|Sunflower, acrylic, 16" x 20"|
Going back to my dairies of the past twenty-five years is exciting, even though my life with two children resulted in more and more blank pages. I wanted to add entries but never found the time.
I started the year with a painting for the Arteast exhibition “Vessels”. I continued going to the life drawing classes and the drawing classes to improve my skill to observe and capture the objects on paper.
I was lucky that my parents came several times a year. During my parents’ winter visit, my dad collapsed at the cottage. We had assumed that my dad had a bad case of the Norwalk virus, but the doctor at the hospital was concerned about his heart health. However, the cardiologist did not detect anything unusual. It took years and other incidents until we found out that he had his first heart attack that day.
Even though my parents and sister usually stayed at the cottage, we debated whether we should start building a custom home on the lot that we had bought in Cumberland. Our townhouse did not offer room for guests, and the many stairs gave me a good workout every day. I could also hardly wait to have my own studio.
In preparation for the sale of our house, we had some renovations done and found out quickly how much fun it was to work with builders. De-cluttering and packing were also extremely stressful.
Planning our new house was a big challenge. I had a vision of our dream house, which turned out to be far out of our budget. Running around to order materials was also no mean feat with two young children. All this stress resulted in me getting one illness after the other.
Whenever I was frustrated, I took out my painting equipment. My goal was to create a new painting for every bi-monthly Arteast exhibition at the Orléans Library. For the May exhibition, I managed to finish an artwork of a bunny in a bed of crocuses.
I was also excited to participate in an exhibition with the life drawing group. At the same time, I stressed about the cost of $600 for framing of my four drawings. The “Skin Deep” exhibition at the Visual Arts Centre in Orleans looked very professional. I felt immensely proud to be a part of it.
I also submitted three paintings (Amsterdam, For Sale, and Teddybears and Tulips, renamed The Spring Bears) to the Arteast Budding Artist exhibition. They received a lot of positive feedback from the jury, which made me feel proud. My painting “Amsterdam” received the highest score of the three. I did not even remember the artwork when I looked through old photographs and have no recollection of the date of sale.
On August 14, we experienced the big blackout. I was just in the middle of writing an email to one of my friends when we lost power. We decided to spend the time at the cottage where we enjoyed the quiet days. It was kind of romantic.
In August, I also started my painting "Sunflower" (see above) that Ingo loved so much that he bought it for his business.
The focus was a sunflower in front of a sunflower field. A bee was
sitting in the centre of the flower.
At the end of September, we had planned a big surprise birthday party for both our mothers who celebrated their 65th birthdays in the second half of 2003. It was one of the very few occasions when we managed to have both our families celebrate together. The event was not only a big treat for both mothers but all of us.
The highlight of the year was a three-week trip to Germany in November. Dominic, Christine and I flew together and experienced a wonderful pre-Christmas time, even though we missed Ingo and Jessie.
I finished the year the same way I had started the year, beginning the painting “Tranquility” only days before an exhibition that opened on January 6, 2004. I was thankful to be an acrylic painter because most of the time, I finished my paintings only hours before I had to deliver them for an exhibition. I have to admit that this urgency was a thrill, even though it also made me anxious.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Please join me in two weeks for the sequel to my story.