Friday, 27 December 2019

Block-free Week

Frosty Charlevoix, acrylic, 16" x 20"

I hope that you had a wonderful Christmas time and wish you all the best for the year 2020.

Friday, 20 December 2019

Top 10 Artworks of 2019 - Part 3

Blog 37

While I created both a variety of acrylic and felted artworks this year, I did not take out my oil paints except for a demonstration in a painting class. I have gotten quite comfortable with the OPEN acrylic paints so that I used them for all my plein air painting outings. I can see myself moving away from oil painting as I feel that I can achieve similar results with my acrylic paints and the right mediums. I also feel a strong attraction to working with wool. I see myself experimenting more with felted paintings. I will offer more felting workshops as many people have voiced their interest in learning this very relaxing and versatile craft.

In this last blog of the year and I reveal my favourite four artworks of 2019. It is probably not surprising that my two favourite artworks are portraits of my dogs. All four artworks were created indoors.

4. For the Love of van Gogh’s Irises, acrylic 16" x 20"

During the “Celebrate Spring with Flowers” workshop, we studied Vincent van Gogh’s painting “Irises” before creating our unique paintings. You can see that van Gogh's painting was an inspiration for my painting, but I also used my photos from the lovely irises at the Ottawa ornamental gardens, as well as of the rather beautiful dandelions in our neighbourhood.

3. Spring Along the Rideau Canal, acrylic, 11" x 14"

I finished the Ottawa spring scene that I had started as a demo painting a couple of years ago. The place is a park area along the Rideau Canal. When a family member saw me working on the painting, she fell so much in love with the painting that she bought it right away, which was very exciting.

2. Sweet Candy, wool, 8.5” x 11”

This year, I created the felted version of my sweet Golden Retriever Candy. I created the 12" x 12" painting two years earlier. It was interesting to recreate the image in wool. As I do not dye the wool, I depend on the colours I possess. While I can put layers of wool on top of each other to blend colours, I do not have the same possibilities of mixing a colour that I have while painting. 

1. Alex & Candy, acrylic, 30” x 40”

This is a very special painting that I created for my family. When I started the painting, I did not know that it would take me six years to finish. I had painted a portrait of Candy and another of Alex before. This time, however, I wanted to create a double portrait of the two dogs.

When I started the painting in 2013, both dogs were seven years old. I had no idea that Candy would already leave us just over a year later when she died unexpectedly from a burst tumour. While the whole family was sad, Alex and I were affected the most, as we had spent the most time with Candy. In a way, however, it was easier to process her death than the passing of our first dog Jessie. Alex still awaited my return home full of joy, even though I initially felt guilty for leaving him alone.

In 2016, I finally continued the painting but was discouraged because I struggled first with Candy and then later with Alex. Part of the problem was the reference picture, that turned out to be blurry, which I only realized when I enlarged it to see details of their faces. This was quite frustrating and made me lose focus. In the end, I picked another head position for Candy and re-painted her face completely. It was a little bit easier to paint Alex, as he spent his time with me in the studio. I was able to check the colour on my brush against the colours of his fur and could study the details of his face more closely.

Alex is now over 14.5 years old and does not sit anymore. He has lost all of his hearing and his sight has deteriorated. He has arthritis all over his body, but he still likes to go on our daily walks and to chase the cat.

When I look at my painting, so many memories of happy and silly events resurface, which make me smile. Both Candy and Alex had such different personalities, but they were a great team and a wonderful addition to our family. I hope that Alex will still have some time to enjoy his life with us. He inspires me daily to be the best I can without worrying about the pains of getting older.

I hope you enjoyed my review of my artworks. At the end of this blog, I wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Thank you for your support. I will do my best to offer you interesting content for 2020.

Friday, 13 December 2019

Top 10 Artworks of 2019 - Part 2

Blog 37

I continue the countdown of my favourite artworks of the year 2019. As I paint a lot during my painting trips, it is not surprising that I created many of the artworks en plein air. Here are some artworks from the Ottawa area:

7. Summer at Mer Bleue, acrylic, 14" x 11"

On July 4, I went with the Ottawa Plein Adventurers and Arteast to the Mer Bleue Bog. It was already hot when I arrived at 9:30 am. Most of us had decided to give it an early start as temperatures were forecasted to reach the low 30s.

As I had painted the lake area of the bog a couple of times before, I set up at one of the wider areas of the boardwalk and painted the bog with its beautiful pink flowers. At first, I was very comfortable under my umbrella and wondered about the warning of lots of bugs, but the warmer it got, the more horseflies started to attack me. It got so bad that they were sitting on my sunglasses, not caring about all the repellent I had sprayed on myself. I surrendered when I was using my brush more to swat away the flies than to paint.

I had a hard time to finish the artwork as I was struggling to have enough distinction in the hues and values of green to show different plants, and especially the transition from foreground to background.

6. Pickerel Weed, acrylic, 8” x 10”

On August 1, I joined the Ottawa Plein Air Adventurers for an outing to Petrie Island. I love this little peninsula and would go there a lot more often if dogs were not prohibited. Walking around the trails, I found members of the group hidden in the spots that were in the shadow. To my surprise, I also ran into a woman whom I usually only meet in the gym at Zumba. We have gone for years to the same classes and never knew that we were both painters.

After scouting out the area, I decided to join her at a spot overlooking the calm water and little islands of purple water flowers. They became the focus of my painting. It was lovely to listen to the concert of the bullfrog and to watch turtles sunbathing. Families of Canadian geese were swimming noiselessly through the water.

At first, I was rather disappointed with my painting, but when I looked from a distance, I liked it. Therefore, I only added my initials in the studio.

5. A Bunch of Lilies, wool and mixed fibres, 19” x 14”

Sometimes, it takes a while to finish an artwork. Either you get stuck at a certain point, or you lose interest because more intriguing subjects attract your attention. It had been two years since I had last worked on the lilies. This summer, after I finished the felted tulips, I was ready to continue this felted artwork. I used mainly wool with some synthetic fibres and some embroidery floss.

Are you already looking forward to my top four artworks? I wonder if you would have put them in the same order. Maybe, you have a favourite that did not even make my list. I would like to hear which artworks touched you the most. Are there any that inspired you to pick up your paintbrush?

Friday, 6 December 2019

Top 10 Artworks of 2019 - Part 1

Blog 35

This December, my blogs will not contain my Advent Calendar. If you would like to see this year's Art Advent Calendar, I encourage you to visit my Facebook page Instead, I will post my favourite ten paintings of the year. Let's start the countdown:

10. Le Gros Pèlerin, acrylic, 6" x 12"
Some days, it takes a long time to decide on a painting spot. Whenever we are in Kamouraska, the strong wind can make it tricky to find a spot that offers enough shelter so that we can set up our equipment. On those days, it is impossible to paint close to the river, where the wind is even stronger. On September 9, we had a day with mixed weather. When the sun came out, it was very warm. However, whenever the sun hid behind the clouds and we were facing the wind, it was so cold that I wore my rain pants, scarf and gloves. First, we drove up towards St-Germain but did not find a spot that inspired us. We kept driving around until we finally found an amazing view of the Îles Les Pélerins near St. Alexandre de Kamouraska. As I am usually not a fast painter, I needed the whole day to create this small painting.

9. Yellow Flower Served on a Platter, acrylic, 8" x 10"

During a cold January day, I met with some of my friends for an indoor painting session. We decided to paint a still life, but it took us a long time to set something up, that we all liked, and that looked interesting from three different angles. I painted this 8” x 10” still life of a flower on a napkin with acrylic paints, and I am happy to inform you that the painting found a new home in November.

8. Sunshine Family, acrylic, 11" x 14"

This is another painting from the Kamouraska painting trip. One afternoon, Hélène and I drove to the Jardin des Générations in the Rue Notre-Dame in Saint-Pascal, next to the arena. There, we painted some beautiful sunflowers in the sunshine. It got so warm that I took off my shoes and socks. Two hours later, we fled from the mosquitoes that had eventually caught up with us.

Have you already spotted a painting that resonates with you? I would love to hear from you. Next week, I will post the next three paintings. The four top paintings will be posted on December 20, 2019.

Friday, 29 November 2019

Blog-free Week

Ottawa River Islands, oil, 14" x 18"

I wish you a wonderful Advent season. For the month of December, I will post a countdown of my ten favourite artworks of 2019.

As I will leave for Germany on Monday, I am in the process of wrapping everything up for this year. All my December publications are already scheduled. As I will not have Internet access all the time during my vacation, I will answer any emails as soon as possible.

Friday, 22 November 2019

Gifting Art Materials

Blog 34

Have you already started your Christmas shopping? For weeks, we are bombarded with flyers and email offers with lots of suggestions, but unfortunately, most of us have no idea what to buy for their family members and friends. While we receive wishlists from the little ones in the family, some advice for the older generation would also be beneficial. Don't you wish you knew what the mature adults in our midst would enjoy, those who already seem to have everything? This week, I will tell you how to shop for the creative people in your life.

If you have artists on your list of people to buy gifts for, don't go to an art store unprepared as the range of products will completely overwhelm you. Instead, start by looking around their work area, talk to them about materials they use, look at flyers together, or visit an art store with them before the holiday season. Pay attention to the materials they are talking about and admiring. If they are taking a class or painting with friends, you could also ask the instructor or one of their friends for advice. Once you are in the store, always choose the best quality you can afford, especially for adolescent and adult artists.

Art materials are a gift that provides hours of entertainment and increases creativity. Maybe, you even get inspired to pick up a creative hobby. The possibilities are endless. Happy shopping!

If you enjoyed this blog and would like to get more information about my art, I encourage you to sign up to my monthly newsletter on my website The newsletter is published on the last Wednesday of every month. When you subscribe, you will automatically receive my free eBook “I Am Ready To Paint But Where Do I Start?”.

Friday, 15 November 2019

Blog-free Week

Evening Glow, acrylic, 18" x 24"

Here in Ottawa, the snow has been falling since the beginning of the week. It certainly looks bright and beautiful. Are you ready for winter? I enjoy the walks in the fresh snow. Hopefully, you will make the best of the cold season, too. Have a wonderful weekend! My next blog will be published on Friday, November 22, 2019.

Sunday, 10 November 2019

The Gift of Art

Blog 33

Remembrance Day is at the beginning of next week. On the radio, you already hear the first Christmas advertisements. Each weekend, art and craft shows are competing for visitors. There, you can find many gifts for all kinds of tastes and budgets. You will see beautiful art and might be wondering if an artwork makes a good gift.

When we consider gifts for our loved ones, we want to give presents that create excitement. However, figuring out the perfect gift is sometimes quite difficult, even when we know the other persons' interests.

Many people resort to giving gift cards to avoid the hassle of searching for the perfect gift. Gift cards are convenient but very impersonal.

On the other hand, a special gift creates genuine excitement and happiness. Choosing a piece of art is a very personal decision. It says a lot about you and how you see and value the other person.

If you decide to buy an artwork, you can find very nice pieces from emerging artists at very reasonable prices. The increasing number of online galleries makes it even easier to buy art in all price categories from the comfort of your home. However, pay attention to the recipients' tastes as well as to their hobbies and lifestyle. Do they love pets, enjoy nature, or music? Look around their home to see what kind of art they like as well as their style and favourite colours.

If you are lucky, you might be present when your family member or friend shows interest in an artwork. In this case, pick up the artist's business card or name and the title of the work in question. Then, you can arrange the sale, and if necessary the delivery, with the artist or gallery. Pay attention to the retailer's return policies. Make sure that the work is ready to hang, or include a gift certificate for framing so the recipient can enjoy the gift without having to spend extra money.

Make your gift even more personal with a note that explains your choice. Maybe, there is a story behind the purchase of that particular painting, like a place you visited together, or the fact that the painting reminded you of something in the other person's life.

If you are unsure about your loved ones' taste and interest in art, you might consider visiting a museum together. Once you know what you are looking for, you can go to a gallery for help. However, if you decide that you want to leave the choice to the recipient, get a gift certificate from a gallery or an artist. This way, your family member or friend can even decide to commission a work that is truly unique and personal.

If you are looking for ideas, I invite you to make an appointment with me by sending an email to I offer a variety of artworks in different mediums as well as gift cards for workshops and artwork. I will gladly answer any questions you might have. Please notice that my studio will be closed from December 1, 2019, to January 5, 2020, due to my trip to Germany.

Friday, 1 November 2019

Blog-free week

Magic Pumpkins, acrylic, 16" x 20"

I hope you had a happy Halloween, or if you live in any of the areas where the festivities were moved due to the bad weather, I wish you lots of fun today or on the weekend. We live in a neighbourhood without many children, so that the few kids go to meet their friends in busier areas of the city. As my kids are young adults, it felt like any regular day. I still enjoy the pumpkins everywhere, especially the nicely carved ones. They are a big blob of colour in this time when the leaves have fallen and the snow has not covered everything under a white blanket. Have a great week! I will post new content next Friday.

Friday, 25 October 2019

Plein Air Ensemble Fall Painting Trip 2019 - Part 3

Blog 32

We are at the end of October and due to the Plein Air Painting trip, it was another productive month. Following is the last part of my travelogue and a special invitation at the end of the blog.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Camouflaged, acrylic, 5" x 7"

Slowly Falling Apart, acrylic, 7" x 5"
Despite the cloudy morning, we were determined to paint at the abandoned farm we had discovered the previous day. While we were painting, the sun came out, and it got so warm that I took off my winter coat. It was only a short treat! Soon the sun hid behind the clouds, and a cold wind made us feel quite chilly. There were so many beautiful sights to paint on the farm, that Hélène and I created two and Janis even three paintings.

In the early afternoon, we needed a break and drove to Chris Peltzer’s studio, which is on the same road as the Opeongo Mountain Resort. After sitting together for tea, she took us on a tour of her property that has access to Lake Clear. It was a beautiful walk through fields and treed areas. She does not even have to leave her property to find sights to paint, but maintaining such a big property is also a lot of  work. 

As Hélène and Janis did not want to paint anymore, I created another “Memory Painting”, similar to the previous one. This time, I used watercolours. It was interesting to experience the difference between the two mediums.

Instead of the regular Happy Hour, all participating artists showed their works from the trip. I love this mini-exhibition. As one of the artists was a photographer, he showed us a slideshow of a selection of the photos he had taken over the past couple of days. The beauty of these images was inspiring, but outside a feast for our eyes caught our attention. First, the evening sun created an amazing light show, putting the spotlight on the colourful mountains. Then, the breathtaking clouds and the sunset produced a beautiful reflection on the water. We could also see a straight rainbow on the other side of the lake. At the same time, a grey heron was fishing for food without paying attention to our presence. Beauty is everywhere if you keep your eyes open.

The last item on the agenda was the exchange of the “Memory Paintings”. As my name was picked very early, I was not only able to choose a beautiful watercolour painting of a farm, resembling the one that we had painted earlier, but also won a frame for the painting.

Dinner consisted of amazing zucchini zoodles in Alfredo sauce, salad, garlic bread, and ice cream. After the productive days, we all were happy. These were perfect days in the lives of artists, but now it is time to go back to our regular duties. Even though most of the members of the group are retired, everyday life requires us to deal with many ordinary chores. On the other hand, this is what makes the painting trips so special: the retreat into nature to do what we truly love, without interruptions, and in the company of friends.

This was my last painting trip of the year, but I hope to meet my painting buddies for some local painting outings in the upcoming weeks. October and part of November are often quite pleasant for outdoor painting.

If you would like to see my new paintings, please come to my 6th Annual Open House and Customer Appreciation Day on November 9, 2019, from 10 am to 3 pm. As a special thank you for your support, I would like to invite a small group for coffee/tea and cake at 3 pm. Please send me an email to, if you would like to attend the kaffeeklatsch. I will be able to accommodate up to 10 people for this free gathering.

Friday, 18 October 2019

Plein Air Ensemble Fall Painting Trip 2019 - Part 2

Blog 31

I hope you enjoyed the first part of my travelogue of the Plein Air Ensemble painting trip to Lake Clear. This time, I write about the second and third day of the trip.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Mirror Mirror..., acrylic, 7" x 5"
When we woke up the lake was cloaked in fog. Overnight, we had the first frost. After the fog lifted, a beautiful blue sky and sunshine appeared. There was not a single cloud in sight, but it was windy and even colder than on the previous day. We found the perfect marsh on Rosien Road. However, by lunchtime, we were all frozen.

We decided to go for a ride to Balaclava, where we admired the beautiful mill that is slowly falling apart. As there was no secure place to set up our easels, we continued to the Fourth Chute in Eganville. On the way, we stopped to take photos of three beautiful horses, a cute donkey, and several Highland cattle that were grazing together on one meadow. At the Fourth Chute, we did not stop for a long time, as it was clear that the beautiful sunshine was attracting a large number of visitors, which is not very appealing when you want to paint on location.

unfinished, acrylic, 8" x 10"
Instead, we returned to Buelow Road, where we finally painted Big Rock. It was still very windy, but in the sunshine, temperatures rose to 15 degrees. We had so much fun that we did not mind that we were late for Happy Hour, even though we missed part of the beautiful music of the multi-talented musicians of the group. A hearty vegetable pasta dish with salad, followed by ice cream gave us energy for the evening’s Jeopardy art game. One of the three groups won with a lead of more than 3000 points, winning half of the maximal points.

I still had enough energy to update the travelogue before continuing with my felted apple blossoms. What a great life of creativity!

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Sleeping Dragon, watercolour, 9" x 12"

The forecast showed a high probability of rain. The sky was dark grey when we woke up. Janis, Hélène and I stayed close to the cottage and decided to paint the dramatic sky and Lake Clear until the start of the rain. I picked up my watercolours for a quick sketch instead of bothering to get out all my painting equipment. However, the sky turned bluer and bluer. It did not take long until the sun came out. This changed the colours of the whole landscape, but it was so wonderful to soak up the sun.

Big Rock, acrylic, 8" x 10"

I went back to the cottage to get my acrylic paints and created another painting of Big Rock - this time from the other side. It was past 1 pm when the sky got very dark again. We had our lunch break and waited for the rain, but it stayed dry. Therefore, we headed out once again to Rosien Road. We stopped to take pictures of an abandoned barn before driving further up the road. We continued to Fire Tower Road, which became so rough that we decided to turn around.

unfinished, acrylic, 8" x 10"

Finally, Hélène and Janis painted a dirt road that was framed by beautifully coloured trees, and I set up in front of a big dark rock. We had assumed that it was a quiet road but many cars, an ATV and even a group of hikers passed us. It was almost 4:30 pm when the rain finally started. At first, I did not even notice it because I was so immersed in my painting. Back at the cottage, Hélène and I still spent some more time painting. As I had not thrown out my palette, when I packed everything into my bag, the folded paper showed a beautiful design. I liked it so much that I printed it onto one of my watercolour papers. It’s a beautiful abstract painting.

Fall Trees, acylic, 7" x 5"
At the beginning of the trip, the organizers gave everyone either a 5” x 7” paper or canvas board to create a “Memory Painting”, a painting that was to be created strictly from memory. I painted a couple of trees in colourful fall foliage and was so absorbed in the process that I missed Happy Hour and hardly made it to the restaurant in time for the turkey dinner and pumpkin pie.

This evening was caricature night, and it was a lot of fun. With permanent markers, we took turns to create a portrait of the person facing us. Despite all the laughter, most of us had a hard time to stay awake until 9 pm. The fresh air and the constant focus on the subject in front of us, while we are capturing the view, are as exhilarating as they are tiring.

Next week, I will publish the last part of the travelogue before going back to a bi-weekly blog schedule.

Friday, 11 October 2019

Plein Air Ensemble Fall Painting Trip 2019 - Part 1

Manning Road Marsh, Acrylic, 8" x 10"

Block 30

I am back from my plein air painting trip to Lake Clear in Eganville, where our group of painters - this time including a photographer - enjoyed four wonderful days capturing the beauty of the fall landscape. To learn more about it, please read the first part of my travelogue.

Friday, October 4, 2019

My last painting trip with the Plein Air Ensemble was already two and a half years ago. Therefore, I was excited when I was able to arrange my work schedule to meet the fellow artists in the beautiful Lake Clear area again.

Hélène, Janis and I enjoyed a very pleasant drive through the beautiful fall landscape. For lunch, we stopped at Sandy's Deli Diner, an old-fashioned family restaurant in Renfrew, that looked like it was a gas station at some point. Inside were lots of antique signs and toy cars, even an old gas pump. The restaurant was packed and the food quite good.

After unloading our car, we had to do some “redecorating” in the cottage. We have a two-bedroom cottage. Janis and I were supposed to share the room with the bunk bed. However, there was no way for either of us to climb up the small ladder and opening into the bed. We decided to switch rooms with Hélène who had the room with two single beds. Unfortunately, the second bed in the room did not have a mattress cover. Therefore, we decided to put the cover from the upper bunk bed on the single bed but were not able to remove it. Instead, we transported the whole mattress from the upper bunk bed onto one of the single beds. Janis slept sleep like a princess in her extra high bed during our trips. Next, we had to figure out whose bed sheets would fit the different beds. You can imagine that we laughed quite a lot during this endeavour. Finally finished, we had about an hour and a half of painting time before the Happy Hour.

We drove around for a while as it was pretty cold, cloudy and quite windy. The first stop was at a beach from which the view of Big Mountain was still impressive, but without sunshine, the shapes looked very flat. In the end, we set up at a marsh at Manning Road. It was so cold that I was dressed in a winter coat, hat and gloves. However, from time to time, when the sun came out, it got very warm. Hopefully, this is a good sign for tomorrow.

Around 4:30 pm, we went to Kathy Haycock’s studio for the Happy Hour. Kathy lives only minutes from the Opeongo Mountain Resort. Last weekend, she took part in the Madawaska Valley Studio Tour, and her studio was busy with people, both tour visitors as well as the other members of the Plein Air Ensemble. I am sure almost everyone was green with envy at the sight of Kathy’s studio. If you are ever in the Eganville area, visit her studio. It is the perfect place to display her beautiful landscape paintings. I felt reminded of the Group of Seven. Probably not by chance, as her father Maurice Haycock painted with A. Y. Jackson for many decades.

We had our dinner at “The Moose on the Beach”, the restaurant of the Opeongo Mountain Resort. After a delicious pumpkin soup with cheese curds, we enjoyed Ceasar chicken wraps and chocolate cake.

That evening, despite feeling tired, I finished my felted water lily scene and continued my felted apple blossom artwork. As I had just received a delivery of different hues of green wool, I was eager to see the image come together.

The next part of the travelogue will be published next Friday. Please share my blog with family and friends, who might be interested in my stories.

Friday, 4 October 2019

Painting Trip to Kamouraska 2019 - Part III

Wild Roses, acrylic, each image is 4" x 4"

Block 29

When this blog post is published, I will already be in Eganville, Ontario. I was very excited when I received the invitation from the Plein Air Ensemble organizers for the fall trip to Lake Clear and realized that I would be able to join the group after I missed the trips for two years. I will share a cottage with my friends  Hélène and Janis. I am happy to see my fellow Plein Air Ensemble painters again. This is my third fall trip to the Opeongo Mountain Resort and I have a feeling that the fall colours will be at its peak this time. Following is the last entry from my Kamouraska travelogue. I will tell you all about the Lake Clear trip in my blog of October 18, 2019.

St. Lawrence Riverbed, acrylic, 11" x 14"

Friday, September 13, 2019

Today was the last day in Kamouraska. The weather was great with lots of sunshine, even though the temperatures were a little cooler than yesterday. We started with a stop at the bakery, where I was too busy taking photos of two cats, one looking like a lion and a little black and white kitten.

Sweet Peas, acrylic, 5" x 7", unfinished
Hélène, Janis and I decided to stay in Kamouraska to paint the flowers of a private garden on avenue Chassé. After we finished the flower painting, we went to the new Champagne and Paradis Art Gallery where we looked at the current exhibition. The next stop was the Magasin Général Du Kamouraska, where I bought some gifts for my family. We enjoyed lunch at one of the picnic tables at avenue LeBlanc where we looked right out to the St Lawrence River. We decided to stay for painting. As the tide was out, I wanted to capture the image but it was an impossible race against time. The water came in so fast that my landscape was quickly underwater. I could hardly believe the quick changes of the water level. As it was so beautiful where we were, we stayed there for the rest of the afternoon. I created two more 4” x 4” paintings of wild roses so that I can have the three pictures now mounted as a set.   

We were back at the house at 5 pm. I changed and decided to go on a walk with Leslie. After a walk on Saturday that was cut short by the rain, I had not been for a walk the whole week. Leslie and I walked down the Avenue LeBlanc and watch the peaceful evening sky. Unfortunately, the clouds rolled in so that we were not able to see a sunset. At least it cleared up later so that we could see the Harvest moon.

In the evening, the owners of the house came for a personal vernissage and were impressed with the beautiful works we created during the week.

While the others plan to come back next September, I already know that I will not be able to join them in 2020, as I will go on a trip to Barcelona in Spain. I will miss them and hope to be back in 2021. Au revoir, Kamouraska. À la prochaine fois!

Friday, 27 September 2019

Painting Trip to Kamouraska 2019 - Part II

The Abandoned House, acrylic, 8" x 10"

Block 28

Usually, this would be a blog-free week, but I decided to post the sequel to my Kamouraska painting trip today to be able to publish all the parts before my next painting trip to Lake Clear in Eganville at the beginning of October.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

When we woke up, it was sunny, but only 6 degrees. However, there was hardly any wind and the tide was out. Therefore, we decided to go to the Route de la Grève, where we painted the monadnock and part of the riverbed. As you can see, my painting still needs work.

Then, we went towards Rang du Mississipi as we wanted to paint a barn, but we could not find a space to set up. Before looking any further, we had a picnic at Sentier du Cabouron. After lunch, we drove back to Kamouraska, where we first looked at the old mill at Chemin du Moulin Paradis before continuing to the Rang du Petit Village. There, we all found a spot that inspired us. I decided to paint an old abandoned house. It did not go well, and I was very frustrated at one point. However, I persevered and suddenly the pieces fell into place (see image at top of blog).

In the evening, we enjoyed Bill’s spaghetti with homemade tomato sauce and coleslaw. For dessert, he treated us to a variety of sweets: almond shortbread cookies from the bakery, two-bites, vanilla ice cream and different toppings.

Sweet Candy, Wool, 9.5" x 11.75"

After dinner, we sat together chatting. I was surprised to be able to finish the felted version of my painting “Sweet Candy”. This was the only evening project that I had brought thinking that I would probably need the whole week to create it. As I brought a lot of yellow wool, the memory of the sunflowers inspired me to start a felted sunflower. I am not sure whether it will be a felted painting or a three-dimensional object. Time will tell.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Tomorrow is already the last painting day here in Kamouraska. We had very bad weather on Wednesday with high winds and pouring rain. It was quite dark the whole day and so cold that we were freezing in the winter garden, where most of us finished paintings that we had started at the beginning of the week. None of us went outside. I was able to finish my sunflower painting and the first painting from St-Andre.

In the evening, Sharon served a hearty meal of ham, potatoes, corn and carrots followed by a very light mousse with apricots.

Kamouraska Monadnocks, acrylic, 6" x 12"

This morning, we were delighted to wake up to a beautiful blue sky. The first stop was the bakery Niemand that was open for the first day since the weekend. Once we had our delicious goodies, Hélène, Janis, Leslie and I decided to go back to the Rang du Petit Village. A farmer had talked to Hélène and Leslie on Tuesday and permitted us to access his property to paint the monadnocks from his fields. He was so excited about having us paint his monadnock that he had taken Hélène on his ATV to show her the great view. Actually, several spots were great for painting. I decided to paint the monadnocks that were a little further in the distance as their shape inspired me more than the big one right in front of me. However, I was struggling with the small board. To fit a huge mountain on a 6” x 12” board felt very restricting. Moreover, the green of the field in front of me was very bright and looked unnatural. I have no idea what kind of crop I was looking at as I do not know anything about farming, but the fields very brightly green. I adapted the colours and shapes a couple of times, but I was still not too thrilled with the result. This would be a great scene for a huge canvas. Maybe, I will create a second, much larger version, in my studio.

1st panel of "Wild Rose", acrylic, 4" x 4"

Leslie had decided to enjoy a quiet afternoon. The rest of us went shopping for groceries after lunch because it was my day to cook. After shopping, we went back to the house. As it was such a wonderful, warm afternoon, I did not want to waste the time inside. Instead, I set up at the side of the road in front of the house to paint a wild rose on a 4” x 4” linen board that I had ordered thinking that it would be much bigger. I enjoyed painting the rose even though I kept wondering how the bloom looked different every time I looked up from my canvas until I realized that the front petal was slowly falling while I was painting. I felt a little bit like in the movie “Beauty and the Beast”, where the falling rose petals signify that time is running out. I was happy that I finished my little painting just in time to start cooking. I spent a long time chopping vegetables and peaches, as I served a vegetable casserole followed by peach compote on top of vanilla ice cream. Tomorrow, we can all relax. No-one has to cook as we still have lots of leftovers. We are all looking forward to another great day of painting.

Friday, 20 September 2019

Painting Trip to Kamouraska 2019 - Part I

Grassland, acrylic, 11" x 14"

Block 28

I am back from my painting trip to Kamouraska. Our Kam 6 Group spent a wonderful time painting the always-changing landscape. The week flew by much too fast. Here is the first part of my travelogue. As I have so much to share with you, the next part will follow next week. The final part will be published in two weeks. I hope you enjoy following my adventures.

September 8, 2019

We are back in Kamouraska. For Janis and I, it is our 10th time. This year, Hélène, Janis and I decided to carpool. It was the first time that the three of us went in one car. When we arrived yesterday afternoon, it was only 9 degrees, windy and rainy. I cannot remember any other year when we arrived at such cold weather. As we were too early to get into the house, we bought our groceries and kept an eye out for painting spots. We were looking forward to the arrival of Sharon, Bill and Leslie. We had so much to talk about after not seeing each other for a year. When it was time for dinner, Hélène’s lasagna with salad and blueberry coulis hit the spot. We were all looking excited to get painting the next day.

Pastel Landscape, acrylic, 5" x 7"

When we awoke this morning, the rain had stopped. However, due to the strong wind, painting outside was challenging. Therefore, we went to St-André, where we set up in the lighthouse at Parc de Ancien Quai. I painted a 5”x 7” and an 11” x 14” (see top of blog) landscape painting of the St-Lawrence River.

Sunshine Family, acrylic, 11" x 14"

Around lunch, the sun came out and it warmed up. We stopped at the house for a break, before Hélène and I drove to the Jardin des Générations in the Rue Notre-Dame in Saint-Pascal, next to the arena, where we painted some beautiful sunflowers in the sunshine. It got so warm that I took off my shoes and socks. Two hours later, we fled from the mosquitoes that had eventually caught up with us.

Tired and hungry, we were ready for Happy Hour and later enjoyed the delicious salmon with potatoes and salad that Leslie had cooked. We finished the delicious meal with an apple crumble with strawberries and coconut cream.

Le Gros Pèlerin, acrylic, 6" x 12"

September 9, 2019

Today, we had a day with mixed weather. When the sun came out, it was very warm, but the wind was so strong that I wore my rain pants, scarf and gloves when the sun hide behind the clouds. Because of the clear view, we decided to go up towards St-Germain, then turned into Rang Mississipi, but could not decide on a painting spot. We turned around, went further up the Rue Principal, then took the 230 east until we hit the 289. There, we turned towards the river until we reached the Rang Premiere East. From this road, we had an amazing view of the Îles Les Pélerins. Janis and Hélène left after lunch, but Leslie and I stayed into the afternoon. Then we drove to Route de la Grève, where we walked along the beach. As it was too late to start a new painting, we drove back to Kamouraska and stopped at the store “Le fil bleu”, where you can buy local artisans’ works. It was another great day. At night, we enjoyed Janis’ chicken curry with salad and her traditional blueberry duffs.

Friday, 13 September 2019

Blog-free week

The Pilgrims, St-André-de-Kamouraska, oil, 11" x 14"

When you see this blog, I will be in Kamouraska for the yearly painting week with my friends. Whether you are painting or enjoying any other hobby, I hope that you will be able to include your family and friends to make it even more fun. Have a great week! I will have lots to share with you from the trip starting next Friday.

Friday, 6 September 2019

My August Projects

Beebalms and Globe Thistle, acrylic, 8" x 8"

Blog 27

Summer is almost over, but I hope for a strong finish. Last year, we had such a great September. It would be lovely to get a repeat. September has been a great month for me for the last couple of years, as it starts with our yearly painting trip to Kamouraska. We are leaving tomorrow. I can hardly wait to spend time with my friends again. Every one of us was so busy this year that we will have lots to talk about, which should keep us awake long enough to reach a regular bedtime, as the days of painting outside in the fresh air make you very, very tired. Even I go to bed earlier than usual.

I will start the review of my August art projects with a look at the three paintings that I finished in the days after the blog of my July projects.

For a plein air painting event organized by the art organization Arteast, we went to an amazing garden of one of the members in Cumberland. It was another hot day, but I was sitting in the shade and had a great time until the sun reached my hiding spot. Rather than setting up at a different location, I decided to retreat to my cool studio to finish the 8” x 8” painting called “Beebalms and Globe Thistle” (see image at the top of this blog).

Heading Heading Towards Mount Robson Park, acrylic, 18" x 24"

“Heading Heading Towards Mount Robson Park” is based on a photo from the trip from Toronto to Vancouver, that my husband and I took in the spring of 1995. It is the first painting from my series of paintings, that I plan to create from photos of the trip. While I made great progress at the beginning, I was struggling in the final stage of the painting. I changed the clouds and mountains a couple of times before I was satisfied with the result. I was so absorbed in my creative process, that I completely lost track of time when I felt that I was close to the finish. Luckily, I checked the time when it was close to 1:30 am. Otherwise, I would probably have kept going.

Bouquet of Joy, acrylic, 20" x 16"

The last painting I finished in July was the 20” x 16” tulip painting “Bouquet of Joy" that I had neglected for other projects that caught my attention.

Pickerel Weed, acrylic, 8" x 10"

On August 1, I took full advantage of the lighter workload and joined the Ottawa Plein Air Adventurers for an outing to Petrie Island. I love this little peninsula and would go there a lot more often if dogs were not prohibited. Walking around the trails, I found members of the group hidden in the spots that were in the shadow. To my surprise, I also ran into a woman whom I usually only meet in the gym at Zumba. We have gone for years to the same classes and never knew that we were both painters. After scouting out the area, I decided to join her at a spot overlooking the calm water and little islands of purple water flowers. They became the focus of my painting. It was lovely to listen to the concert of the bullfrog and to watch turtles sunbathing. Families of Canadian geese were swimming noiselessly through the water. My little 8” x 10” acrylic painting “Pickerel Weed” is slightly more abstract than most of my works. At first, I was rather disappointed with it, but when I looked from a distance, I liked it. Therefore, I only added my initials in the studio.

I also started painting on glass. As I always take the glass out of my frames when I frame my acrylic and oil paintings, I have boxes full of clear glass. I did not want to throw it out and even tried to give it away, but nobody was interested. When I talked about it with Wendy Canci from Da Artisti Studio & Gallery last year, she suggested painting on it. My first trial painting needs another layer of paint to make the colours more vibrant. It was fun to paint on the four different sides of the two glass panels. Right now, I am still in the learning phase, but it is a lot of fun, even though the process is quite slow. I am excited to create more painted glass art. I will keep you posted about my progress.

Add caption

I worked many hours on my felted version of our dog Alex. It had been a while since I worked on my dog that is very popular with our cat Miko. Even though I am hiding Alex underneath a piece of cloth and poster board, Miko still snuggles closely to the dog. It is rather sweet, but I have to make sure that he does not pull everything apart with his kneading, as he did before.

I continued felting my image of apple blossoms, but it still needs more work. Felting takes patience, but it is so relaxing!


I created a couple of drawings this month: of a friend of mine on the bus, of a rose, and of party guests, including the Cabbage Patch Kid that my three-year-old niece wanted me to draw. I find the doll really creepy, but my niece was happy. Two of the three drawings of sculptures at the Humanics Sanctuary and Sculpture Park were created during my August drawing events at the park. The last one is from a walk with our dog on the trail. Alex is fourteen years old. I like to spend as much time with him as possible because I am aware that our time is limited and so much more precious these days. This was a test to see if I could take him with me while sketching. When he was younger, it would have been impossible, but now he lies down and gives me time to sketch. I will try a more difficult subject next time.

If you would like to join me for the next drawing event at the Humanics Institute, I invite you to sign up for the event that happens the day after the Harvest Moon, on September 15, 2019, from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm. For more information, please go to

If you are interested in other art events for the fall, please go to You will be able to register for the events that I organize directly on my website.

I am heading to the yearly painting trip to Kamouraska tomorrow with my friends. I am sure that I will have lots to share with you after the trip.