In With the New in 2021

A few days ago when the temperature climbed above freezing, I was able to put a fork in the ground and harvest our remaining leeks. These fearless beautiful greens pressed on through changing weather and snow.

Pomegranate in oil pastel. © Flora Doehler, 2020
My favorites are leek-potato soup; leek quiche; sliced stir-fried leeks with zucchini.

Leeks take months to grow, so they teach me to be patient about waiting for change. My reward is a delicious, tender vegetable that, among many benefits purportedly helps to calm the nervous system.

And that, dear reader is something we could all do with a bit more of during these pandemic times. Some days I despair wondering when we’ll ever be able to see our adult children again.  

And yet when I am feeling overwhelmed by events over which I have no control, there are actions I can take that ground me again.

First Snowfall happened in December. We’ve had little since.

Walking in nature, observing nature, drawing or painting nature. These are actions from which I draw my inner light and inspiration.

My muse comes from:

  • the rush I feel when I step into my painter’s playroom studio. It is filled with my paintings of the nature in my garden.
  • planning a garden and growing vegetables and flowers.
  • stepping outside and catching the magnificence of moving clouds.
  • observing the sudden swoop of birds alighting on the tallest tree.

This reminder of the beauty and persistence of nature never fails to lift my spirits.

Oil Painting ©Flora Doehler, 2016

For months, I have felt so hesitant to write about my painting journey. It seems trite and inconsequential when people are losing their livelihoods, their futures and worse. But it’s what I do and what I love to do. And it gives me optimism about the persistence of life.

I’ve been working on small pieces and listening to Jane Eyre read by Marilyn Lightstone. Free on Zoomer Radio, online. Delightful and charming.

I am hoping that by sharing my joy of painting, you too will have a momentary break from the headlines or from any overwhelm you are feeling. And that would be a good thing and a good reason to write and to share.

The beautiful vase is by Lucky Rabbit – Deb Kuzyk and Ray Mackie. There are forsythia and willow pieces in the vase…I am hoping they will bloom. The easel painting is a collage of pieces I had previously painted.
Deb Kuzyk applies colour and glazes to the gorgeous vase that inspires me every day in my studio.

You see, the flowers and the leeks and the garden don’t know about Covid-19. They only know to grow as tall and strong as they can, to face the life-giving sun and to make seeds and to continue the cycle again. They don’t even know how beautiful they are. They just are.

I potted one up one of my beautiful leeks in hopes that it will live through the winter in my greenhouse so that I can collect its seed next summer and help ensure its future.

May you and your loved ones enjoy a healthy year and a good future. And may the wind always be at your back on your journey.


Pomegranate in oil pastel. © Flora Doehler, 2020 . I treated myself to a small set of Sennelier Oil Pastels for Christmas. The colours are luscious.

8 thoughts on “In With the New in 2021

  1. For sure Flora, your joyful and colourful paintings do share the “optimism” and definitely lift the spirits.
    Thank you so much for your writings, demos, and ‘delight in nature’ paintings that I have enjoyed for so long, but even more now. Your art work is so inspiring!
    Happy painting, and all the best,

  2. Hi Flora,
    I hope this goes through. I tried before to leave a comment and it didn’t. Your work is always inspiring. And we need joy more than ever. Thank you for your beautiful paintings and these photos.


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