is dry. You could also use googly eyes, or use a marker for the detail work.

5) Attach the embellishments.

I hope you enjoyed my holiday crafts and got inspired to create your own masterpieces. Handmade gifts are so special in this age of consumerism. Creating something also gives you a nice break from your daily responsibilities and too much time spend in front of your computer and TV. As it is often even more fun in a group, get your friends and family together and make it a craft event. If you need some help, please do not hesitate to contact me at Winter is a great time for painting parties and workshops to have fun together and create memories.

At the end of today's blog, I would like to invite you to my 5th Annual Open House and Customer Appreciation Day on December 1, 2018 from 1pm to 4pm at 1270 Kinsella Dr, Cumberland, ON K4C 1A9, Canada. You will be able to talk to me about my new paintings and greeting cards while enjoying some holiday treats. Every visitor will receive a $10 discount coupon to be used when registering for any of my 2019 workshops.

Friday, 23 November 2018

Advent Calendar with Removable Ornaments

Blog 47

Is your house already decorated for the holidays? The recent snowfall here in Ottawa has certainly set the mood for Christmas. When I was a child, I could hardly wait for December 1 as this was the day that my mother put up the Advent calendar.  She had made it herself, and for every day there was a treat hanging on a little hoop. The Advent calendar was invented in Germany in the 19th century and is used to count the days of Advent in anticipation of Christmas. The date of the first Sunday of Advent can be anywhere between November 27 and December 3 as the first Advent is on the the fourth Sunday before Christmas, however most Advent calendars start on December 1. With one week to go until December 1, this is a project you cannot postpone.

Here is a list of the materials:
  • 16” x 20” canvas
  • Blue fabric, 20” x 24”
  • Scissors
  • Felt sheets in different colours (I used red, orange, beige, and white)
  • Felt piece of 16” x 20” in green for the tree
  • Liquid Stitch, stitchless sewing glue
  • Sticky back hook and loop fasteners (Velcro)
  • Embroidery Floss
  • Needle
  • Felting needle (optional)
  • Small piece of foam sheet (optional, for felting)
  • Small amount of brown roving for the dark patches on the bears (optional, for felting)
  • Small bag for the decorations or cloth to sew one

Here are the steps to create your Advent calendar:

1) Fold the piece of fabric around a canvas and glue it to the support frame.

2) Draw the image of a tree onto the large green felt piece and cut the shape out. The tree does not have to be symmetrical.
3) Put the tree onto the blue fabric and glue both the tree and the corners that you cut out to make the tips of the tree onto the fabric. I started with the cut out corners.

4) Cut out two different sized stars as the tree topper and glue them to the top of your tree.

4) Cut out 24 (or 25) ornaments of your liking. You could also get small store-bought embroidered patches.

5) Decorate your ornaments if you like. I added eyes and a snout for the bears, some stitches on the Christmas balls as well as the numbers of the days to all ornaments. I also used a felting needle to felt the dark spots onto the bears.

6) Use “Liquid Stitch” to attach a small piece of sticky back hook and loop fastener to each ornament as well as the opposite side to the tree itself. This way you can remove the ornaments.

7) Buy or sew a small bag as storage for the decorations. A Ziplock bag will work too if you do not have time to get another one.

Starting on December 1, each day another ornament is attached to the tree until December 24 or 25. This is the perfect Advent calendar for everyone who wants to avoid the extra sweets during the Christmas season, or as an additional one to your chocolate calendar. Please let me know if you would like the templates for the ornaments and the tree. You have exactly one week to get your project ready in time.

Friday, 16 November 2018

Christmas Cards

Blog 46

Do you still send out Christmas cards? With the hike in the prices for stamps over the years, I send about half the cards I used to send. Nevertheless, writing Christmas cards at the end of November is still part of my holiday tradition; by the same token, I also cherish all the cards that I get. Therefore, this week’s craft is a handmade holiday card; even if you do not send out cards, you might attach a smaller version as a gift tag.

Here is a list of the materials:
Card stock paper
Old magazines, books, flyers
Glue stick
Scissors (optional)
Markers (optional)
Stickers (optional)

Here are the steps to create your card:

1) Fold a piece of card stock paper in half.

2) Draw the image onto your front page.
3) Find images with the colours you need for your card in your magazines, books, or flyers and rip shapes of different sizes and shapes out of the pages. This looks more natural, as opposed to using scissors.

4) Assemble the pieces on the image on your card and glue the pieces to the paper. The scraps paper might slightly overlap each other which is fine.

5) If you would like, you can use scissors to cut out letters. You can also attach some stickers to your card.

6) If you do not like the slightly rugged edges of the ripped pieces of paper, you can outline your image with a dark marker.

This craft required some patience as it takes a while to find the right colours and then rip and assemble the paper scrapes on your card, but it is a lot of fun and a great recycling project. It would be lovely if you shared your cards with me.

Friday, 9 November 2018

Winter Wreath

Blog 45

In this second week of Christmas projects, I will describe how I created my winter wreath. I love projects that will bring joy not only for the Christmas season but can be left out for the whole winter.

Here is a list of the materials:
  • Grapevine wreath or any other type of wreath
  • Small bears, forest animals, or birds
  • Artificial Christmas garland
  • Ribbon
  • Felt for hats and scarves
  • Stars, snowflakes, and white pompoms
  • Artificial berries or other holiday decorations you like
  • Hot glue gun
  • Craft wire
  • Scissors
  • Pliers
  • Needles and thread

Here are the steps to create your wreath:

1) Take your wreath and wrap the artificial Christmas garland around. You can use wire to keep the ends in place if necessary.

2) Wrap the ribbon either around or create a bow and place it at the top or bottom of the wreath. You can attach the bow either with a wire or with the hot glue.

3) I attached the bears with wire but you could also glue them to the wreath. The wire has the advantage that you can change the animals over the years.

4) Glue the pompoms, stars, or snowflakes onto the wreath.

5) Attach the berries (either with glue or wire).

6) I made little scarves and hats for the bears from sheets of felt. With needle and thread, I used a backstitch to close the back of the hats. You can also knit or crochet little hats.

7) I also added little fly amanitas that I had felted to the wreath which which is a symbol of good luck in Germany.

I hope you have fun creating your own holiday wreath. You can find most of the materials at your local discount store. I would love to see photos of your creations. Is there anything that you would attach to your wreath for good luck or because it symbolizes winter or the Christmas season for you?

Friday, 2 November 2018

Felted Hearts

Blog 44

It is already November, and thus, it is time to think about making handmade gifts for your loved ones for Christmas. During the next four weeks, I will give you some suggestions for easy holidays projects. As with all arts and crafts projects, it is up to you to take the basic project idea and to make it special and unique according to your own personality and skills.

This week, I will describe to you how I created my felt hearts decorated with a poinsettia flower.

First, here is a list of the materials:

  • Toy stuffing material
  • Sheets of felt in light and dark green and red
  • Wool rovings, yellow felt or small buttons
  • Embroidery thread
  • Small piece of foam sheet (optional, for felting)
  • Felting needle (optional)
  • Needles and scissors

How to create the heart:

  1. You can either create a template for your heart or fold a piece of felt in half and then cut out half a heart; this way your heart is symmetrical. Then place the heart on a second sheet of felt, take a pencil that is visible on your felt or a marker and trace the heart to the second sheet of felt. You could also pin it with needles to the second sheet of felt. Then cut an identical heart as a backing.
  2. Cut an odd number of smaller and bigger petals for the flower.
  3. Cut any number of leaves.
  4. Sew the petals and leaves to the upper heart. If you have felting needles you can also attach the leaves and petals with a felting needle.
  5. Add veins to the petals and leaves either with embroidery thread or by felting with small wool rovings.
  6. Attach little buttons for the inside of the flower or felt little yellow circles for the inside of the flower.
  7. Put the two hearts on top of each other and start to attach the two hearts with a whip stitch. Before the heart is completely closed add the toy stuffing to fill the heart. Then continue to sew the heart together.

I hope you will have fun creating your own hearts. Depending on the size, they make lovely ornaments for the Christmas tree or can be hung on a door or in front of a window. If you follow my Facebook page, you will be able to see a video of me creating one of the hearts next Thursday, November 8, 2018.

Friday, 26 October 2018

Is it already Christmas Time?

Blog 43

You are probably thinking about Bing Crosby’s song “It’s Beginning To Look Like Christmas” when you go to the stores these days. We have not even reached Halloween, and in stores and online you get the impression that Christmas is just days away. I always get very annoyed when I see the first Christmas merchandise already in stores in September. We are robbing ourselves of the magical Christmas time, because we are already tired of everything related to Christmas by the start of Advent.

So why am I writing to you about this theme? There is one good reason to think about Christmas right now: if you plan to give handmade gifts this year, then now is the time to start creating. It might actually be already too late for some very time-consuming projects, but there are still so many options for beautiful gifts for most people. Maybe you can even get a group together to create your gifts together. This will be even more fun, plus allow yourself to stay on track. You want to make sure that you leave yourself enough time. I am not a good example for that as I have spent a couple of late nights to finish a gift for a loved one at the last minute.

First of all, things might not go as smoothly as you had thought. That is why I cannot answer you the often asked question how long it takes me to finish a painting. Sometimes, the painting basically paints itself. Other times, you get stuck and you have a hard time to put the pieces together. Then you have to consider that your schedule might get really busy or that something unexpected happens that makes impossible to stick to your regular creative routine.

While most gifts will be cherished as much even if they are finished after Christmas Day, I am sure you are anxious to present the unique gift in its finished version to see the awe of the recipient.

Handmade gifts are so much more personal than a store bought article, but before you go out to the art or craft store and buy all kinds of materials for all the projects that you can envision and ask yourself if you have the time and skills to get the job done. Making your own gifts is supposed to be fun for you and not stressful and frustrating. Perhaps you can ask a friend for help or find a workshop where an instructor can guide you along the way.

Starting next week, I will give you some suggestions for easy holidays projects. If you are interested in a holiday themed painting party, I would like to invite you to my Angel Painting Party on November 25, 2018 at 2pm.

For two hours, we will paint with acrylic paints on a 16" x 20" canvas. As it is the Christmas season, we will also use some embellishments to sparkle up our angel. The price is $35 per person. All painting materials are included. No painting experience is necessary. The maximum number of participants is 12. To register, please pay by November 19, 2018 at 6pm. Payment can be made by e-transfer to Prepayment is necessary to reserve a spot. Please do not hesitate to contact me, if you have any questions.

After we are finished painting, we will share some cookies, tea and coffee in the spirit of the Christmas season (from 4pm to 5pm). 

Friday, 19 October 2018

Waiting to be Finished

An Afternoon in Kamouraska, acrylic, 8" x 16" fresh off the easel

Blog 42

While I love summer and am always sad when the swimming season is over, early fall is my preferred season to go painting outside. The mosquitoes are gone, the sun is still warming up the cooler days enough so that you are still comfortable without heavy boots and snow pants. The colour of the trees is amazing, and the light is warmer. Moreover, many places are less busy than during the summer months. While I try to get as far as possible, many of the paintings still need some touch-ups in the studio. Especially after a painting trip, I have quite a number of paintings that still need some work. The last Kamouraska trip was an exception as I used the rainy day to touch up some of the paintings from the first two painting days and finished two paintings from previous trips. As we usually have at least one day when rain makes it almost impossible to paint outside, we always bring some material to bridge the day. A still life or a painting from reference photos is a good choice. For the last couple of trips to Kamouraska I have brought paintings from previous trips as I feel more inspired in the area where I created the pieces. Nevertheless, I still have lots of unfinished paintings from painting trips and painting demonstrations.

unfinished tree painting, acrylic, 16" x 20"
I assume many of you have the same issue with partly finished paintings that you might have started in a workshop. Maybe, you started a painting and then got stuck and frustrated, and put it away, hoping to get back to it at another time. Some of you might also enjoy the social aspect of painting in a group, which is part of the attraction of painting parties. Whatever the reason for your abandoned artworks, I can offer you a solution: the Art Circle. We will get together every first and third Wednesday afternoon of the month to finish artworks that have been standing in a corner for too long. You do not necessarily have to paint. As long as you can work on your project sitting at a table and do not use any odor causing mediums, you are welcome to join us. Please bring your own materials. I provide easels. There is no instruction, but we will support and help each other. You can register until two days before each event for $5 each, or you can buy a 10 visit pass for $50 and you will get a complementary 11th visit. For more information and to register please contact me at

If you like the idea but are only available in the evenings and on weekends, please let me know. If we find enough people who are interested, I will gladly offer an additional time.

Friday, 12 October 2018

Trip to Kamouraska - Part 4

Blog 41

Our week in Kamouraska was filled with so many impressions. We visited many of our favourite places, but also took the time to explore new areas. Here is the fourth and last part of my Kamouraska travelogue:

Friday, September 14, 2018

We had another fantastic day. Unfortunately, Janis had to leave after breakfast. Therefore, we took the group picture, then we all set out on our separate ways. Marje and I decided to stay in Kamouraska, and went to the “Chemin Pelletier” and painted the view towards the church. As it was already quite warm in the sun at 10am, we made sure that we set up in the shade. However, due to the wind, I felt cold quickly and put my socks, boots, and winter coat back on. However, as soon as the sun reached us, I had to set up an umbrella to keep cool as temperatures kept climbing until they reached 30 degrees by 4pm. We left our spot around 3pm, bought some souvenirs at “Le fil bleu” and returned to the house, where I spent another two hours painting wild roses in the garden.

Tonight’s dinner consisted of leftovers from the previous dinners. We had my dinner with a slight twist as the compote was put over the pasta instead of the vegetable sauce by mistake. We picked out the peaches and plumes, and had a hearty laugh. Sharon saved the dinner by adding cream cheese. Those who did not know about the incident were pleasantly surprised about the creamy sauce with a hint of cinnamon. We had the peaches and plums over ice cream for dessert. If you were lucky, you even found a piece of pasta in the dish. Instead of sitting at the table, we enjoyed tonight’s meal sitting in rocking chairs in the covered veranda watching the amazing sunset that changed the colour of the sky from red over pink to purple.

This was the best week we ever had. The weather was just phenomenal. We spent many hours a day painting, laughed a lot, shared wonderful meals, and created many memories. We are all exhausted after an intense week of painting but also happy about the art that we created. Even though we like some paintings more than others, each painting is like a journal entry. It is fascinating to see what inspired each of us to capture a certain section of our surroundings. Tomorrow morning, everyone wants to head back home early, but we definitely want to come back next year. Au revoir Kamouraska.

After my return from Kamouraska, there are still some paintings that need some work. I am sure that many of you have still a couple of unfinished works standing around, therefore, if you would like to continue working on them in a group of people and maybe with a little bit of guidance, the Art Circle might be for you. This is not an art class, but rather a group where we will all support each other. Our next meeting is on October 19, 2018. For more information please go to my website or my Facebook page You can also contact me directly at

Friday, 5 October 2018

Trip to Kamouraska - Part 3

Saint-André at the “Parc de l’Ancien-Quai
Blog 40

I hope you enjoy my travelogue. Please forward it to family and friends who might be interested in the Kamouraska area or plein air painting. Today, I publish the third part:

Thursday, September 13, 2018

St André Lighthouse, 14” x 11”, acrylic
Going to the same picturesque landmark does not mean that you have to paint the same section of the landscape again. Today, I spent the day with Janis and Marje in Saint-André at the “Parc de l’Ancien-Quai” that we have visited on every of our trips at least once. Before Janis and I started painting, we walked east on the dike until we reached the next Monadnock. It was a beautiful walk in the morning sun. I am glad that we took the time for the walk. Usually, we are so focused on finding the best painting spots that we miss out on absorbing the vastness of nature. There are so many beautiful areas that are so large that you cannot capture their size on a canvas or a photograph. You just have to be in the moment and absorb the wonders of nature.

As the day progressed, it got quite warm. Temperatures climbed up to 26 degrees, and if you were in a sheltered spot, it was hot. However, for the first time since our arrival we had quite some wind gusts. I was sitting under my umbrella to find shelter from the sun but gave up after my setup flew away a couple of times. Nevertheless, I spent four hours creating a 14” x 11” acrylic painting of the lighthouse. Usually, we come here to find shelter from the wind. Today the wind was manageable and I was finally able to paint the building.

After a quick stop at our favourite Monadnock located at the end of the “Route de la Grève” in Saint-Germain, we headed back to the house where I had a lot of chopping to do. I made vegetable pasta with different vegetables in tomato basil sauce as well as a peach-plum compote that I served with vanilla ice cream.

Now, that my cooking day is behind me, I can enjoy the last painting day tomorrow even more. Unfortunately, Janis has to leave after breakfast as she is taking part in a weekend art show in Ottawa. As Helene is driving home with me, Janis will already take all of our oil painting materials and already created paintings. Helene will work with watercolours tomorrow, and I will use my OPEN Acrylics again. It looks like another perfect day is ahead of us.

Next week, I will post the last part of my travelogue. For now, I would like to wish my Canadian readers a Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy the time with family and friends, share your food, and create lasting memories.

If you are getting in the mood for pumpkins, here is your chance to create your own pumpkin painting to decorate your house: Pumpkin Painting Party, October 21, 2018 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at 1270 Kinsella Drive, Cumberland, ON, K4C 1A9. We will paint with acrylic paints on a 16" x 20" canvas. The price is $35 per person. All painting materials are included. No experience is necessary. Fun is guaranteed. The maximum number of participants is 12. To register, please pay by October 15, 2018 at 6pm. Payment can be made by e-transfer to Pre-payment is necessary to reserve a spot. Please do not hesitate to contact me, if you have any questions.

Friday, 28 September 2018

Trip to Kamouraska - Part 2


Blog 39

Every day, we have to make a decision about our destination when painting. By now, we have enough experience to know that it is best to stay in one spot, because once you pack up your gear and drive around looking for another painting spot, you lose a lot of time. Therefore, we try to find a picturesque spot that offers many painting possibilities. This is also helpful as we all create at a different speed. The size of the canvas or board certainly plays a role in this but so does the painting style. Some of us are rather fast while others take their time to capture their impression.

Following is the second part of my travelogue for this year’s trip to Kamouraska:

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Baby Bateau, oil, 8” x 10”

Before I tell you about today’s gorgeous day, I will quickly summarize yesterday’s activities. After I wrote my blog, I finished the painting of “Baby Bateau”, that I had started in 2011. While eating lunch, I discovered some issues with my paintings from the previous days and fixed what bothered me. 

Église Saint-Louis de Kamouraska, oil, 14" x 11"
After lunch, I started my work on another 2011 painting of some of the Kamouraska houses and the Église Saint-Louis de Kamouraska, seen from Rue Saint Louis that I finished after getting groceries and eating ice cream at “La Fée Gourmande” with Janis and Helene. Helene was Tuesday’s chef and served us lasagne and salad, followed by flan cake with custard, jam, and whipping cream.

Beautiful Weeds, oil, 5" x 7"
When we woke up this morning, we could hardly see anything through the dense fog. After it lifted, we all went to L'Islet-sur-Mer where some of our group had seen an old mill next to a stunning waterfall. Unfortunately, it turned out that the only spot from which you had a great view was from a bridge on highway Route 132, which was definitely not a safe spot to set up our equipment. We were quite disappointed, especially because we had to drive about 45 minutes from Kamouraska to get to L'Islet. Instead we spent a couple of hours painting at the side of the “Chemin du Moulin”. At the beginning, I did not really feel inspired (and I feel it shows in my painting) but I still painted a small section of the St. Lawrence River panorama that extended in front of us. After lunch, I created another painting of a fascinating wildflower that I discovered on the beach. Both oil paintings are only 5” x 7”.

Later in the afternoon, we went to “L'ange de Glaces” where we could have picked “Le Choix du King”, but were very happy with a well-deserved ice cream. Next, we visited the “Parc Havre du Souvenir”, from which you had a terrific view of the rock formations of the St Lawrence River at low tide.

As Janis had injured herself while climbing down to the beach, we decided to head back to the house. As it was still so beautiful outside but I did not feel like unpacking all my gear again, I spent the rest of the afternoon in the garden sketching a couple of wild roses with my watercolour pencils.

At suppertime, Marje served delicious fajitas with chicken and vegetables followed by date squares. Tomorrow, it is my turn to cook; therefore, my painting day will be cut short. As everyone before me, I can hardly wait to put this responsibility finally behind me.

I you enjoyed my travelogue and would like to see more more photos, please go to my Facebook page where I will post photos of this year’s trip in my “Photo of the Day” post for the rest of the month. Next week, I will continue with the third part of my travelogue.

Friday, 21 September 2018

Trip to Kamouraska - Part 1


Blog 38

September 11, 2018

This is already the third painting day in Kamouraska. Today is a rainy day, and so it is a perfect day to write my blog before working on some older paintings indoors.

I drove up in a convoy with my friends Janis on Saturday, with the car packed heavily. You need a lot of stuff for a one week painting trip. We were the second ones to arrive, and it was lovely to see and to greet everyone. After the long ride, we enjoyed sitting in rocking chairs in the covered veranda for happy hour while watching the breathtaking sunset. Later, Sharon served a delicious dinner of chicken, mashed potatoes, and corn on the cob. The final course was mango with ice cream and chocolate sauce. As you can see, our trips are not only about the painting but also about spending time with friends, enjoying delicious meals, and not having to think about chores and responsibilities. Even the cleanups after our meals are filled with chatter and lots of laughs.

On Sunday, there was hardly any wind, which is uncommon near the river. We all decided to stay at Avenue LeBlanc and to set up right across from the house. The tide was out, and we were fascinated by the two boats sitting on the sand. 

Grounded, 8" x 10", oil

After lunch, we were ready to stay in the house sitting in our rocking chairs. However, it was too lovely to stay inside. We drove around a little bit in town but then set up another time at Avenue LeBlanc, just metres away from the first spot. By this time the tide was coming in again. Therefore the scene looked totally different.

An Afternoon in Kamouraska, acrylic, unfinished

At night, Janis spoiled us with pork loin, couscous with fruit, and salad followed by her blueberry grunt that we love so much that we enjoy eating it every year.

“Havre du Quai”

Yesterday, it was another windless day. When I was heading out with Janis and Marje, I mentioned that it would be the perfect day for St-Roch-des-Aulnaies. As it turned out that was exactly what Janis and Marje had also in mind. We painted at the “Havre du Quai”, a nice park overlooking the river, with great views all around. Often, it is so windy that you cannot paint there, but yesterday it was almost windless for most of the day. It was even warmer than on Sunday.

Rocky Shores, St-Roch-des-Aulnaies, 8" x 10", oil

We stayed the whole day, and I created three paintings. When we left around 4pm, I was exhausted and had a headache. Really concentrating and observing your surroundings for the whole day is demanding. If you add the fresh air, you can imagine how tired I was. I could have gone to bed at 6pm, which is very uncharacteristically for a night owl like me. Instead, I changed and took a walk along the river.

Horseshoe of Rocks, 8" x 10", oil

Bill served us Shepherd’s pie and coleslaw for dinner, followed by an assortment of strudels from the local bakery with vanilla ice cream. To keep us all awake, Sharon entertained us with with the origin of some famous sayings. We laughed so hard that our bellies were hurting.

I hope you enjoyed the first part of my travelogue. If you would like to see more photos, please go to my Facebook page where I will post photos of this year’s trip in my “Photo of the Day” post for the rest of the month. Next week, I will continue with the second part of my travelogue.

The Red Tree, acrylic, 8" x 10"
If you would like to learn how to paint a fall landscape, I would like to invite you to my workshop “Painting a Symbol of the Canadian Autumn”. We will study A. Y. Jackson’s painting “Red Maple” and create our own 16" x 20" painting. No experience is necessary. All materials are included in the registration fee of $35. Please register by September 24, 2018 at 6pm by sending an e-transfer to