Earth, Air, Water and Fire

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Painting on paper. Acrylic and ink. ©Flora Doehler, 2020.

I belong to a Co-op Gallery that I co-founded with other Artists in this village in 2015.

This year, for the first time, The Bear River Artworks Gallery has invited artists across the province to join us for a special ‘Leap Year’ Exhibition.

Like millions of people around the world, we are concerned with our natural environment and its preservation. Our show is titled The Elements : Earth, Air, Water and Fire and it runs for a short, but impactful 3 days.Elements invitation - 1

We live in an area with an abundance of natural forms, ever transforming, breathing, living and dying and being reborn. 

The decomposing remnants of summer gardens, the ever-changing tidal Bear River, the evidence of ancient, now cooled, lava at Point Prim.

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Tidal Pool on cooled molten lava at Point Prim, NS, Bay of Fundy.

The movement of water clouds.

The natural beauty of the world around us far surpasses anything that an artist could create. These elements are artworks that have sprung from the earth and the heavens.

I’m not sure if these works on paper will be my offering to the art show, but for now I’m experimenting with colour and thinking of the power of the elements.

I pulled out big sheets of watercolour paper, my inks and my acrylic paints.

My first try combined the blue of water and air with the warm browns of the earth. I thought about the colours in rocks. It as though they have captured and embedded all the elements. When the paint dried, I could only see figures.

And as much as I loved the blues, I was missing the ‘fire’ element so I got out my orange paint and my black india ink and warm browns and painted another one. I thought about how rocks formed as a result of bubbling, melting minerals from deep in the earth. I made ‘bubbles’ with drips of alcohol that pushed away the paint. Finally, I added a touch of white acrylic paint for a sharper contrast.

It’s certainly a departure from flowers. I now see even more figures in the second painting! When our gallery group discussed the theme for the show, I wanted to add ‘Spirit’ as an Element. I lost the vote. But it looks like I picked up some Spirits anyway.


2 thoughts on “Earth, Air, Water and Fire

  1. I love your paintings, Flora! Until a couple of years ago, I was not a fan of abstract images (paintings or photographs). However, now I find them absolutely fascinating. I hope I can make it to see the exhibit.

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