Friday, 22 January 2021

25 Years in Canada


The Bone, acrylic, 16" x 20"

Blog 3

In 2007, I was determined to improve my art skills. I was still going to the life drawing sessions bi-weekly. At the end of January, I started a new drawing course with Mirana Zuger to experiment with different drawing techniques and materials. I also went to John Day’s acrylic and oil painting course. I knew him from the life drawing session and loved his landscape paintings.

I still painted with the Blackburn Hamlet Art Group. In February, I painted an acrylic painting of Jessie as a puppy chewing on my house shoe (see above). She did not pay any attention to her bone that was lying next to her. I finished the artwork in late February, in time for the Arteast exhibition Guilty Pleasures. I was excited when the jury accepted it after my paintings for the last two shows had been rejected.


Path of Life, mixed media, 24" x 48"


In February, I went to the Wonders of White workshop instructed by Andrea Mossop. It was the first time that I created a mixed media collage. Andrea had asked us to bring a big board. Mine was by far the biggest. It was so much fun that I was exhausted but at the same time full of energy after the workshop. I was full of new ideas for projects.


The Park Across the Street, acrylic, 14" x 11"

I also joined the Ottawa Art Association and participated for the first time in their exhibition at the Ottawa Little Theatre at the end of March. For this reason, I had finished The Park Across The Street. The hanging was on Sunday morning. On Saturday evening, I decided to rework the foreground after neither Ingo nor I liked the flowers. At first, the painting looked even worse, but in the end, I succeeded. Luckily, it was an acrylic painting. If it had been an oil painting, it would not have been dry for the hanging.

As I enjoyed working with John Day, I also registered for his Painting the Light workshop. I had a great time and learned how to break up the objects in simple shapes. Later, I took a colour mixing workshop with Deborah Czernecky.

left: Frankie, right: Colour Explosion, acrylic, both 12" x 12"

Next, I painted our former foster dog, Frankie, again. This time in bright colours. I wanted to see if I could still capture his personality even if I painted him unrealistic colours. My family did not like the new painting, but some of my friends did.

I felt invigorated and full of energy when I created art, but nobody at home supported these feelings. Therefore, I was delighted that Frankie's new family bought my original portrait of him.

Wildflowers, 12" x 24"
At the beginning of July, I finally started another painting inspired by a wildflower bouquet that my husband had picked for me. During the Cumberland Garden Tour, I agreed to paint in my friend’s garden. However, I hid behind her garage to be less visible to visitors.

During the Guilty Pleasures vernissage in mid-March, I met another artist from Cumberland. In August, I finally joined the plein air painters who painted with her in my neighbourhood. I was so nervous when I went to meet the group the first time because I did not have experience painting outside. The others were already quite experienced, but they were all so supportive. Most of the time, we ended our painting session with a potluck lunch. I finally felt like I belonged.

In September, we had to find a new rhythm because the school start had changed, which meant that I could no longer paint with the Blackburn Hamlet group. At least, I could continue classes with John Day.

To earn some additional money, I became a mystery shopper. I enjoyed my little assignments even though I never managed to make a lot of money. It was more a job to give me some recognition outside of being a wife and mother.

The White House, acrylic, 11" x 14"

In October, I started my part-time French course to improve my chances of employment. With even less time, I still finished the painting The White House for the Arteast Arts and Photo Exhibition - again only hours before the drop-off.

In the middle of November, I started working at the daycare at the Bob Macquarrie Recreation Complex to replace a friend who had planned to visit her family. The timing worked great as I could continue my painting class and painting with my friends in the afternoon. After not having worked since early 1995, this was not my first choice but an opportunity to get my foot in the door.

To see how my story continues, please read the next part in two weeks. Next week, I will write about my latest artworks that I created during my Creativity Challenge.

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