Dec 29, 2011

Blooming time for artist - Doehler works from life; channels nature with brush, paint and canvas

A very special Christmas surprise for me this year was opening the newspaper to read this article about my painting process. Thank you to Heather Killen and the Spectator!

By Heather Killen
The Annapolis County
December 22, 2011
Painting in the garden in Bear River.

 To any painter who feels glum about that cramped studio space at a corner of the dining room table, or in the back bedroom - take heart. Flora Doehler has a perfectly good studio and most of the time she doesn’t use it.
This Bear River-based painter is now living her long-time dream. Her life is filled with art and flowers. Best of all, she has a beautiful art studio that she shares with her life partner and silversmith Larry Knox. Green Willow Studio is a nice space with lots of good light, yet Flora’s best paintings seem to happen in the yard.
Knox said he loves to watch her work because it’s seeing art in motion. Almost like a bellet of brushstrokes.
“It just happens”, he said “She’ll be walking and suddenly stop. Then the paints, the canvas, and the brushes disappear outside where she first saw the painting.”

Studied in Toronto
Doehler studied fine arts and fine crafts at the Art Centre at Central Technical School in Toronto where she was introduced to painting, printmaking, and weaving. From there she went on to study painting in Berlin and found the German Expressionists. She became mesmerized by printmaking techniques of artists like Kathe Kollwitz and Wassily Kandinsky.
Until three years ago she lived mostly in Toronto where she worked as a librarian in the school system. An avid gardener, she dreamed of a time when she and Larry were able to pursue their art and life in the country.

“I love colour and texture”, she said. “And being in the elements makes the whole process thrilling. I’m interacting with what I’m painting. I hear the birds around me and feel the moment.”
Painting in the studio in winter.

Paints From Life
She will work from photographs, but says she prefers to paint from life. Completing a painting therefore can become a race against time and the elements. In some cases the paintings take years to complete as she waits until the scene emerges the following season.
“It is a great feeling to be present with a living flower and to sense the life force of it,” she writes in her blog. “When a painting is working for me, I get lost in it and I feel like I am channeling the essence of the object of my gaze.”
Green Willow Studio is part of the Bear River Working Artists’ Studio Tour. For more information visit or see them at 967 Riverview Road, Bear River. (902) 467-0553.

Nov 22, 2011

Holiday Craft Shows

Larry and I are busy creating pieces for the upcoming craft shows in the area.
Our first stop, this coming Saturday, is the Holiday Spirit Craft Show at the Rebekah Hall in Bear River.  (See poster below).
Each pendant has a different look on each side.
Sometimes even a different colour!
There will be lots of wonderful crafts for sale as well as home made soups and bread and more!
Copper enamelled pendant

The back of the pendant above.
On December 3rd, we'll be at the Annapolis Royal Farmer's and Trader's Christmas Craft Market on December 3, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Annapolis West Education Centre.

Please drop by and say hello, we'd love to see you!

Nov 20, 2011

Flora's paintings in one place

I have created a website as a display for my large finished paintings. It is a 'work in progress' and I think you will like the feature that rearranges the images when you click on a tag at the top of the page. For instance,  clicking on 'landscape' brings up all the landscape paintings.

I had looked long and hard for a web design that showcased images on the home page, because this is what I want to see when I look at other artists' sites.

 I'll be adding more images and some 'back stories' about the paintings. For now, I am glad that I have taken this step to show what paintings I've completed - all in one place.

Check it out!

In the meantime, I'll still blog here about the painting process and about the end results too.

Oct 17, 2011

Metal Arts Guild Awards for Larry Knox

Larry joined the Metal Arts Guild of Nova Scotia after moving here from Ontario 4 years ago. It is the only Metal Guild in the province and the majority of its members live in the Halifax/ Dartmouth area, a 3 hour drive from our studio. Like all things Nova Scotian, the members are friendly and welcoming. At the first meeting we attended, we were invited to stay overnight at the guild President's house - and he'd only met us once for 15 minutes at a gem and mineral show in Parrsboro! 

This month the Guild celebrated their 60th Anniversary with a show called "The Journey"and Larry entered a few pieces including this ceremonial plate inspired by the Tara Broach, found in an Irish bog.
Ancestral memory by Larry Knox
material: Brass and Lapis Lazuli.
techniques: sinking, chasing and repouse.

Larry was thrilled to win the Ellis Roulston Memorial Award for his Brass plate in the non- jewelry category, reserved for non-wearable functional items.

His second award was for this gorgeous copper vessel, part of a series he's been working on for the past year. He takes recycled drainage pipes on a journey to a new beginning as sculptural pieces that are shaped and twisted and then torched to create a patina.
New Adventure by Larry Knox
material: Copper.
techniques: sinking, raising, planishing and patina.

The title New Adventure is a nod and a wink to our blog Our Bear River Adventure that chronicles our personal journey settling into rural life in Bear River, Nova Scotia. The move made it possible for us to devote most of our time to our creative adventures.

New Adventure by Larry Knoxdetail:  Mouth of the vessel.

The show presented an opportunity to enter the competition in the production category. Although Larry didn't win, his necklaces are featured in the poster advertising the show at the Hydrostone Gallery in Halifax which was another delightful surprise:

The necklaces were inspired by the inuksuk, stone markers built by Arctic peoples and possibly used for navigational purposes.

Here is a closer look at Larry's necklaces.
The Wanderer by Larry Knoxmaterials: Copper and Enamel with hand-formed Silver findings. Leather necklace.
techniques: planishing and enamelling.

The Wanderer by Larry Knoxmaterials: Copper and Enamel with hand-formed Silver findings. Leather necklace.
techniques: planishing and enamelling.

The Wanderer by Larry KnoxHand-formed Silver findings. Leather necklace.
techniques: wire-wrapping 

The Wanderer by Larry Knoxmaterials: Copper and Enamel with hand-formed Silver findings. Leather necklace.
techniques: planishing and enamelling.
The show and sale continues in Halifax until October 30. After that it will journey to the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design where it will stay until November 17th.

There are 19 participating metalsmith artists in the show including Elizabeth Goluch, Dana Grund, and Candice Prior.

Sep 24, 2011

Scenes from the Garden - Paintings at the Mym Gallery

Scenes from the Garden. Showing September 24 - October 12, 2011.
I am showing a selection of paintings of my garden at the ARTsPlace Gallery in Annapolis Royal starting today. It's a great feeling to see my work on display in such a sun-filled space.
That Day in the Garden. 30" x 36"

The Gallery is open from Tuesday to Friday, 9 - 4 pm., and on weekends from 1 - 4 pm
I will be at the Gallery on Saturday, October 8th from 1 - 4 pm, after the last outdoor Annapolis Market of the season. Please drop by!
Here is a video of the work in situ!

And here are photos of all the paintings. Clicking on the images will enlarge them.

Crocosmia. 7" x 9"

Blue Horizons. 10" x 12"

The Dancers. 10" x 12"

 Dahlia and Nicotiana. 9" x 12"

I added black and white photos of my flowers to the display to give the viewer a sense of the setting I'm in.

The Studio. 9" x 9"

Flowers in a Blue Jug. 11" x 14"

Red Gladiolas. 9" x 9"

The Blue Jug. 9" x 9"

Iris Seed Pods and Zinnia. 11" x 14"

Gladiolas. 9" x 12"

Joe & Tansy. 9" x 9"

Cordelia's House. 22" x 22"

Nasturtium. 9" x 12"

Paintings can be purchased through the Gallery or you can contact me at  

Sep 7, 2011

Painting Zinnias in September

I have a little art show coming up in a few weeks at the Arts Council in Annapolis Royal and I am moving around my garden painting the September flowers for the show.

Zinnias, marigold and golden rod replaced the iris and bergamot.

 The paintings are small, for the room is tiny. I am painting each scene twice using first watercolours and then acrylic because I think it will be interesting for viewers to see the same scene using two different mediums and approaches.

 These photos show the watercolour steps I went through in painting the zinnias.

...and this is what the acrylic painting looks like so far:

acrylic painting 11" x 14" by Flora Doehler.

 I am so enjoying spending this time with the beautiful colour and blooms in the garden and listening to the birds while I paint. And being under a bit of pressure about it is a good way to keep on task!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...