Gallery Opening on Saturday May 28, 2022

I wanted to let you know that Bear River Artworks Gallery which I am part, is opening for the season on Saturday, May 28. On this first weekend, all the artists decided to be there to hang out with whoever drops by and to enjoy the fruits of our labour.

You see, it isn’t until we actually hang the gallery that we see what each other has created over the winter. That leads to lots of conversation and diversion from the job at hand and so it takes at least twice as long to hang as planned.

A new painting of mine is having its debut showing at Bear River Artworks Gallery “Nighttime Conversation”. 30″ x 36″

I’ll walk you through the gallery in a video when it’s all jazzed up.

But oh my, I forgot how many details there are to get a gorgeous space ready. We have….3 main rooms on the ground floor of a Victorian building in Bear River. Next to Sissiboo Coffee, yum, yum. So even for people who aren’t interested in art, the inside of the building is alone worth coming for. Gorgeous hardwood floors, a sweeping, curved staircase (to a private residence) and lovely crown molding in every room. And stone fireplaces too.

The lighting has been updated from over 100 years ago. Copper enamelled earrings by Larry Knox.

We are the last gallery in the village to open this season and are glad to align our open days with the Flight of Fancy, Blue Mind Gallery, The Bear River Artists Studio Tour Trail, and the gorgeous exhibitions at Sissiboo Coffee Bar and Gallery. That’s a lot of art and fine craft for a small village, and this is quite the creative place.

This Saturday and Sunday, our whole crew will be present from 1 – 3 pm.

My regular day will be Thursdays. For now our regular open time will be Wed-Sun, 10 am – 4 pm

This timing is perfect because the siberian yellow iris are about to bloom, the purple lupins are telescoping upwards and starting to show colour and I have a garden to plant!

It feels like the opposite of the slow, long winter.

So, please take the time to see what made-with-love beautiful things are being made here.

A reminder that my solo show of paintings, “Courage My Love” ends this Saturday in Annapolis Royal. Lucky Rabbit is also open from 10 am to 4 pm. See all the paintings here.

The Healing Properties of Daffodils, Turtles and Goutweed

Something fairly profound happened for me this month.

I have felt quite sluggish this winter. Not actually depressed but just completely unmotivated, disinterested, lazy and believing that my strong desire to paint had completely abandoned me. This was quite distressing because there was absolutely no substitute interesting endeavour that came to mind. Nothing. Not writing. Not gardening. Not visiting. Not travelling. I wondered if this is how the end begins.

And then something surprising happened. The daffodils I planted last year started poking up all over the lawn, under trees, beside the studio. Ordinary daffodils. Well some were a touch more fancy than others, but they were certainly not roses, or rare orchids. Just bright yellow happy daffodils.

Daffodils are happy flowers.

And soon after that, masses of goutweed, the bane of my existence, started coming up. And although they are incurably invasive, I do like the smell of their leaves and they are greener than green. For the first time ever, instead of cursing them, I marvelled at their shape and persistence. I noticed the earth under them was loaded with beneficial earthworms who turned the maze of roots into rich soil.

The Goutweed will look dreamy at the end of June.

And then yellowish green buds appeared on the trees. And then, miracle of miracles, three adult painted turtles appeared in our little pond. I only saw them once, but there were followed by two and then three baby turtles that have been hanging out in the goldfish pond sunning themselves ever since.

And while Nature was doing her thing, I pressed forward with a show of paintings in May for the Lucky Rabbit House in Annapolis Royal. And guess what? It’s been an absolute thrill to show my paintings and to hang out with the creative artists at Lucky Rabbit and to talk to people about the paintings. I hadn’t realized how much I had missed interaction with others.

All of this has caused me to wake up and come alive again. I am feeling such gratitude for the Spring transformation of the earth. I have ordered another 50 daffodil bulbs as insurance for the future.

And guess what? I still want to paint! I am back in the studio with gusto. Which is great timing because I am creating a whole new grouping of paintings for Bear River Artworks Gallery. We open on May 28 and five of the gallery artists will be present.

Daffodil painting in progress.

The collection of 21 paintings at Lucky Rabbit House in Annapolis Royal continues until May 28. Ironically it is named “Courage My Love”.

Do you see the logistical problem here? Two overlapping-by-one-day shows? This means that if you have the inclination, you can see my paintings at Lucky Rabbit and at Bear River Artworks Gallery on the same day, May 28. Both locations are open that day from 10 am to 4 pm. I will be at Artworks Gallery.

I hope you’ve felt rejuvenation from the sunshine and the warmer weather too. Flowers help. Courage, indeed!

I finished updating my 8′ tall mural (left image) that is back on the side of Sissiboo Coffee where I heard this musician in 2012. I can keep an eye on it from the window of Bear River Artworks Gallery where I will be hosting visitors on Thursdays all summer.

Inventing a Blue Flower While Breathing

If you love flowers, you’ll know that actual blue flowers are rare. Horticulturalists try to develop true blue blooms, and sometimes they come up with a purple and call it blue. And even though some flowers are blue, like a Cornflower, a Delphinium or a Forget-me-not, you can’t find a blue Zinnia or Daisy.

Except if you are a painter, and you can imagine it. You can paint the flowers any colour you want to.

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Inside My Painting Studio

Do you also feel the unsettling psychological impact of the threat of Covid-19 and of the isolation from others?  Even though the rate of infection is almost nonexistent in my little province – we haven’t had a single case in our village. – it is that imaginary threatening future that always hangs in the air.

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How I Learned to Promote my Artwork while Living in the Middle of Nowhere*

“Left a good Job in the City. Workin’ for the Man Every Night and Day…” Proud Mary, John Fogarty 

Thirteen years ago,  my husband and I ditched our jobs in the big city and moved to this sparsely populated province. Our dreams were all about creativity and community.  I yearned for the luxury of having time to paint.  I yearned for nature. And I hoped I would be able to find a market for my artwork. Continue reading

Earth, Air, Water and Fire

elements idea - 1
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. Continue reading