Flora Doehler is one of those artists whose work gets your attention, and then you fall in love with her life. Or the other way around. Either way, if it hasn’t happened to you ~yet~ I feel compelled to warn you that Our Bear River Adventure is an irresistible read.
If Boz (otherwise known as Charles Dickens) was alive today, I’m sure he would subscribe to Flora’s blog.
It all begins with this compelling précis:
In the fall of 2007, Flora and Larry moved from Toronto (population 2 million) to the tiny, beautiful tidal village of Bear River in Nova Scotia (population 800) seeking a life filled with creative pursuits such as organic gardening, painting, and silversmithing.
Life in Bear River is frugal, but rich in all the important ways – beauty, music, artists and friendly souls…that’s “Community” with a capital “C”!
Having been thoroughly immersed in much of Flora’s blog, I think there are many “capitals” that grace her life. She lives Life with a capital L. All the evidence indicates that she also Loves that way. And she makes Art with a capital A. I must add a capital F, because Our Bear River Adventure reads like a Fairytale, and is a lot of Fun, if you choose to ignore the long hours of sweat equity that have been invested in the house Flora and Larry are renovating. On the other hand, when it’s not your sweat, and the house is taking shape ~beautifully~ before your eyes, the renovation still qualifies as magical.
Whether sipping tea at a lighthouse in Gilbert’s Cove, playing the roulette wheel at Cherry Carnival, scoring fashion finds at Frenchys, or swimming in secret locations she has sworn not to reveal, Flora quietly makes wry comments and paints delicious word pictures of all that she experiences.
Of course, word pictures are not all she paints. I first caught a glimpse of Flora’s work on a Ning called Creative Awakenings. I loved her spirit, and noticed she was a Canadian (as I am). We became online friends, and curious to explore her art further, I visited her blogs. The rest, as they say is history, which is especially apt because that’s exactly what Flora is writing. She is writing her history as she lives it.
The following video shows a woman who is willing and able to share her creative inspiration, and training. It’s also posted on my Ning, Cracked Paper Quilts, and Flora has a blog post which provides further information.
Do you want more? (It is impossible to resist that question after a Dickens reference.)
It is not surprising that someone as thoughtful and insightful as Flora belongs to a weekly meditation group:
We take turns reading pieces on inspiration, mindfulness, and creativity. Our discussions attempt to connect the reading back to ideas like living-in-the-moment, and acceptance-of-what-is and letting go of ego-driven attitudes that filter our experiences. An example of this is me wasting energy on worrying about what might be instead of just enjoying the moment.
I have spent a lifetime practicing “worry” to know that it doesn’t solve anything but it’s tough to give up!
If Our Bear River Adventure is any indication, Flora Doehler is excelling, thank you very much, at learning to live life “just enjoying the moment.” Witness this stop motion of 5 photos of a beautiful Willow Tree moving in the wind, which Flora honors as an entity:
Her art, exuding a joyous exuberance, is further proof. Thank you, Flora, for the inspiring ways you have offered your life and art for our delectation.