Friday, 26 July 2019

My July Projects

Blog 24

Another month has passed. Time was just flying as I went on my vacation with my family to the cottage for a week. Despite many visitors, I managed to make more time to be creative. As I teach less in the summer, I have been able to keep up a more regular creative schedule.

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

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.

At the cottage, I was able to finish the artwork after a lot of time. 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.

An Oasis of Peace, acrylic, 8" x 10"
Next, I finished the painting of the pond from the Beechwood Cemetery that I had started on location last summer. If you look at my starting point, you can see that I changed the composition slightly to adapt it better to my canvas size. In reality, the posts of the bridge were taller, and there were more rocks to the left side. However, they were too dominant in the painting.

I like painting at the cottage because I can sit in the covered patio surrounded by nature. I am protected from bugs but have the advantage of natural light. As we had a lot of guests this time, I did not start any new works.

During our summer week, I usually find it too hot to go out for plein air painting, except for little watercolour sketches in the late afternoon and early evening. This time, I challenged myself with a watercolour pencil sketch of one of the kayaks that was lying on the beach. As I struggled a lot with the perspective, drawing the boat was hard.

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

I also spent time in my studio and finished an 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. “Spring along the Rideau Canal” is an 11” x 14” acrylic painting. When a family member saw me working on the painting, she fell in love with the scene immediately. She bought it right at the spot. How exciting!

 I also continued my work on the landscape from our 1995 trip from Toronto to Vancouver. I will be able to tell you more about the location and show you the finished painting by the end of August.

During a recent visit to the play “Unnecessary Farce” at the Ottawa Little Theatre, I was able to create three quick sketches of the stage setting as well as of one of the characters. I also sketched at the Ottawa River Festival and the Humanics Sculpture Park.

A Bunch of Lilies, mixed fibres, 19" x 14"

The rest of the time, I enjoyed the lovely summer days and felted while sitting in the gazebo. I finished the 19” x 14” needle felted artwork of lilies. For the artwork, I used mainly wool with some synthetic fibres and some embroidery floss.

My two new pieces that I started will be of apple blossoms and lily pads on the river.

While I can work on my needle felted pieces while I am in a conversation or watching TV when I am blocking in the shapes and colours, I need a quiet place once I get to the details. Lately, I have discovered that I love listening to audiobooks while I felt. Do you listen to music, audiobooks, or podcasts while you are creative? Or do you prefer no distractions?

If you would like to create art in a peaceful setting, I would like to mention to you the three events that I am hosting in collaboration with the Humanics Institue at their beautiful sculpture park. For more information please go to my website

Drawing at the Humanics Institute, August 5, 2019, 10:30am to 12pm
Outdoor Lotus Painting Party, August 10, 2019, 10:30am to12:30pm
Drawing Animals at the Humanics Institute, August 19, 2019, 10:30am to 12pm

Friday, 19 July 2019

Blog-free Week

Orange Lily, wool, 8.5" x 11"

I hope you are enjoying the warm summer days. I certainly enjoy being able to spend more time outside, with family and friends as well as more time for painting and felting. I will be back with a blog of my July projects next Friday.

Friday, 12 July 2019

Vacation Without the Family

Ottawa River, Whitewater Region, acrylic, 12" x 16"

Blog 23

This time the title and subject for my blog came easily, but the translation of “Ferien von der Familie” proved rather difficult. I asked my circle of bilingual relatives for help but we decided that vacation without the family would be the best translation.

Our family owns a cottage share which grants us five weeks of use throughout the year. When we purchased our share, we could not use all the weeks, as our kids still went to school. To have the most benefit of our share, my husband spent the fall week at the cottage and I went with friends during our spring week. At that time, I was a full-time mom, and it was a great break from the daily chores and a good way to have my husband and kids appreciate my work at home more. Out of this necessity evolved a yearly ritual of spending time with friends as a vacation from my family, not only by going to the cottage but also by participating in painting trips.

Often, I spend my weeks with my painting buddies, which is great because it allows me to dedicate my days to painting without distractions. There are no interruptions during our days outside in nature (except forced by Mother Nature). However, during the last two years, I also spent a week per year with friends who are more interested in other areas of life. A couple of weeks ago, I enjoyed a week at the cottage with two of my friends who work in very different fields than I.

Even though I did not paint anything but a small watercolour sketch, I still found a lot of time to be creative and came home very relaxed, recharged, and full of new ideas.

I guess the reason is that we were all in the same boat: We were happy to get out of our regular routine to slow down and spend some time by ourselves. There was a mutual understanding that we could take time for our own self-care. During the time we spent together every day, we had interesting conversations, sat at the beach watching over the water, and went on peaceful walks in nature. I also had the pleasure of being able to express my process of felting to them, and them witnessing the progress of my creative projects. By being exposed to my creative projects, it aroused their interest in picking up again a hobby that they had long neglected and in learning something new, respectively. At the same time, a deeper look into their life and work also gave me some new insights and inspiration for my business. Even though we had not planned on it, we had created a natural mastermind event, where all of us emerged with more clarity and some plans to implement actions.

If you are in business and are interested in a different approach to networking by combining networking and walking my "Walk 2 Talk" event might be of interest to you. My friend Marie and I are looking to create a group of entrepreneurs in the Orleans/Cumberland area to mastermind, support and be accountable to each other. On a bi-weekly basis, we will meet for an hour long walk in the Orleans/Cumberland area before sitting down with a cup of coffee or tea to discuss what came up during the walk and how we can support each other.

This is a free event. The next meeting is on July 15, 2019, at 6:30pm. This time, we will meet at the Aquaview Community Centre. Afterwards, we can enjoy a beverage at Cafe Latte Cino. For updates and to register please go to If you are not on Facebook, you can also send me an email to

Are you interested in learning some new painting or felting skills? Then please go to my website to check out my summer workshops.

Friday, 5 July 2019

Blog-free Week

Have a great week and enjoy the summer weather! I am so happy that I have blocked three weeks off for vacation. I hope you create some wonderful new memories with your family and friends counting butterflies, watching amazing sunsets, and taking pleasure in the abundance nature has to offer at this time of the year. I will be back with a new blog next Friday.