About Flora Doehler

I paint and live in beautiful Bear River, Nova Scotia. I use acrylics, oils, and watercolours – whatever inspires me.  I share the studio with silversmith Larry Knox, my best friend and life long partner.  I garden, volunteer in the community and count my good luck every day.

The studio is a converted garage, surrounded by nature.

I was born in Toronto and lived there for most of my life.

In my household, my immersion in creativity was natural due to my parents involvement in writing, publishing, the arts, and in social justice politics. My father operated an enormous Linotype machine. I grew up with a love for the smell of oil-based printers’ inks and a deep appreciation for type and the craft of typesetting. My mother was a painter, writer and gardener and I owe so much to her, including my inquisitiveness and the ‘normalness’ of having art materials around the house.

As a teen,  I attended a full time 3 year fine art and fine craft program, run by the public school board for free in Toronto. I was introduced to many different mediums – clay, sculpture, printmaking, weaving and painting at the Art Center at Central Technical School.

From there I travelled to the German Democratic Republic to spend three years immersed in a new culture and language in socialist Berlin.  I attended the Kunsthochschule Weissensee, Berlin I painted under the guidance of Professor Wolfram Schubert, a superb painter and printmaker. Those years had a profound influence on my world view and my development as an artist. I developed a personal understanding and compassion for people who find themselves ‘a stranger in a strange place.’ This understanding helped me in later years when I managed a library for young adult newcomers in Toronto.

After returning to Canada, I met Larry, my best friend and life partner.

Together, we pursued art along with raising our 2 creative children and working 9-5. I returned to school so I could work as a Library Technician, then as Librarian in education. There were many busy years of being a mother, working full time and taking university distance education courses towards an Arts BA.

Larry and I in 1977 when we both worked in a silk screen shop. Larry as printer and me as Brown Horizontal Camera operator. This was our first apartment above a store and the subway line on Yonge Street, Toronto.

During those years I continued painting and drawing and was active in the Don Valley Art Club in Toronto. I attended art workshops too. Life was full and hectic and I yearned for the day when I could devote myself fulltime to my art. This is all-too-typical story will resonate with most artists.

In 2007, our children grown, Larry and I left Toronto behind to resume chasing the dream of painting and silversmithing full time in this rural village of artists in eastern Canada.

It was and is a wonderful move. The pace has slowed, and folks are friendly.

Inside my studio in Bear River, Nova Scotia.

The past 14 years have been a totally new journey in many different ways. My painting continues to develop and grow in directions I never imagined.

I feel tremendous gratitude to be free to paint my surroundings in this beautiful province of Canada – Nova Scotia.