When the Ocean Paused for me.

Bay of Fundy Acrylic Painting by Flora Doehler
Bay of Fundy
Acrylic Painting by Flora Doehler 24″ x 30″ $800.

Imagine sitting on an island in the Bay of Fundy, perched high on a rocky cliff. Below you waves crash against rocks, eroding the edge of the island just a little more.
I sat there in the summer of 2012 with my painting gear and looked out to see a still strip of water, calm and illuminated in all that commotion. That is where this painting was born.
The ocean was ever changing that day. First misty-foggy, then cloudy and then for a brief interval, a few clouds parted and the ocean became smooth like glass in one spot. A reflection appeared like a mirage. And then it was gone.

P1370981
Painting detail.

 

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Falling Blossoms

We’ve had several days of rain here in Bear River and everything is lush. The leaves are still that pale green that spring brings.

I sat in the studio today and listened to a wonderful CBC podcast interview with composer Philip Glass while I painted this scene out of the window. There were many examples he gave about his musical experiences that I could relate to in terms of painting.

painting by Flora Doehler
The Falling Blossoms by Flora Doehler. 12″ x 12″ Acrylic on canvas. $350.

It was an afternoon of bliss to paint this scene and to hear Glass talk about how he too is inspired by Nova Scotia landscape.
Please contact me if you are interested in purchasing this painting.

Here is Metamorphosis from Philip Glass. Sometimes I listen to it while I’m painting.

 

Paint Like you Mean it

I had an epiphany. I was listening to a woman singing. Her voice was lovely and so was the music.  She obviously had great technique.  But, something was missing. After watching her for a while, I wanted to send her this thought:

I need to sing like I mean it. I need to let the emotion that led me to write this song come out and be expressed.

Perhaps through fatigue or shyness, she was just going through the motions that evening.
And then it occurred to me that the same is true with painting or with any creative pursuit. It must be injected with some confidence, some passion and some Raison d’être.

Do I paint like I mean it?

Painting by Flora Doehler. c2010
Painting by Flora Doehler. c2010

I certainly try to. When I paint it is because I get a feeling of inspiration when I view a particular thing or scene. It sends me to my art materials and I have to work on it right away. Sometimes it all goes wrong, and in my opinion the work falls flat. But unlike a musician, a painter can revisit her work and overlay it with more of the energy and feeling of the initial encounter.

What makes a great painting or a memorable song is more than technique. It’s an expression of a deep energy and feeling. So embrace that passion that inspired you in the first place and use it as the seed of a new creation.

 

And please, if you can, join me in a celebration of my recent paintings. I would like to share my inspiration with you.

Summer on Brier Island, by Flora Doehler, c. 2012.
Summer on Brier Island, by Flora Doehler, c. 2012.

 Saturday, January 26 – February 3A BRUSH WITH LIFE: paintings by Flora Doehler 

@ the Rebekah downstairs location (1890 Clementsvale Rd.) in Bear River.

Gallery opening with refreshments on Sat Jan 26, 1 – 4 pm.
I will be at the gallery from 1 pm to 4 pm (or by appointment) on the following days:
• Sat. Jan. 26, Sun. Jan. 27
• Thur. Jan. 31, Fri. Feb. 1, Sat. Feb. 2, Sun. Feb. 3
I’ll be painting starting on Thur. Jan. 31. All welcome.

For more information, please email me at flora.doehler@gmail.com

Drawing
Mixed media by Flora Doehler. c 2013.

Show of Paintings – Jan / Feb 2013

Hi there!  I’m thrilled to tell you that I’m having a showing of my paintings in Bear River at the end of January.  This will be an opportunity for me to show large paintings from the last couple of years in one space.

I will work on a painting onsite during the show.

Saturday, January 26 – February 3: A BRUSH WITH LIFE: paintings by Flora Doehler

the Rebekah
 downstairs location (1890 Clementsvale Rd.) in Bear River.

Gallery opening with refreshments on Sat Jan 26, 1 – 4 pm.
I will be at the gallery from 1 pm to 4 pm (or by appointment) on the following days:
• Sat. Jan. 26, Sun. Jan. 27
• Thur. Jan. 31, Fri. Feb. 1, Sat. Feb. 2, Sun. Feb. 3
I’ll be painting starting on Thur. Jan. 31. All welcome.

For more information, please email me at flora.doehler@gmail.com

Summer on Brier Island, by Flora Doehler, c. 2012.
Summer on Brier Island, by Flora Doehler, c. 2012.

Here is one of a series of short videos to show you some of the paintings that will be on display.

Painting Sumachs

It’s been raining here for a few days so it was wonderful to see the sun today. It is lovely to go outside again to capture this sumach scene in front of our house.

The reds, oranges and greens are stunning.

Just like painting other plant out of doors, the time to capture this brilliant display of colour is just a few short weeks.

I start the drawing on canvas with watercolour crayons.
Next, I fix the drawing with matt medium.
My set-up was on-the-fly so I sat on the ground and leaned my canvas against a tree stump. That way, I was ‘in’ the sumachs. I felt a bit like Alice (in Wonderland).
Painting detail showing my sgraffito marks.
I like the dark patterning that goes through the painting. When this is dry, I’ll have a better idea about how much of the original crayon colour is showing. Then, I’ll make my final changes.  Painting by Flora Doehler, 2012. acrylic. 36″ x 36″

I narrowed my pallet of Golden fluid acrylics down to yellow, green-gold, purple, pyrole red, and a cerulean blue mixed with white.

I can’t wait to work on this tomorrow and to finish another Sumach painting that I started ‘in season’ last fall and is waiting to be finished this week.

Painting using Complimentary Colours as an Undercoat

I just spend a fabulous week painting on Brier Island, Nova Scotia where the Bay of Fundy meets the Atlantic Ocean. I went there with other artists and you can read more about it here.

I want to show you another way of working with acrylic and watercolour sticks.

Brier Island painting by Flora Doehler, 2012
On Brier Island, looking towards Meteghan.

During the trip I noticed one of the other artists creating beautiful little watercolors with her watercolor sticks.  Another artist was using a underpainting in a complementary color to the main color  of her painting.   I  have used both of those methods/materials but it got me thinking;  what if I used my watercolor sticks as the underpainting and chose colors that would be complimentary to the local paint color? In other words, what if I used a red crayon underneath where I would be painting a green tree and allowed some of that red to show through?

Westport on Brier Island. Ink drawing by Flora Doehler, 2012.

I had some Derwent  watercolor artbars. I love their triangular shape because it’s possible to mark the canvas with broad strokes.

Drawing on canvas with watercolour sticks.

I drew my back ground using the complementary colors. This was a good exercise in reading the landscape as a series of shapes — although I must admit I deviated from the plan a little when it came time to painting.

Fixing the watercolour crayon by brushing matt medium over the canvas.

In order to ‘fix’ my drawing and to prevent it from dissolving into the paints, I brushed matte medium over the watercolor crayon and something very exciting happened. The medium dissolved and activated the crayon drawing making it blurry but also making the color of it spread into intense colour.

The intensity of the colour was brought out by the matt medium.

After the medium dried, I added more medium to the surface and then painted using my fluid acrylics. This is so that I can scratch into it and reveal the crayon colour underneath.

Briar Island painting by Flora Doehler. 16″ x 16″

I’m looking forward to developing new work using this method. And it just goes to show you the benefit from working with other artists and from having a good chunk of uninterrupted painting time.