|House for Sale, watercolour, 8" x 10"|
In 2002, life was not easy. Our children were almost one year and five years old. Also, we had a very lively Golden Retriever. On makes you feel like you walk two steps ahead only to return where you started. By the time you have cleaned one area of the house, the others need cleaning again. My husband and both our parents had a very traditional mindset when it came to raising a family. The husband was responsible for earning money, while the wife had to take care of house and children. I have to admit that I had imagined our family life differently. I had assumed that we would share the household and child-raising tasks, but the fact that I did not work made it easy to fall into the traditional role models.
|Looking for Food, watercolour|
My family viewed my creative activities as a pleasant hobby. Only my father-in-law, a great supporter of the arts, was interested in my projects and started buying works for himself and as gifts. When I sold the painting “Looking for Food” to my mom, it was a big deal for me as it was an acknowledgement of my improving skills. The watercolour painting showed a couple of chickadees hanging on a feeder.
At the beginning of March, I joined a group of artists who met Sunday mornings for life drawing. Even though I was struggling with the poses and the proportions initially, I had a lot of fun. The more advanced artists were very supportive. To improve my drawing skills, I started to take a bi-weekly drawing course with a local artist.
When my sister came at the end of June, we went together to the three-day Tom Thomson workshop at the National Gallery of Canada. This workshop was my mini-vacation. Most people had not heard of The Group of Seven in Germany at the time. Therefore, we learned a lot about Canadian landscape art. While researching for this blog, I saw that the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt is the first museum in Germany that will exhibit extensive works from important Canadian collections in early 2021.
|Oscar, acrylic, 10 " x 10" and the bear Oscar|
I had taken a one-year break from making bears. This passion was, however, revived when my son’s teacher asked me about giving a presentation in his junior kindergarten class about bears and bear making. She also fell in love with my bear Oscar and adopted him.
|The princess and the frog from The Frog King|
In July, I joined the Grizzly Bear Gang, a bear club in Nepean whose members were artists and collectors. At the same time, I saw a competition for fairy tale bears in a German bear magazine. I decided to create the princess and the frog from the story The Frog King by the Grimm Brothers. I did not win a prize, but it was exciting to see a photo of my bear published in the magazine.
|Silence (left), Vegetables (right), acrylic - unfortunately I did not take better pictures|
In October, I participated with the two acrylic paintings “Silence” and “Vegetables” in Arteast’s 21st Annual Art & Photo Exhibition. I was so excited when ten days after the end of the exhibition, a client inquired about buying the painting of a canoe attached to a dock in the soothing light of the sunset.
I was delighted that a stranger fell in love with my work. Especially as an emerging artist, the approval of others feels so crucial. I also needed the money. I felt guilty for not being able to pay for my expensive art materials and framing costs out of my own pocket.
Join me in two weeks to see what happened in the year 2003.