Getting My Act Together – With Your Help

The year is almost a wrap. Last weekend’s Holiday Art and Craft show in Bear River was lovely, busy and a wonderful way to reconnect with many new and old friends, some who are art makers and others who are collectors. I was glad to bring home a few treasures for myself.

A bouquet of Chinese Lanterns wait to be painted.

When I stepped back inside the studio last week, it was with a feeling of gratitude at having this beautiful space in which to work. It was also with a shock at seeing the mess I had left behind or ignored while I harvested the garden, planted garlic, prepped for the final show.

It was time to prepare for my winter painting.

This meant spending days tidying up – sweeping up everything from dead crickets to grass clippings to bean pods from seed saving.

Surrounded by beauty. Beautiful raindrops make jewelled patterns in the wild, brambly roses

I replaced most of the hanging, finished paintings with either unfinished works or with ones that will help to inspire this winter’s painting.

I rearranged the furniture so that I can have a fresh point of view. I wanted the room to feel different.

I brought in wood for the stove and will try to keep a good supply of dry wood on hand.

The wood stove is my favorite heating source.

Many ideas are bubbling for 2020 about painting and printmaking and writing and I will get those ideas onto paper so that I can create a production plan / schedule.

My style in housework, cooking, creating and painting is ‘controlled chaos’. Maybe that comes from my inner child. It usually serves me well, but works especially well when paired with a physical reminder on paper or in a notebook. Maybe that’s my inner grown-up giving directions.

That grown-up also suggests that I need to get my writing act together again by blogging regularly. Writing about what I’m doing and where I’m going helps keep me focused in the studio. It also fills the need I have to share what I know about painting. But I truly need your help with this.

I am asking you to answer two short questions about how often you’d like to receive my posts and what you would like to see or read.

Your answers will help me ENORMOUSLY to move my accountability from the ‘uncontrolled chaos’ to the ‘controlled chaos’ department.


Thank you so much for your help with this and for sharing this journey with me.


Late afternoon in the studio.

30+ Little Landscape Paintings on Display this Weekend

wc paintings cardsThis month I got out my watercolours and beautiful watercolour paper and painted  little landscapes and water scenes.
I love it when the dry painting still looks wet. This can only happen by painting watercolours into damp cotton paper.
I created these scenes for the Bear River Holiday Spirit Craft Show and Sale on Sat, November 30, (from 10 – 4.) They are perfect for framing and are a standard size. The images are 5.5″ x 7’5″.  They can be used as cards.

I’ve priced them at $20 each. I wanted everyone to have a chance to own or to gift an original painting. I know that some of you live too far away to come to Bear River for this show, but if you would like me to set any aside for you, please contact me at and include the painting # please.
I will be set up in the Bear River Artworks Gallery which is at the front of the Oakdene Centre building. Drop by and say hi if you come.
All the details of the day are listed at the bottom of this post.

I made a short video so you can see my painting process and how wet the paper had to be.

Village-wide Art, Crafts, Dolls, Wreaths, Honey, Catnip and Cider and Holiday Spirit in Bear River – Nov 30, 10 – 4pm

If there was ever a day to come to Bear River and see the wide array of art and craft, Sat. Nov 30 is the day! Buy local, buy handmade and eat homemade food.

Not only is this the 11th Bear River Holiday Spirit Craft Show where over 30 artists, soapmakers, and fine craftspersons have treasures waiting;  that event has morphed into a village wide event. We await your visit.

In the Oakdene Centre:
  • Over 30 tables of fine artisans upstairs in the auditorium
  • 8 artists of the Bear River Artworks Gallery with new works for sale (main floor)
  • Art Exhibition “Becoming the Ocean”  on the main floor
  • Bear River Museum with displays plus hosting Friends of Ferals with catnip gifts
  • A Silken Tree offers funky retro clothing and jewelry and art
  • Homemade soup, chili and baked goods will be served upstairs in the auditorium/craft show/sale room.

In the village:

Bear River First Nation:

  • Christmas Craft Fair @ Bear River Cultural Centre 194 Reservation Road.
    10am – 2pm





Step Inside My Painting Studio

My art studio is buzzing these days. I have quite a few paintings on the go as well as new ideas for future paintings. It’s feast or famine in the art area. And as with any passion, the more time you can set aside for it, the more you want to set aside time. It’s a wheel that keeps on turning.

Currently, I do not have painter’s block, but I do have writers block. Every morning I think “this is the day I’ll send out a newsletter or a blog post. But first I’ll walk out to the studio for inspiration.”

I walk across the lawn past the lupins or iris or now lilies, and reach my converted garage-into-studio that is surrounded by blooming wild roses, a cherry tree and fields.  I am moved to pick up a brush to add to any one of the four paintings I’m currently working on. I have my coffee, I put on a little music and then I lose myself in the dance with the canvas.

Occasionally the cat scratches at the front door to come in and she settles in for a nap.

I take a break and pick some snow peas and kale for the evening stir fry. If Larry is home he brings in a snack for both of us.

Almond butter on slices of apple….the perfect snack.

Not only are the treats essential to my work flow, his gesture also sends a welcome message of encouragement – that my time of exploration in the studio is important. It is very wonderful to have a partner who encourages creativity. I am a lucky artist in so many ways.


Of course not all days are like that…life has other ideas for us. But this is my intention:

  • try to paint every day
  • paint like I mean it
  • appreciate this precious time and opportunity
  • soak in the beauty all around
  • be prepared to make mistakes – that’s how people learn

If you would like to see my chaotic, creative space, please come and visit! Just give me a ‘heads up’ so I can be sure to be here. The contact information is here.

Come to my studio and I’ll show you a few recently finished paintings.

© Flora Doehler, 2019
11″ x 14″
Acrylic on Canvas
Briar Island, Nova Scotia
©Flora Doehler
12″ x 12″
Acrylic on  Birchwood
Field of Grace
©Flora Doehler, 2019
48″ x 48″
Acrylic on Canvas
Yellow Tulips
©Flora Doehler, 2019
Acrylic on Canvas
48″ x 48″

And before you leave Bear River, drop into the Bear River Artworks Gallery at the Oakdene Centre. This vibrant, co-op Gallery is artist run and I’m usually there on Wednesdays.

Blue Mind Gallery also has a few small paintings of mine as does The Flight of Fancy, both on the main street of Bear River.

Painting Tulips in a Room of One’s Own

This new painting is special to me for several reasons. For starters, I really like it! I always enjoy the process of painting and trying to solve the design problem, but sometimes the end result falls short of what I am trying to achieve. Ironically I believe this is a motivating factor to paint and to try it again. But this time I am happy with the look and feel of this painting; the spontaneity and lightness. Continue reading

Hop with me to the Lucky Rabbit this Weekend in Annapolis Royal (Nov 30 – Dec 2)

Join in the parade of lights down Main Street Friday night, Nov 30,  in Annapolis Royal, have a cup of cocoa with Santa, and then come on down to the best most beautiful house full of exquisite fine craft and art that you ever will see, from 6 – 9 pm.
Or join us on Saturday Dec 1 from 10 – 4, when the whole town will be bustling with holiday markets, plus the farmers market…you’ll need a tour guide!
Finally, we are open Sunday afternoon from 1 – 4 pm for your pleasure or return visit. This lovely group of talented artists takes the cake…and we’re not just bragging! Continue reading