Catch up on Recent Paintings

It’s been quite a while since I posted anything to my website.  I hope I will be forgiven.  Here is a bit of catch up on some 2014 & 2013 paintings.

A selection of 2014 Paintings

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A selection of 2013 Plein Air Paintings and sketches

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A Time Away

This post is the hardest one I’ve had to make in my life.  If you follow me you would notice that my posts became few and far between in 2013 and the beginning of 2014.  I walked away from a lot of things in my life.  My blog being one.  I however did not stop painting.  I clung to my painting as a drowning man clings to a life preserver.

While I was in Beloit, Wisconsin at the Edge of the Rock Plein Air Painting Festival last year my younger sister was diagnosed with cancer.  The day I found out I sat in the garden of the Angel Museum, and painted with tears streaming down my face.  The museum was closed, and I was hidden from view, so I didn’t have too many visitors.  It was there that I painted this painting.

Sad Puto. Painted for my sister.

When I returned from Beloit,  I started to clear away everything in my life that took my time and energy.  It was not easy to say no to people, and to step away from my many responsibilities.  I will never regret saying no.  I did not give up my painting group.  I thank God for my painting group for they give me hope that things will get better.  When I’m with them painting on location the sadness does not consume me.  Painting is, for me a form of meditation.  I’ve changed my priorities in life since she passed.  I will learn from her.

At age 58, she wanted to learn to ride a motor cycle, and she did.  Hours after her final chemo treatment she insisted that she was going to attend the September Friday the 13th, 2013 motor cycle rally in Port Dover, On.  It was a 300 KM ride!  There was no stopping her.  She was going to go no matter what anyone said.  So, her husband and friends joined her on the ride up.

When they arrived they pulled into the Holiday Inn.  They had no reservations as this trip was on impulse.  As they stepped up to the reception desk, the attendant just put down the phone.  He announced to them:  “This is your lucky day.  That was a cancellation.”  Getting a room during Friday the 13th without a reservation is a real miracle!  They have 140,000 people descend on this small town!  Later a friend of theirs, who had a suite all to himself invited them to stay with him.  Now, the trip did not go perfectly.  She did get very weak and have to go home, but she made it there.  Her daughters brought the trailer up to Port Dover to bring her bike home.  Was the family scared?  You bet.  But, they helped her to live her last days to their fullest.

During her battle with that horrid disease, I was able to spend many days with her.  There was the kemo, and many emergency stays at the hospital, and at her bedside at home in her final days.  We prayed, we cried, we loved her, she loved us.  She wanted us to know she was not afraid.  She wanted us to be happy.  I held her hand the day she passed away February 3rd, 2013.  Listening to her laboured breathing was heartbreaking.  She was at home surrounded by family.  She was only 60, and was so full of life.  She was loved by so many people.  I am still morning her loss, and it is a daily struggle to put one foot in front of the other.

She was so full of joy.  She gave joy to others, and taught me a very good lesson.  That was to be happy, surround yourself with wonderful people, give of yourself, but most important give TO yourself that what you love most.

I love my sister Patty, and I will miss her until we meet again in heaven.

The CMC motorcycle club made this tribute to her on Youtube.

Grade 8 graduation.  Soulmates.

Lovebirds, Allan & Patty Kotow.  Friends and lovers for 49 years.

Save Willistead Park!


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Save Willistead ParkMy group the Windsor & Essex County Plein Air Society have spent many hours painting in this park and we do not want to see these 10 foot wide hard surfaced pathways running through the park grounds.

Mandate of the Save Willistead Park group.

This Group is called “Save Willistead Park,” because that’s it’s only purpose. It’s not a focus group or an idea incubator. It is a means for its members to increase awareness of and vehemently oppose the proposed roadway planned for our park. Make no mistake, the drive to deface the park has great momentum, and will not be easily reversed.

While our strength increases with our ever growing numbers, its vital that we express with one voice, a clear, concise, spin proof, message. It comes down to one, simple question. Do we want the park to stay as it is in all its pristine glory or do we want a 10 feet wide asphalt maize running through it. Half measures and partial compromises cannot be an option. Deface the park or leave it the way it is. It’s either one or the other. From your heartfelt, passionate comments, I am certain that we can all agree to the following, one, unequivocal demand.

This Group of 435 members and counting , while endorsing the drainage improvements in the park, demands that Willistead be left in its natural state of beauty. We do not want a 10 feet super walking path or any variation thereof, threading the park, as it replacers over 10% of precious grass with concrete, asphalt or interlocking brick. We also demand that the road construction that was so suddenly begun, be reversed and the park restored to its original condition. ~ Howard Weeks, October 20th, 2013 on Facebook group Save Willistead Park!

Please join the group on Facebook to keep informed about what is happening to our beloved Willistead Park Grounds.  There is a meeting planned with the City of Windsor at Willistead Manor.  We are waiting for the date and time to be confirmed.

Published! Important World Artists Vol. 1


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I am so GEEKED!!! After a two-year wait I’ve finally received my copy of Important World Artists Vol. 1! Published in California by World Wide Art Books Inc. This is a juried publication. I did not apply to be included in this book. I was invited to participate by the curator! This is not a vanity publication. I did not pay to have my work in this book, which makes it so much more exciting. I opened the book to search for my image and short bio, which I found posted on page 175.

Books are such wonderful things. I had the book delivered to my brother’s house in the U.S.A. to save on postage. My hubby, my sister-in-law, her sister and boyfriend were sitting on the patio. I’d already had the book in my hands for a while. I was so happy to finally have the book in my lap. As I lovingly caressed my copy, and breathed in the wonderful aroma of the newly printed book, I turned the book over on my lap to look at the images on the back cover… and SCREAMED!! MY IMAGE IS ON THE COVER!!!! OMG!!! What were the odds that they choose my work to grace the cover of this incredible book?!

How is being included in this book going to help me?  The publisher states:

Our books are distributed to galleries and other art and photography professionals all over the world. When a volume is released, we start sending out firstly the copies to the participants in the book and then we start sending free copies to galleries, agencies, museums, libraries, art collectors, consultants, interior design companies, etc. ~ FAQ World Wide Art Books

I am so honoured to be on the cover of this book.  Purchase the book on the World Wide Art Books site.

Paint Dexter First Annual Plein Air Festival August 13 to 17, 2013


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This summer is even more of a whirlwind then last summer.  I traveled to two Plein Air Festivals, and I think I’ve caught the bug.  I want to go to more, and meet more wonderful people.  The artists, and the members of the community in Dexter, Mi are all incredible and wonderful people.

But, what was even more special this time is that I was able to share this event with two from my own group “The Windsor & Essex County Plein Air Society.”  Kathy Hudak and Bobby Wagner.

Tall Ship Sketch Night

Amherstburg, TallshipsDSC_5614

The Windsor & Essex County Plein Air Society and I are privileged to be hosting another sketch night with the Arts Council, and the City of Windsor.

Thursday, August 29th
Sculpture Park – Windsor’s Riverfront

As announced on the Arts Council website:

Participants are asked to meet at the northernmost tip of Ouellette Ave by the Art Cart sign (close to the Bistro) at 4pm.

Access to the free Art Cart on the trail is available from 4-7pm for participants to disperse in the Sculpture Park West of Ouellette Ave.

Please bring all of your own supplies. There is no fee for this event but we do ask that you sign-up if you plan on attending.

A partnership with Arts Council Windsor & Region, the City of Windsor Sculpture Park, Elizabeth MacDonald and Windsor & Essex County Plein-Air Society, this event is in coordination with the Southwestern Ontario Coastal Trails Sails to See TALL SHIPS® Festival.

Questions? Please email or call us (Arts Council) at 519 252 2787.

Edge of the Rock Plein Air Painting Event in Beloit, Wisconsin


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It was an 8 hour drive to Beloit, Wisconsin.  I left home at 3:30 a.m. in order to be in Beloit by noon.  I just made it!  Chicago at rush hour is a trip!  I ended up at O’hare Airport.  Thankfully, it was not difficult to get back on the freeway.  Finally out of Chicago I end up in construction.  I’m just happy I never trust Mapquest when it comes to time.  I always add 2 hours.  It worked out perfect, but boy was I stiff and tired when I got here.

Beloit is a small town of 30K people.  I have to say that I’ve been treated like a celebrity.  I even was stopped in Walmart by a lady who saw my plates.  “Are you from Canada?”  She asked.

“Why… yes.  How did you know?”

She had her young grand daughter in tow, and she proceeded to explain to the child that I was from Canada…. and that I probably still had snow. The child looked terrified of the lady in the big straw hat.  I’m sure I looked a wee bit out of place.

I’ve had that response from quite a few people here.  I think they equate Canada with Sault St. Marie.   I’ve been explaining that I’m actually almost due east of them.  Their eyes get wide when I tell them we have hardly any snow, and that my hubby’s had to mow the lawn in December.  Even more interesting is that we have to go North to get the the USA.  They seem a bit perplexed, and still introduce me as The lady who came all they way “down” from Canada.  But, they are wonderful people and I’m so happy that I came.

I’ve managed to paint three paintings so far.  They’ve been predicting heavy thunder showers, but rain has held off since I got here.  It did rain on my way here.  Since Saturday, we’ve had beautiful weather.  Just a bit of wind, and a threatening sky.  I don’t mind because a stormy sky is interesting, and a challenge to paint.  Just what’s needed for a Plein Air convention.

I’m hoping that our group from Windsor will come here with me next year.  I’m very pleased I did.


A few photo’s taken during the event by great photographers:
IMG_5320Ladies with Hats by Mark Preuschl

Sketching the Strong Building in Beloit, Wi., by Kim Hutchenson

2013 Edge of the Rock Plein Air Painting


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Elizabeth painting on the Detroit River, the famous US/Canadian Ambassador Bridge in the Background

Painting en Plein Air on the Detroit River

I’m very pleased to announce that The Beloit Inn, has accepted me as their Artist in Residence during the Edge of the Rock Plein Air Painting Event June 5 – 15th in Beloit Wisconsin. I wish to thank Nicki Meyer Executive Director of Friends Of River Front plein air festival for this great honour and wonderful opportunity. I also with to thank Nicholas Johnson, General Manager of The Beloit Inn for his generosity.

Back to Sketching in the Great outdoors


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YES! Spring has sprung, and I’m out doors with our group again. What a beautiful day it was on Monday. We had six members of our group out painting and sketching today. We love to start off on the Willistead Manor Grounds in Windsor. Williestead Manor is in the heart of Walkerville, and hosts many events, most notably the annual Art in the Park event.

PS:  This painting was gifted to Sandy Kincade, the Director of the Edge of the Rock Plein Air Painting event.  She and her husband Chuck were such a blessing to me.

Fire Destroys Obstruction of Justice House – Heidleburg Project Detroit



One of the most interesting houses at the Heidleburg Project burned down early this morning, Friday May 3rd, 2013. Authorities say the fire started around 3:30 am. Neighbors called in to report the blase.

I visited the project last fall when I attended a gallery crawl that toured many galleries in the greater Detroit area.

If you have Facebook you can view a video about the project here.

ACWR Sketch Night at Windsor Printmaker’s Forum – DRYPOINT ETCHING


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Next Arts Council Windsor Region Sketch night will be hosted by Elizabeth Gaye MacDonald at Windsor Printimaker’s Forum Monday, April 29, 6-9pm (420 Devonshire Rd)

Please go here to register:

We will be sketching on Plexi glass using a process known as drypoint. Participating artists will be able to print these plates at the forum that evening.  Elizabeth Gaye MacDonald will be instructing this mini workshop.

Pre-registration with the ARTS COUNCIL will be required. There will be an additional fee for materials $10 for ACWR members $15 for non ACRW members.

Please register early on the ACRW site, so that we have enough materials. Please go here to register:

The Arts Council Windsor & Region would like to thank the artistic designs of Dave Kant (original design concept) and Christy Lister (final design rendering), for the creation of the Sketch Night Logo, 2013.

Links to location map:



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