New Gallery, New Paintings, Oh My! – newsletter April, 2015

I am thrilled to say that Larry and I and 6 others have formed The Bear River Artworks Gallery  The opening is this Friday April 17 at 6 pm and we would love for you to join us.  If you can’t come on Friday night, then please join me on Saturday 10 am – 4 pm to view the works. I’ll be sitting the Gallery that day. For sure I’ll post some pictures on my website after the event.

Postcard-BearRiverArtworksOpening1

Friday, April 17, 2015
6 pm “Bear River Artworks Gallery” opening – Art, dessert and drinks
7:30 pm “Songs of Myself” Animation, puppetry and shadows 
@ The Oakdene Centre, 1913 Clementsvale Road, Bear River, Nova Scotia.
The gallery will remain open on Sat (18th) and Sun (19th) from 10-5.

Open Daily from May 17 – October 11, 2015  10am – 5pm

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Snow, Snow and More Snow

Looking out the studio door
Looking out the studio door

 

And it’s a good thing we had a new gallery to organize because winter in the Maritimes this year was brutal. The snowfall broke all records.
The trick was to not despair.
The upside of it was that I spent more time in the studio painting than I have any previous winter.

 

 

What’s New on the Easel?

Since January I’ve been making regular trips to the grocery store in Digby to buy tulips. They have cheered me tremendously. It’s a good thing too because I need new paintings for a new gallery.

"Sunshine" © Flora Doehler, 2015. Acrylic on canvas, 24" x 36"
“Sunshine” © Flora Doehler, 2015. Acrylic on canvas, 24″ x 36″
Working with oil pastels and oil paint.
Working with oil pastels and oil paint.
© Flora Doehler, 2015
© Flora Doehler, 2015
Sketching Flowers © Flora Doehler, 2015
Sketching Flowers © Flora Doehler, 2015

I am interested in the line between abstraction and reality-based painting.
Read here about my unexpected path from the garden to these paintings.

© Flora Doehler, 2014 "A New Life", acrylic 20"x20"  $600
© Flora Doehler, 2014
“A New Life”, acrylic
20″x20″ $600
© Flora Doehler, 2014 "Garden Chaos", acrylic 20"x20"  $600
© Flora Doehler, 2014
“Garden Chaos”, acrylic
20″x20″ $600

My other big news is that my work is included in a new book about how to paint with acrylics. The book is published in the US and the UK and I am happy to be invited to participate. Here is my back story about this.

Painting in Acrylics 3

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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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Sketching the Acadian House in Annapolis Royal

Not only do the Historic Gardens in Annapolis Royal recreate gardens from the past, they also give us a glimpse into the home life of the Acadians who lived here before the British arrived.

Acadian HouseThe first occupiers in this part of the world were the French in the 1600’s. Their settlers were innovative farmers who reclaimed salt marshland and transformed it into fertile growing lands. Their relationships with First Nation groups was more harmonious than the British would be. Eventually the British – French wars meant that Acadians were thrown off their lands by the British and shipped to various outposts including Louisiana where ‘Acadian’ became ‘Cajun’.

Many families were hidden by the Mi’kmaq and refused to leave their Nova Scotian homeland. Today there are still small communities of Acadians in Nova Scotia who work hard to keep their language and culture alive.

Here in the gardens, the tiny thatched house with hand-made glass windows is a visual reminder of some of that history.

Acadian House2
La Maison acadienne features the only archeologically authenticated replica of a pre-deportation Acadian dwelling in the Maritime region. The potager is based on original diary notes from the Acadian era, while the orchard and willow hedge are heritage cultivars from the 17th Century. La Maison acadienne is based on a 1671 time period when Port-Royal (later Annapolis Royal) was the centre of Acadie.- from the website of the Historic Gardens.

Last week in the gardens I sat in front of the thatch-roofed cabin and sketched it, later adding watercolour paint at home.

Acadian House © Flora Doehler, 2014
Acadian House © Flora Doehler, 2014
Acadian House © Flora Doehler, 2014
Acadian House © Flora Doehler, 2014

The Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens Inspire me – again!

About 30 years ago some clever garden and community development innovators in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia had the brilliant idea to recreate the historical periods of the town with a 17 acre garden.

Historic Gardens, Annapolis Royal

This August, like the past 5 summers, I have painted in the Historic Gardens during Paint the Town. This fall I finally bought a membership…only cost me $35 a year…and I’ve been visiting my favorite flowers when I go to Annapolis. It’s a 25 minute scenic drive from my home in Bear River.

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The gardens in Annapolis are exquisite…from wild and generous, to deliberate and precise. I love the Victorian Garden with its sunny, happy flowers and it’s outrageously oversized exotic-looking plants that look like they belong in an antique glassed-in greenhouse in England.

canna

Incredibly, all the flowers are annuals and this is what the gardens look like before planting time.

Historic Gardens, Annapolis Royal

What a difference 5 months makes!

IMG_0925In the days ahead, I’ll show you some drawings and paintings I’ve created lately at the Gardens.

I’m working on a series of flower paintings for an upcoming show I’m having with fellow painter Susan Geddes…also in Annapolis Royal, so painting and drawing at the gardens is very inspiring right now and is my homework!

invitationsmallThis little painting of mine was auctioned at Paint the Town this summer.

If Zinnias were Blue © Flora Doehler, 2014
If Zinnias were Blue © Flora Doehler, 2014




 

You’re Invited

I have been immersed in the preparation for my upcoming art show in Bear River.

It seemed like a good idea at the time..to show paintings from the last 2 and 3 years here, but wow. What a lot of work to get everything ready to hang. I had forgotten that part. There were paintings that needed some touching up, edges of canvasses to finish, wire to attach, paintings to seal, photos to take, labels to make, artist statement to write. And very important…cookies to be baked!

January Garden

I hope you can come. If you live close by and can’t come to the opening on Saturday afternoon, January 26, from 1pm to 4pm, then please try another afternoon. I’ll be in the gallery working on a painting and will be glad to talk to you about painting.

And if you live far away and can’t come, I’ll try to take a few little movies to share with you.

Here are some paintings that you’ll see next Saturday.

 

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.

Flora Doehler Paints the Town

This past weekend I painted up a storm in the Historic Gardens in Annapolis Royal. The event, Paint the Town, is an annual fundraiser for the Annapolis Regional Community Arts Council (ARCAC). The resulting silent auction of  hundreds of paintings, sculpture and blacksmithing that are created also benefits the 75 participating artists. Continue reading