Friday, 16 April 2021

25 Years in Canada - The Year 2012 Part II

At the Market II, acrylic, 16" x 20", SOLD

Blog 12

The second half of 2012 started with one week at the cottage. During our summer week, I usually find it too hot to go for daytime hikes. Instead, I spent a lot of time painting and felting when we were not at the beach. I sit in the mosquito-netting enclosed part of the patio, finishing paintings and sometimes working on new artworks. I love the feeling of being outside, sheltered from insects and too much sun.

For many years, I did not work in July and August to spend time with our children during the beautiful Canadian summers.

Burst of Energy, Hibiscus Delight, The One,
Waterlily Delight, Burst of Orange, Magical Iris, acrylic, 6" x 6


As I knew I would not find long periods for painting, I created 6” x 6” images of flowers. At the end of the summer, when my daughter and her friend were at a day camp, I managed to spend more time in the studio. I created At the Market II for the West-Carleton art show theme entry. For this purpose, I had visited the Cumberland Farmers Market to take pictures as a reference. I create a bright painting of a stand with lots of vegetables (see above).

I also took the opportunity to meet with other Arteast artists at the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum for a day of plein air painting. 






On August 25, I took part in the Art in the Park event at the Cumberland Farmers’ Market. Setting up the grids at 7 am was torture for me, but I had a successful day talking to potential art students. I sold a tulip painting and greeting cards. Looking for new venues was high on my list of goals when the Gallery Old Chelsea relocated. Following the move, they only exhibited works of the associate members. I was busy preparing for some upcoming exhibition in the Glebe Community Centre and the Ottawa School of Art Showcase. I also applied unsuccessfully to become a member of another gallery.


Kamouraska Landscape, oil, 12" x 24", SOLD

On the second weekend of September, my friend Janis and I drove up to Kamouraska for our yearly painting trip. We had a terrific week, although the strong winds were challenging at times. However, the temperatures were as high as never before. We spent two days painting in summer clothes with temperatures reaching 27 degree Celsius.

While I was settling in after the painting trip and already preparing again for the next art show, I received devastating news from Germany. My beloved godmother had a brain tumor. The news hit me especially hard as nobody had told me that she had health problems for months. It was not the first time my family had decided to keep me in the dark about a critical situation. They often hoped to deal with the problem without me worrying from afar. Needless to say, that it led to me worrying even more when I learned the facts.

On September 22 and 23, I participated in the Glebe Fine Art Show. I was frustrated with a lack of sales, even though I was excited when one of my former customers told me that she still enjoys her painting every day. The bunny would still look as lively as the day she first saw the portrait. 

I was also disappointed about the cancellation of my German class with the local recreation centre. Completely unexpected, I received the notice of dismissal from the City of Ottawa. I was shocked as I had discussed switching from German instruction to art instruction with my supervisor. Luckily, I received a new contract for the winter session.


There was also another positive outcome. One of the registered participants of the cancelled course became one of my private students. He was not only a long-time student but became a good friend over the years.

Two weeks later, I took part in the West Carleton Arts Society's Expressions of Art Exhibition in Carp. It was my first exhibition west of the City of Ottawa. I met many interesting people but was disappointed that I did not sell a single painting. However, this disappointment changed into delight when one of the visitors contacted me after the show and bought four. 

On October 20, I was a facilitator at the You Deserve It Women's Day Conference in Orléans. I held two workshops with the theme Explore Your Creativity Through Painting. It was a new and exciting experience for me. Every participant had so much fun, no matter whether they used a paintbrush for the first time or had painted before.

On the weekend of November 24 and 25, I participated in my first Christmas show at the Watson's Mill Annual Christmas Market and Fine Art Sale, 5525 Dickinson Street, Manotick. I enjoyed the companionship among the artists but disappointingly did not sell anything.

Waterlilies, acrylic, 18" x 24", not for sale

I finished my creative activities at the beginning of December with a two-day impressionist workshop by Andrea Mossop. Claude Monet is one of my favourite artists. However, I realized during the workshop that even though I admired his artworks, I would never want to apply his technique again.


I have always enjoyed painting in the techniques of the masters because you learn something new every time. After each workshop, I have admired their mastery even more. Each time, I incorporated some of the gained knowledge in my work. I feel the influence of some artists more than others, not only from the masters but from my fellow painting buddies.

If you want to see what new challenges and opportunities I faced in 2013, come back to this blog next week. To see more of my 2012 paintings, please visit my website

Friday, 9 April 2021

25 Years in Canada - The Year 2012 Part I

Waterfall at Dorcester Parc I, oil, 8" x 10", SOLD

Blog 11

We began the year 2012 in the quiet setting of the cottage. There we enjoyed a beautiful view of the frozen Ottawa River and the snow-covered landscape. At the time, my children were still young enough to spend the week with us. Due to the short winter days, we still had lots of time after our hikes to watch movies and play games together.

I still squeezed in some time for creativity. In the winter months, I usually prefer to practice drawing as it is easier to bring a couple of pencils and a sketchbook instead of all the materials for painting. Plus, even though acrylic paints don’t smell, the mediums I use do.

Back at home, I brought a new painting to the Ottawa Little Theatre, where I regularly exhibited with the Ottawa Art Association. The next stop was the vernissage of the Plein Air Panach 7 exhibition at the Gallery Old Chelsea. I was proud to be part again of the Plein Air Ensemble exhibition.

Even though my children still had a busy schedule of sports and music activities, my days were less hectic. Closing our Galerie de la Rive, handing over the Ottawa Art Association website, and concentrating only on my private courses created some more creative time.

In the second half of January, the painting course at the church started again. Later in the spring, I also taught a private student.

The Perfect Fish Tank, acrylic, 16" x 20", NFS

Aside from teaching, I got into the habit of painting every second day. I felt good about my regular time in my studio. In general, I only paint for 90 to 120 minutes before I need a break. Only when I am close to the end of a project, I completely lose track of time and might spend half a day painting without a break.

I also continued teaching German. I enjoyed sharing my language and traditions. For the longest time, I was nervous about losing my German. I had heard stories of immigrants who were not comfortable talking and especially writing in their mother tongue anymore. I learn something new all the time when I am teaching. When you grow up speaking a language, you never question grammatical rules as you use most of them intuitively. Once you have to explain grammatical structures to people who do not necessarily know anything about grammar, you gain a deeper understanding of their struggle.

Fishing Huts at Petrie Island, oil, 11" x 14", SOLD

At the end of February, I went painting the fishing huts at Petrie Island with some of my friends. It was my first visit to this little winter town of colourful structures. They appear every winter on the Ottawa River and is quite a typical activity during the Canadian winters. It is not a very common winter activity in Germany. It is only allowed at few lakes, and anglers do not build sheds. We talked to some of the fishermen. One even invited us into his cosy hut, furnished with a small stove, a table and chairs.

We were lucky to spend March Break also at the cottage. This time, my parents had arrived from Germany to spent the week with us. We had a great week time. However, all the relaxation vanished when we arrived at home and heard heart-melting cries from our cat. I ran into the basement but could not find him anywhere. I was frantic. He sometimes liked to disappear in the ceiling, and I feared he was stuck. Suddenly, someone called from outside. They had found Miko sitting under the kitchen stairs with red ears and paws.

As it turned out, he had escaped when a neighbour had visited him. Luckily, the sun had been warm, and the shelter under the stairs had prevented the worst. He still had some frostbite and was a little skinnier than we had left him, but all in all, he was OK. However, he was scared and suddenly cried every night for a long time.

The pastor of our congregation asked me to paint a Palm Sunday scene for the church. I was not too crazy about the request as Jesus riding on a donkey seemed challenging. I felt nervous about creating a religious painting, but I also felt too shy to refuse the work. The struggle is visible in the artwork. It is not my style and, despite frustrating efforts, not a good painting - a perfect example, what happens if you create something and your heart is not in it.

Rivière du Nord, oil, 10" x 8", CAN $250

At the end of March, I went with my friends Janis and Hélène to the next Plein Air Ensemble trip to St. Adèle in Quebec. Most of the days, the sky was grey. On our last day, however, the sky was cloudless and blue, but the wind was so icy that Janis and I spent most of the morning in the car. We only got out to take pictures until we found a big rock in a sheltered area. When the wind had calmed down in the afternoon, we created a second painting at the Rivière du Nord. This time of the big waterfall.


Together, oil, 10" x 8"

In May, I exhibited paintings at the Tulip Festival for the first time. I had already painted with Janis and Hélène at the festival for a couple of years. The beautiful flower beds have always inspired us. We also have some stories to tell about interactions with other visitors, but that is a subject for another time.

In mid-June, I joined other members of Arteast, a local art organization, for a trip to Montreal. After a visit to the Montreal Fine Art Museum, we strolled through the streets of Old Montreal. Some of us created little sketches, but most of us visited the many galleries to see what they considered worth showing.

Spending time at the museums and with other artists is very important for me. The life of an artist can be lonely and very frustrating at times. I cherish the interactions and exchanges with my fellow painters and the inspirations of the masters.

If you want to read what the second half of the year had in store for me, please join me again next week. I encourage you to subscribe to automatic delivery of my blog to your email inbox.

Friday, 2 April 2021

Happy Easter


Happy Easter! It will probably be a difficult time for many who cannot be with their loved ones. I am sad that my husband and I will not be able to celebrate with our children and extended family. Nevertheless, I hope you will experience joy in nature and find lots of chocolate eggs and bunnies.

I am taking an Easter vacation until April 9, 2021, and will return with a new blog next Friday.

If you would like to connect with me, I invite you to my April Art Cafe, an afternoon of chatting and laughter. The Art Cafe is my monthly social gathering to connect people to bring more creativity and fun to their life. During the next Art Cafe on Sunday, April 11, 2021, at 3 pm, we will create a torn paper art of a cupcake.

This event is for you, if you
would like to meet and get to know new people
enjoy the social aspect of creating art together in a relaxed atmosphere
would like to upcycle old books, magazines, and papers

For more information and to register, please go to