Friday, 5 February 2021

French Hill School House, acrylic 16" x 20"

 Blog 5

2008, was an exciting year in my art career that also brought many disappointments. At the beginning of the year, I had less time to paint due to my work schedule. At least, I still managed to go to the bi-weekly life drawing sessions. I was disappointed that I was not able to join my new painting friends regularly. I felt like an outsider again, when I found out that the others were in the process of opening a community gallery.

My parents and husband still considered my art an unimportant hobby. They did not understand how necessary painting was for me. I continued to have a hard time to convince them that it was something I had to do.

When I was in a good mood, I was sure I would convince my doubters. At other times, I was frustrated about the lack of support and ready to pull away from my painting buddies and bury my love for painting.

Right after I finished work at the daycare at the beginning of March, my children and I flew to Germany. I love spending March in Germany, where the climate is mild enough that the spring flowers are already blooming. During the trip, my mother and I visited the special exhibition “Impressionistinnen”, female impressionists. The works were breathtaking. All the more, I was so saddened to find out about Marie Bracquemond’s decision to stop painting pressured by her husband. I comprehended her feelings too well, and it left devastating.

At the beginning of April, I was disappointed that the Visual Arts Centre had cancelled all its art courses for restructuring. At the same time, our painting buddies group hardly met anymore. One organizer had decided that she preferred painting in her studio and was also looking for work, which was very upsetting. I lost not only my painting friend but also my walking buddy.

On the positive side, I became part of the board of the community gallery. Decisions closer to the opening revealed some discrepancies in the vision and resulted in some resignments.

We were busy getting everything ready for the big opening vernissage of Galerie de la Rive in Rockland on May 25, 2008. It was a lot of work, but we were proud of our accomplishments. The gallery in the Jardin Belle Rive retirement home looked great. We had managed to invite some very talented artists to participate. All the activities prevented us from painting.

St Pascal Barn, acrylic, 20" x 16"
It was only after the vernissage that I finally went painting with my painting buddies again. We met at a farm in St. Pascal, and I was not inspired at all. Once I felt the fresh air and heard the sounds of nature, I was excited, even though I had to fight with the wind blowing against my big canvas. When the sun finally emerged, I had a hard time putting the paints onto my canvas before they were dry. It was frustrating. I decided to bring my oil paints for the next outing.


Dreaming of Spring, acrylic, 15 3/4" x 15 3/4"
Due to our upcoming exhibition at the Galerie Old Chelsea, we painted mostly old buildings. While I love old barns, I was not too crazy about the theme. Instead, after finishing another dog portrait, I knew my real passion: creating pet paintings.

Once the school holidays started, my painting days hit a pause. We had a Spanish language student and one of my friends with her two sons visiting us for July.

Standing Proud, acrylic, 16" x 20"

In August, we went for our very first family vacation to a cottage. We had gone a couple of times to Germany. There, we always had a tight visiting programme to see friends and relatives instead of spending time as a family. This time, we had a lot of fun while hiking and swimming. I even found time to create my “Standing Proud” painting for the next Arteast exhibition with the theme “Trees”. The jury rejected the artwork. The high number of submissions had made it necessary to pick paintings that showed more than one tree. I was devastated.


Colours of Muskoka, acrylic, 16" x 20"

While I was at the cottage, I also created an abstract painting by chance. When I wanted to tint my next canvas with my leftover paints, an abstract painting emerged that excited me.

Strutting, acrylic, 16" x 20"

From August 7 to 28, 2008, we held our painting buddies group exhibition “Heritage” at Galerie Old Chelsea. It looked fantastic, but only one artist sold a painting. We were all quite disappointed. At least, I was proud of one of my fellow artist’s praise for “The White House” and “Strutting”.


The White House, acrylic, 11" x 14"

Even after our kids went back to school, I hardly found time to paint. I worked on the board of our gallery and as the new webmistress of the Ottawa Art Association. As my husband had created the new website, it made sense that the association asked me to upload the content and maintain the website. It was a very time-intensive task. In November, I also went back to work at the daycare for a month.

If you would like to know how I turned things around in 2009, I invite you to follow my journey in two weeks.

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