Resonance: musician inspired paintings by Flora Doehler and Wayne Boucher

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I’m very excited to be 1/2 of a two-person show in Bear River at the new Sissiboo Coffee Bar and Gallery. The show opens this weekend on Sunday, May 22 at 2pm and displays until the end of June. My good friends Jon and Erin asked me if I would like to be the first artist to show in their beautiful space. I am touched to be asked and very happy to celebrate with them. I asked artist Wayne Boucher to join me and he agreed! His large paintings are gorgeous and luminous. I think our work will look great together. Yeah! Continue reading

Nurture and Nature Paintings – one more week only!

It is a wonderful feeling to see the fruits of my labour on display in a gorgeous gallery. Sharing the experience with a fellow painter is better still!
Susan Geddes and I hung our paintings and hoped that people would come out to see them. The place was hopping during our opening and it was wonderful for both of us to share our visual view of the world with old and new friends. Thank you for being part of it – in person at the gallery or right now, virtually.

You can still see the paintings daily in Annapolis Royal (closed Mondays)until November 23rd at ArtsPlace at 396 St. George Street. I’ll be there on Saturday Nov 15th from 1-3 pm.

The Colour of Longing ©Flora Doehler, 2014
The Colour of Longing ©Flora Doehler, 2014 Oil, 24″ x 24″

Tulips are a favorite flower (are they ALL my favorites??)  This oil painting went through quite a few versions until I arrived at this final one. You can see my progress here.

As attached as I am to that tulip painting, in this moment “Earthly Delights” (below) is my favorite of the show. I think it has an under-water quality and has a depth to it that I don’t usually use.

I started it in the spring using poured acrylic inks in the background. When the lilies bloomed in summer, I added them  and in the fall the last ‘poser’ was a brilliant orange Chinese lantern. So really, I painted all the flowers in the bouquet  as they bloomed. It represents, to me, the entire flowering cycle, hence the title.

Earthly Delights ©Flora Doehler, 2014
Earthly Delights ©Flora Doehler, 2014 Acrylic, 48″ x 36″


My next favorite paintings are these three and I described in this post about where my inspiration came from to abstract my Bee Balm garden flowers on the canvas.

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I can’t help myself. I keep planting lilies and I keep painting them too. I was a little inventive with the colours “In a Field of Lilies”. I WISH there was a blue lily. This painting inspired me to plant a new, deep maroon lily this fall. I think they are one of the happiest flowers in the garden. With their heads in the air they are true optimists.

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In a Field of Lilies ©Flora Doehler, 2014 Acrylic, 30″ x 30″

These are 8″ x 10″ paintings I started at the Historic Gardens in Annapolis and finished in my studio. I got to make full use of the sgraffito style that I like to play with.

I also painted lilies and other flowers using acrylic inks and paint on paper and then adhered it all to boards. These are 12″ x 12″ and are another reminder of summer. I enjoyed combining drawing and painting here.

My artist – friend Susan Geddes flew in from Victoria BC to share this show with me. I love her use of colour and texture. Her paintings have a dreamy, ethereal quality to them as well.

Stop in this week and see her work — and mine. Details about the show are at the bottom of this post.

painting by Susan Geddes
Jump for Joy! ©Susan Geddes
painting by Susan Geddes
Bubbling Up ©Susan Geddes
Acrylic, 16″ x 20″
Paintings ©Susan Geddes
Paintings ©Susan Geddes
Painting ©Susan Geddes
Painting ©Susan Geddes
©Susan Geddes  &  ©Flora Doehler, 2014
Painting ©Susan Geddes Painting  &  ©Flora Doehler, 2014

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On the Road from Realism to Abstraction in Painting

There were years and years when I believed that all abstract work was bourgeois and decadent and wasn’t actually art.   The shift in my thinking has been gradual and unexpected. All I can say for sure is that the more I paint, the more I feel drawn to the work of abstract artists. I notice this when I view art exhibitions or when I look at online works. The bold colorful paintings of abstract expressionists past and present excite and move me.

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“Garden Chaos”. Acrylic Ink sketch detail. 4″ x 4″ © Flora Doehler, 2014

And yet what I paint still remains literal… That is, the viewer knows exactly what they’re looking at. Even when I try to paint in a non-representational way it gradually morphs into a flower painting or landscape. I can’t seem to help myself.

So I decided to create a series of works that would challenge my way of approaching a painting.

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“Garden Chaos”. Acrylic on Canvas. 20″ x 20″ © Flora Doehler, 2014

This series that I created for my October 2014 show in Annapolis Royal is my way of abstracting flowers. Instead of painting live flowers, I painted from sketches of mine of live flowers. The “big deal” for me was to use a previous drawing as a point of reference rather than the actual plant or flower.

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“Bee Balm”. Acrylic Ink sketch detail. 4″ x 4″ © Flora Doehler, 2014

The original drawings are ink and ink stick on watercolor paper. I cropped them that I would be forced to paint a larger-than-life version of the flower which is also not my usual way of painting.

 "Bee Balm". Acrylic painting on Canvas. 18" x 18" © Flora Doehler, 2014
“Bee Balm”. Acrylic painting on Canvas. 20″ x 20″ © Flora Doehler, 2014

20″ x 20″

The finished paintings are one painting removed from the original subject and have morphed into an abstracted painting that suggests a floral theme. I would like to experiment by cropping these paintings and developing new and changed versions of them.

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“Breathing New Life”. Acrylic Ink sketch detail. 4″ x 4″ © Flora Doehler, 2014

It’s like playing “broken telephone” with the brush.

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“Breathing New Life”. Acrylic on canvas. 20″ x 20″ © Flora Doehler, 2014

I’ve very excited to explore a new approach to a favorite subject and I can’t wait to hang these in a couple of days at my show in Annapolis Royal. Please come, if you have the chance!

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Flora Doehler & Susan Geddes – show of paintings

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Here are some of the paintings that will be shown at the Flora Doehler & Susan Geddes show of paintings in Annapolis Royal from October 26 to November 23, 2014.

The Annapolis Royal Historic Garden Series – Flora Doehler 8″ x 10″, acrylic.

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Paintings by Susan Geddes

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The Paintings Revealed!

Today our power, water, phone and internet was restored after a long 4 days. At this moment I feel a deep appreciation for all those things that I usually take for granted!

The tropical storm Arthur also bumped my art show opening to this Saturday July 12 from 2 -4 pm. I will also be present in the Gallery on Sunday July 20 from 2 -4 and the Shambala Art Group of Annapolis will have an opening in the larger gallery on that day. The show continues until July 23.

This post is a debut of the 8 paintings that I created for my show Fairy Tales and Transformation , followed by images of each painting.

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Why Fairy Tales?

Last winter I created a piece for the Fairy Tales and Fables show in Bear River – I was reluctant at first, because I usually don’t like to work to a theme. I prefer to paint what inspires me in the moment. Working in collage with a story was a huge departure from plein air painting.

I enjoyed the challenge and wanted to explore the theme and technique further so I created this series to fit into this space in the Mym Gallery at Artsplace / ARCAC.

I’ve always loved myths and fairy tales and I have wonderful memories of being read them by both my parents. In turn I spent many summers reading legends and fairy tales to our children on camping trips. What can be more thrilling than to read a dark Grimm Brothers’ tale than in an evening forest setting?

And dark they are! Coming back to these stories now, I see how horrendous the circumstances were for the young heroines in these stories. They endure and transcend injustices such as abduction, confinement, loss of family and isolation. All are liberated from their situations with help from princes, sparrows and woodcutters and magic and are transformed forever.

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Painting Technique

My ‘painting materials’ are collaged pieces of my watercolours.  Like the young heroines in these stories, they are transformed in my studio to tell this visual story.

The archival watercolour paper pieces are glued onto cradleboard that has a birch plywood top and basswood frame. Three coats of acrylic matt varnish seal and protect each painting.

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Pricing

The larger paintings (16” x 16”) are $450.

The two smaller paintings (12” x 12”) are $300.

I welcome creative payment plans – please contact me at flora.doehler@gmail.com

Wolf's Dilemma ©Flora Doehler, 2014 16" x 16" mixed media on cradleboard $450.
Wolf’s Dilemma
©Flora Doehler, 2014
16″ x 16″
mixed media on cradleboard
$450.

 

Demeter’s Realization  ©Flora Doehler, 2014.  12” x 12” mixed media  $300
Demeter’s Realization
©Flora Doehler, 2014.
12” x 12” mixed media on cradleboard
$300

 

Visit to Grandma ©Flora Doehler, 2014 mixed media, 16" x 16" $450
Visit to Grandma
©Flora Doehler, 2014
mixed media on cradleboard, 16″ x 16″
(sold)

 

Demeter's Garden  ©Flora Doehler, 2014 12" x 12" mixed media on cradleboard $300
Demeter’s Garden
©Flora Doehler, 2014
12″ x 12″
mixed media on cradleboard
$300

 

Thumbelina  ©Flora Doehler, 2014.  mixed media on cradle board  16" x 16"  $450
Thumbelina
©Flora Doehler, 2014.
mixed media on cradle board
16″ x 16″
$450

 

Rapunzel Waits ©Flora Doehler, 2014 mixed media on wooden cradleboard 16" x 16", $450
Rapunzel Waits
©Flora Doehler, 2014
mixed media on wooden cradleboard
16″ x 16″, $450
Seven Ravens ©Flora Doehler, 2014 16" x 16" mixed media on cradleboard $450
Seven Ravens
©Flora Doehler, 2014
16″ x 16″
mixed media on cradleboard
(sold)

 

Searching for a Daughter  ©Flora Doehler, 2014  16" x 16" mixed media  (sold)
Searching for a Daughter
©Flora Doehler, 2014
16″ x 16″ mixed media on cradleboard
(sold)

 

My Art Show in Annapolis Royal – July 5 – 23, 2014

Please note that the show opening is postponed until Saturday July 12, 2-4pm due to the power outage.

I’m very excited about the new body of work I’m creating.

Fairy tales is the theme and I’ve been immersed in them – reading them again, listening to them online, falling asleep with my heroine young women in my head (Rapunzel, Red Riding Hood, Thumbelina).

Thumbelina  ©Flora Doehler, 2014.  mixed media on cradle board  16" x 16"  $450
Thumbelina
©Flora Doehler, 2014.
mixed media on cradle board
16″ x 16″
$450

Without realizing it, I chose tales that featured young women – all overcoming challenges like confinement, sexual assault, loss of family and isolation. All are transformed in the process and emerge stronger. My ‘painting materials’ were old watercolours of mine — mostly from my former life in Toronto. They are transformed in my studio to tell this visual story.

I began this journey  with a group show in Bear River organized by Ken Flett. The theme was Fairy Tales and I reluctantly agreed to create a piece. I don’t usually work to themes, preferring to paint what inspires me at the moment. It was a fun challenge to paint to theme and  to explore collage as a way to paint.

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I am a member of the Arts Council in Annapolis. It’s a vibrant, happening place and they offer spaces for shows for its members. The tiny Mym Gallery is set aside for artists to hang experimental work or journals or process pieces. When my name was drawn for the current show, I decided to create a series that would be different from what I usually paint. That’s where these 6 images came from.

Please drop by to see me on Saturday, July 12 th for the afternoon opening. I’ll be there the afternoon of the 20th as well.

For those of you who can’t make the journey, I’ll post all the images here over the next week as well as my thoughts about the stories that surfaced.

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Next week, I’ll be back to painting my favorite fairy tale…my garden.