Friday, 25 December 2020

Advent Calendar Days 17 - 24


Day 17: Dance of the Leaves, wool, 11.5” x 8.25”

I started this image of fall leaves a long time ago, then abandoned it when I concentrated on my felted versions of our dog Alex. With the start of the colouring of the leaves in September, I returned to the project. I love the colourful foliage, which makes fall my favourite time for painting en plein air. However, the reference image for this felted painting was not one of my previous oil or acrylic paintings but a photograph that I took on one of our walks.

Dance of the Leaves, wool, 11.5” x 8.25”, CAN $400 + shipping
Left: The painting when I left the scene. Right: The finished one.

Day 18: Still Standing, acrylic, 9” x 12”

I created this painting on the October 16 outing with my friends Janis and Bob on a quiet side road in Cumberland. I made some adjustments later in my studio, as you can see when you compare the two images.

Still Standing, acrylic, 9” x 12”, CAN $300 + shipping


Day 19: Iris, inks on paper, 14
x 11

As I was not able to meet my friends during the lockdown, I looked for painting subjects in our garden. I love the spring and summer months when my flowers are blooming.
Our beautiful irises inspired me to create this drawing with alcohol-based inks. It was the first time that I worked with alcohol-based inks, and while I love the intensity of the colours, I missed the blending that I can do with paints and coloured pencils.

Iris, inks on paper, 14" x 11", framed, CAN $100 + shipping

Left: after the painting demo     Right: the finished painting

Day 20: Of Flowers and Butterflies, acrylic, 16
x 20

I started the artwork during the painting demonstration at the Navan Fine Arts Exhibition and Sale in April 2019 when we painted inspired by music.

I was the second one scheduled and had assumed that I would paint an abstract piece. Instead, I felt inspired to paint flowers and butterflies. I found the experience quite unsettling. Usually, when I go into my studio, I know exactly what I want to paint. I might struggle with the composition or the process, but I know where I want to go.

This time, I had no idea what to expect. I did not know the music, or how I would react to it. I also was aware that people were watching me and talked to spectators during the process. The result was a flower painting that did not talk to me at all. I was disappointed in myself.

I finally finished the painting "Of Flowers and Butterflies" at the beginning of this year. Although it is not my usual style, I am happy with the result.

Of Flowers and Butterflies, acrylic, 16" x 20", framed, CAN $400 + shipping

Day 21: Mrs. Cardinal, watercolour pencil on paper, 8.25" x 6.5"

For the past couple of months, I have had weekly Zoom meetings with my painting buddies. For the first couple of months, we only chatted but lately, we paint or draw during our one-hour meetings. We pick one image that we all use as inspiration. As I usually take my time when I am creating, I still work on the image after our meeting.

It is a great way to include more creativity into our lives at a time when we spend so many hours in front of our computer. What do you do to break up the time in front of your computer?

Day 22: Brilliant Sunset, watercolour on paper, 9
x 12

I started this watercolour painting during one of our painting buddies virtual meetings. The reference photo was from a breathtaking sunset at Petrie Island in early November.

The series of photos that I took that evening will inspire me to more sunset paintings. The colours were so spectacular that I feel that I have to capture them not only in photos. The later it got, the brighter the colours became.

Brilliant Sunset, watercolour on paper, 9 x 12, framed, CAN $185 + shipping

Left: acrylic painting, 20" x 16" Right: wool painting, 11.5 " 8.25"

 Day 23: Fall in Gatineau Park, wool, 11.5” x 8.25”
I started this artwork last year inspired by my acrylic painting with the same title. Then, I misplaced it. When I found it in the summer, I did not feel drawn to a fall scene.

Once the leaves started to change their colour, I was ready to face this challenging composition again. I had planned to have the felted painting finished for the last weekend. However, I struggled to make the image look three-dimensional and to create the flow of the water. I persevered, and I am happy with the result.

Fall in Gatineau Park, wool, 11.5” x 8.25”, custom-matted for a 16" x 12" frame, CAN $ 425 + shipping

Day 24: Alex, dog fur, wool, 7" H x 29" L xx 12" W

At the end of the 2020 Advent Calendar, I present you with a very personal artwork. This miniature version of our dog Alex is needle felted out of his fur.

The last six months of his life, I was his caregiver as he needed more and more help. As hard as it was to experience him getting weaker and weaker, it also gave me the gift of slowing down and observing my surroundings in detail.

The sculpture is a tangible memory of our beloved dog. I loved Alex from the first moment I saw him. We were his foster parents first but decided to keep him after a couple of days even though we already had another dog.

The whole body is out of his fur. As most of it comes from his undercoat, the felted dog is a lot lighter than the real Alex. Only the nails, the dark areas around his eyes and snout are wool. I formed his nose out of air-dry clay and gave him glass eyes.

I stopped counting the hours once I passed 100. I still worked on this sculpture long into the night before his death with him lying at my feet. I cherish these last quiet hours with him.

Every time I pet his soft fur, it makes me feel at peace and happy.

I hope you enjoyed the review of my artworks. As you have probably noticed, I did not paint as much as in previous years. I spent a lot of time creating the small version of Alex. It was a labour of love, and it makes me very happy every time I see. I also worked on another, still unfinished version of him in a standing position. The second version is out of wool and shows his true colours. 

If you would like to purchase any of the artworks for sale, please go to

Now, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a new year filled with joy, good health and success! Hopefully, you will enjoy some relaxing days for reflection and energizing. If you can spend the days with your family and friends, share joy and gratitude. For those who feel alone, make sure to connect by phone or video call. Do all the things you ever wanted to do when things got very hectic during the usual Christmas time.
I will take a break until January 8, 2021. Thank you for reading my blogs and for your kind feedback.

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