Friday, 5 June 2020

My Immigration Journey Part 4

The Bone, acrylic, 16" x 20"

Blog 13

At the beginning of my second year in Canada, I was focused on our little puppy Jessie and the organisation of our dream wedding. Our little family had settled into our new home and a routine. Once a week, I went to the Ottawa School of Art for painting classes. At home, I also created many teddy bears. I even knitted sweaters and sewed skirts for some of the bears. When I arrive in Germany in mid-May, I still had lots to organize: from flowers to the wedding cake, musicians to the menu. However, I felt that I had everything under control. Only days later, I would see how little control we have in life. On May 26, both my grandmother was taken to the hospital after she had not been feeling well for a couple of days. On the same day, our precious Jessie had run into a car and needed to stay at the animal hospital. Luckily, both my grandmother and our little puppy recovered.

Ingo came a couple of days later, and we prepared for days of celebrating. We started with the “Polterabend” with friends, colleagues, and neighbours. The next day, we went to Weilburg with our parents and some close relatives to listen to a piano concert by Mozart in the church of the Weilburg castle. The following day, we held a welcome party for relatives of the Peters family at my parents' house. Finally, on Saturday, June 8, 1996, we celebrated our dream wedding. If you would like to read more about our German wedding, I encourage you to read the following blog: from 2016. In short, we celebrated for four fabulous days.

After the festivities, it was hard to leave again. Only the reunion with Jessie made the arrival in Canada easier. I had missed my little puppy so much. She was my first pet, and I treated her like my first-born.

The farewell was also made easier by the visit of my friend Britta who arrived less than three weeks later. It was wonderful to have someone to talk with for a whole week. As Britta and I have been friends since grade 1, we are quite close. We can talk about anything. Until the fall, three more German friends visited us.

I enjoyed these visits immensely, as I had a hard time to make friends in my new environment despite joining the Orleans Newcomers Club. A lot of the members were in the military and very focused on their immediate family. It did not help that Ingo was not interested in building close friendships. He was happy to spend some time with two of his colleagues for sports and the occasional beer.

I needed to establish more connections with people without Ingo‘s help. As I had enjoyed my time at the Ottawa School of Art in the spring, I decided to register again for an art class in the fall. I hardly painted alone. One time in late August, I went with Ingo and Jessie to a place that I had wanted to paint for a long time. After I was finished, I was surprised to see that the painting looked better than I had expected.

When I had started painting again after years of sacrificing my art to my heavy workload, I was shocked at my lack of skills. Slowly but surely, my technique improved and I regained some of the skills from my previous art education. I am not sure what happened to most of the paintings that I created during my first years in Canada. It would be interesting to see my improvement.

People have told me how lucky I am to have so much talent but practice makes perfect. Whether you paint, learn a language or exercise, you have to keep practicing to maintain or strengthen your skills. If you are looking for fun workshops to improve your creative expression, please check out my summer schedule at

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