A New Gallery for Bear River, Nova Scotia

I’m over-the-moon excited to be a founding member of a new art venture in Bear River. We will call ourselves Bear River Artworks Gallery.

A group of 8 enthusiastic artists have come together to open a gallery/mini arts space in Bear River.

Found Object Cabinet ©Craig Dorsey
Found Object Cabinet
©Craig Dorsey

We’ve rented a bright, interesting space for a year. We plunked our money down and celebrated last week with slices of lemon meringue pie. The very next day crowbars and plaster of paris came out and now our beautiful space is being polished and made ready.

The Canadian ©Ken Flett
The Canadian
©Ken Flett

A website is on its way; so are gorgeous signs and, of course, works of art from the heart.

We are working towards a mid April opening.

The Celebration ©Flora Doehler, 2015
Kinetic Energy
©Flora Doehler, 2015

Little did Larry and I or any of the other members know a few months ago, that we would embark on such a venture together. But the timing is right, the enthusiasm is real and there is no time like the present for trying out something new. And there’s only one place we could possibly do this and that’s Bear River, Nova Scotia.

Stay tuned…details to come.

Arab Spring ©Joan Stanley
Arab Spring
©Joan Stanley

Chasing Away the Winter Blues

"Winter Blues" at ArtsPlace
“Winter Blues” at ArtsPlace

Today Larry and I attended 3 art openings in Annapolis Royal at ArtsPlace. The sun was shining and it was a great day for soaking in the work of other painters and talking to them about their paintings and their processes.

The theme in the main gallery is ‘Winter Blues’ All the paintings had to be blue and abstract.

I was stopped dead in my tracks by this painting from my friend Helen Opie who has taken me on many painting adventures. Helen usually paints from life so this work was a huge departure for her.

"Up from the Deep" ©Helen Opie, 2015
“Up from the Deep” ©Helen Opie, 2015  “24” x 36″

The painting moves and dances and is like a painted fabric, but also like water. It reminded me of some patterns I’ve photographed in our Bear River tidal river as it moves toward the Bay of Fundy.

Bear River patterns.

Abstract work demands that the viewer overlay her own interpretation. It’s like taking a Rorschach test. What do you see in Helen’s painting?


Charlott Zimmermann  had an opening of landscape paintings. I loved them all, but this one in particular.

Lake at Kejimkujik ©Charlott Zimmermann
Lake at Kejimkujik
©Charlott Zimmermann

Charlott paints local landscape and is influenced by Canada’s Group of Seven as well as German Expressionism. She is my kind of painter. 😉


The third show one at ArtsPlace is a retrospective of 50 years of paintings by Gene Samson. His landscapes often involve the ocean’s edge and he is a master of water crashing onto rocks.

©Gene Samson
©Gene Samson

Gene lived for many years in Bear River and was a big promoter of the village and of the artists.

I have a few more “Winter Blues” paintings to share with you.

One of my current favorite NS abstract artists, Donna Boyko, was at the opening and we talked about her large painting that has so much movement in it. The strokes dance.

Detail from "Dark Diviners" ©Donna Boyko, 2015
Detail from “Dark Diviners”
©Donna Boyko, 2015
"Ode to Wayne Boucher" ©Maxine Marshall, 2015 "Dark Diviners" ©Donna Boyko, 2015 "Blues 11" ©Jeannie Allen, 2015
“Ode to Wayne Boucher” ©Maxine Marshall, 2015
“Dark Diviners” ©Donna Boyko, 2015
“Blues 11” ©Jeannie Allen, 2015
Blue ©Ted Lind
©Ted Lind
"Weather Bomb" ©Sophie Paskins, 2015
“Weather Bomb”
©Sophie Paskins, 2015
"Thalo Blue" ©Maxine Marshall, 2015
“Thalo Blue”
©Maxine Marshall, 2015

Going to an opening is a chance to meet the artist and to hear the story behind the painting. What a beautiful way to spend an afternoon, especially after the weeks of snow storms that we’ve gone through.

Wherever you are, drop into a gallery or a museum. It is guaranteed to lift your spirits when you see the energy, love and passion that people paint into their work.

And if you are in Annapolis Royal, these paintings are on display until the end of the month..which means they will carry us to spring!

"Study in Blue" ©Micheline Gushue, 2015
“Study in Blue”
©Micheline Gushue, 2015
"Urban Series 5" ©Vicky Turner, 2015
“Urban Series 5”
©Vicky Turner, 2015