Friday, 12 March 2021

25 Years in Canada - the Year 2010 Part II

Fall at Beckett's Creek, mixed media, 30" x 40", NFS,
Winner of the "Viewers' Choice Award" at Galerie de la Rive
in the spring/summer exhibition 2010

Blog 8


If you read last weeks blog, you saw how busy my life was. Going through my journal, I felt exhausted from all the activities. I am not sure how I managed to coordinate everything. You might have guessed that it did not end well. 


In June, I started to have dizzy spells, felt very weak and tired. My body shut down with a vengeance. I was diagnosed with severe burnout. For weeks, I could hardly get out of bed, let alone to do anything else. I slept a lot. Even after a month, during our vacation in July, I was still too weak to make the five-minute walk to the beach without stopping.


I had to take care of my health because my children and I had tickets to Germany at the end of July to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary of my parents. Luckily, a trip to Germany also meant pampering from my parents.


While it was exhilarating to see all my relatives and friends, the trip to Germany was not a time to relax. When we returned, I still tired quickly and needed at least eight hours of sleep. I got easily irritated and overwhelmed.


Nevertheless, I continued chauffeuring my children around. Dominic’s competitive soccer season was in full swing, which meant that I drove him around several days of the week for training sessions and at least one game. Most of the games were far from home. Plus, there were additional tournaments. At least, we were car-pooling to the out of town games. I should have stayed home from time to time to care for my health, but I did not want to miss seeing my son play. 


On September 2, we adopted a new family member, the orange tabby Miko. His job was to help us get rid of the mice problem in our house in the country. We could not prevent the rodents from entering the house despite all the efforts we had taken. When we finally decided to add a cat to our household, I was relieved as my phobia caused me anxiety every time I went to the basement. 


Candy, acrylic, 20" x 16", NFS
While we welcomed the cute addition, we also worried about our not even five-year-old Golden Retriever, Candy. The benign tumour on her paw grew fast. We had the lower part already removed, but it grew back in a short time. The only possible solution was a partial amputation of her paw - an expensive and scary option. We tried to protect her foot with a sock and shoe, but soon the tumour almost reached the size of a tennis ball. Her skin started bleeding because it was so stretched. I was terrified that we would lose her only four years after our first Golden. I did not want to leave her but could not resist the temptation of spending time in Kamouraska with the KAM 7 Group again.


Feels Like Paradise, acrylic 11" x 14", CAN $375

Therefore, on September 11, my friend Janis and I left Ottawa on a beautiful bright Saturday to join our friends. In Kamouraska, it was also sunny but a lot colder. Nevertheless, we spent a wonderful week painting in the fresh salty air, enjoying fantastic dinners and fun conversations. It was great to spend time with people with the same interests who understand your passion and struggles. After the week, Janis and I left the others behind, who stayed for another week. As our children were still young, a one-week trip was already a challenge to organize and quite a treat for us. I have to admit that I was quite happy to go home to my family. It had been an intense creative week, and I needed a break from painting. 


The next exciting adventure was waiting: I offered my first two art courses at the Bob MacQuarrie Recreation Complex as part of the City of Ottawa programming. One was an adult beginners painting class and the other an art course for children, that started in the second half of September.


At the beginning of October, I hung my next solo exhibition at the Blackburn Hamlet Library.  

At the Tulip Festival, acrylic, 14" x 11", CAN $ 375


Exciting times were also on the horizon for our Galerie de la Rive. At the end of November, we moved out of the retirement home that housed the gallery until then and into a new building, the City of Clarence-Rockland Arts & Culture building. We had a big vernissage on Sunday, December 5, 2010, with a new exhibition of artists from the region, live music and a book reading. 


Magic Pumpkins, acrylic, 16" x 20", SOLD

As many other organizations used the building, we were optimistic that more people would see and buy the great artworks. We finally had the space to hold workshops and courses for adults and children. We had big plans to encourage young artists. Our gallery and the local artists association collaborated to present the Budding Artist Prize in 2011. We put a call out to the Clarence-Rockland schools to have their students participate. We also invited the local schools to visit the gallery as part of their visual arts programme.


If you want to know more about the future of the gallery and my year 2011, please return next week.

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