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.

header-floradoehler2Painting in the Historic Gardens in Annapolis Royal during the annual ‘Paint the Town’ event in August. photo by Trish Fry.

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

My parents were interested in politics, writing and the arts. My father operated an enormous Linotype machine so I grew up with a love of the smell of ink and a deep appreciation for type and the craft of typesetting. My mother was a painter,  writer and gardener and I owe 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 that still operates today in Toronto. I was introduced to many different mediums – clay, sculpture, printmaking, weaving and painting at the Art Center at Central Technical School.
Flora Doehler

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 grew 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 ran a library for young adult newcomers in Toronto.

After returning to Canada, I met Larry, my best friend and partner and together we pursued art in the spaces that weren’t filled with raising our 2 creative children and working 9-5. I went back 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 distance ed courses to get my 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 above the subway line on Yonge Street, Toronto.

During those years I continued painting and drawing and was active in an 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.

The past 11 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 such gratitude to be able to (finally!) paint my surroundings here in this beautiful province of Nova Scotia.