Winter Blues – finding colour inspiration in cold weather

Curing the ‘winter blues’ with a new colour palette…

The reduced sunlight hours, and increased cold are enough to leave even this perkiest of persons a bit “blue” so I challenged myself to seek out the blue colour palette in this seemingly-white landscape. I was delighted to find the Blue Jay at its centre.

Last summer, our garden had a row of Giant Sunflowers. The Blue Jays loved the flowers so I’ve reproduced my memory of them there. Here is a Blue Jay weighing down a flower head as it perches to access the seeds of another flower. You can see the pond in the background, and the back-lit tree-line where the sun sets. We had two pair of these birds, and their clever and loud antics were entertaining and intriguing. They seem very social and work in a group. I imagine I’ll have to produce an artwork with more than one bird in it at some point but for now, I’ve focused on making a mosaic of the row of sunflowers…

I also produced two mini versions of the larger Sunflower/Jay artwork for smaller wall spaces. I make limited, numbered editions. No more than 25 in an edition. All the works  are tastefully framed and generally range from $130-400. I can also supply a quote on any custom size that you might be looking for.

Most of my repertoire is available on Etsy.

If you prefer to purchase an artwork through email, contact me anytime.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is mini-square-jay-sunflower-1024x768.jpg

A quick farm post… Wildlife abounds here at the farm where ArtByCholeena’s studio is, and I’m always at the ready with my camera. I photographed this strange thing leaving the tree top of a fir tree. Any guesses as to what it is? I am going to put this picture up on my Facebook page so please join in the fun and leave your guess. You can find it here on Facebook.

 I sure hope that the Winter Blues have blown past your home, and that this post has lifted your spirits. Warm waves of hello from the Winter Wonderland that is the farm,

P.S. If you like my art and posts, I hope you’ll sign up for my newsletter where I announce new art, new shows, inspiring videos, and farm updates. Thank you. 🙂

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Perth Autumn Studio Tour – THIS weekend!

I hope to see you this weekend (Sat, Sun, Mon) at the Perth Autumn Studio Tour. I will be with four other artists at Studio#1.

The tour packs 21 artists into 7 studio locations (all within a few minutes drive of each other) against the autumn-coloured backdrop of meandering country roads. The Perth area is known for its high-quality craftspeople and artists. I am beyond proud to be considered one of them!

Perth Studio tour map-and-particpants-2014Where: Various studios in the countryside around Perth (about an hour West of Ottawa) along HWY 7. Map.

When: All three days of Thanksgiving long weekend. Oct. 7, 8, 9 ~~ 10AM-5PM each day.

BONUS: $200 draw for art! Entry forms at each studio.

Official Perth Autumn Studio Tour website.

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West-End Studio Tour – Sept 23-24

Years ago, when I lived in Westboro, I was a part of the West-End Studio Tour. This year, I am back as a visiting artist. A “visiting artist” is one who lives outside the area but is deemed worthy to be part of the tour. I am thrilled to have that status. I have been graciously invited to share the studio of Paula Mitas Zoubek at 193 Daniel Ave, Ottawa. I hope you’ll join us. “WEST” is an annual studio tour celebrating Westboro-and-area artists of Ottawa, Ontario. Although generally two weekends, this year, we’ve compacted it into one weekend, but everything else is the same — a show and sale of art right in the artists’ studios.

Our Artists:

  • Andrew King
  • Alison Fowler
  • Choleena DiTullio
  • Claire Paulin
  • David W. Jones
  • Deidre Hierlihy
  • Lenka Cutler
  • Lynette Chubb
  • Manju Sah
  • Margaret Chwialkowska
  • Miriam Silburt
  • Paula Mitas Zoubek
  • Paul Wing
  • Sarah Marie Lacy
  • Tracy Armstrong
  • Find them all online here.


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Sundance Artisan Show, Sept 2-4, 2017 – Maberly, Ontario

In its 11th year, the annual Sundance Artisan Show is a 40-artist outdoor art exhibit always held on Labour Day Weekend. This year, the dates are Sept 2-4, 2017. The show is held at 21980 HWY 7, Maberly, Ontario, behind our hosts, Fall River Restaurant.

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Now to Sept 28, 2017 — art show in Ottawa!

I am thrilled to announce that I have 25 pieces hanging in the second-floor lobby of the beautiful “Adobe” building on Preston Street in Ottawa!Adobe Building. Copyright The Adelaide.

I would like to thank the Ottawa School of Art, Preston Square and Waterford Properties Group for the coordination and use of this space. Photo from The Adelaide.

  • Now to September 29th, 2017
  • 347 Preston St., second level, Ottawa, ON K1S3H8
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Classes with Art By Choleena!

The Spring 2017 classes will be held on weekends in February and in March. Gift certificates never expire so if you miss an opportunity, just sign up for another class! 🙂

Learn how to make Wooden Photos (transfer images to wood) in just one class. $40, materials included. All skill levels welcome. Enjoy an artful afternoon (about 2 hrs) in the beautiful town of Perth, where we will create two images. Maximum 20 seats per class — classes offered throughout the year! The gift certificate does not expire; use it any time. For more information or to register for yourself or a loved-one, contact me! See sample of a photo transfer to wood, below. The gift certificate can be used for a class, art, or commissioned work.

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Gift Certificates — for classes, commissions, and art!

Gift Certificate or Classes.

Contact me with questions or to register for a gift certificate in the amount that you wish.    Your gift certificate can be used for classes anytime throughout the year. Check my next art class.

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Wood Transfer garden signs!

lifes-a-garden-dig-it-IMG_3555The perfect year-round gift for the yard- or garden-lover, these signs are hand-made in my studio using recycled wood found around the farm. I can add different text, if you wish.

They run from $20-$50, depending on the size. I am happy to mail them to you.

Yes, I can transfer your own images onto wood!

Below is a sampling of what I make.

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Labour Day Weekend — Sundance Artisan Show 2016

sundance_studioMark it on the calendar! I hope you will join me for Sundance Artisan Show, a three-day outdoor event of art, live music, and locally-made, micro-brewery ale all in a countryside setting.

Sundance Artisan Festival is just over an hour’s pleasant drive West of Ottawa into the countryside and the “Land of Lakes” known as Maberly.  🙂

  • When: September 3rd-5th.
    Sat. & Sun. 10am-5pm, Mon. 10am-2pm
  • What: An annual festival celebrating artists of all kinds, including fine art, food, and ale artisans. All with a focus on locally-made, high-quality craftsmanship. No admission fee.
  • Where: Behind Fall River Restaurant at 21980 HWY 7, Maberly, ON. (Corner of HWY 7 and County Rd 36.)

Art along a riverbank

Artists bring their studio to you for this “studio tour”. You park once and let us do the rest. We’ve set up artisan food ‘stands’, a micro-brewery ale ‘stand’, a live music ‘stage’, and our ‘studios’ so that you can experience local arts in a natural setting along the bank of the Fall River.  One visitor put it perfectly:

“It’s such a pleasure to have time to talk, time to stroll and time to sit by the river or enjoy the food and music, and not have to rush to the next studio… what a great idea.”

fall-river-restaurantOur Hosts

This festival is hosted by Fall River Restaurant & Pub, an award-winning locale with accolades for their choice of organic, local, sustainable food sources, their energy-efficient building, and their fine menu. Since the festival is partnered with this locally-owned business, you’ll have ample free parking, easy access to facilities and a place to stop for a tasty meal during your visit.

  • 613-268-2197 21980
  • HWY 7, at Maberly (West of Ottawa)

sheep-forestCheck out the online Artist Gallery of images.

Featuring artists working in these mediums/techniques:

  • cabinet-making
  • canoe-making
  • carving
  • cast stone
  • clothing
  • felting
  • fibre art
  • glass
  • gold-smithing
  • jewellery
  • knife-making
  • mosaic
  • painting
  • pottery
  • salvage/recycling
  • sculpting
  • watercolour
  • weaving
  • wood-turning
  • wood-working

patio3We’ve saved a seat for you. Have a lovely weekend.

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Farm Update: new garden 2016

tractor-discs-above-260pxAnyone new to Art By Choleena may not know that it is located on a beautiful, 1860 farmstead where I grew up. Here is a dedicated page describing the farm and how we’re trying to save it. Every year we try to bring it a little closer to its glory days as a fully-operating farm. This year, we’ve expanded beyond planter and deck gardens.

A lovely neighbour (retired farmer and physician) offered to break sod so that we can have an in-ground garden. Here, “Dr. John” pulls discs behind his tractor to break up chunks of earth after having driven the plow through it. In the next newsletter, I’ll show more photos and video of our progress.

Here are snap-shots showing some of the many steps from plowing to planting. I hope to get some video uploaded for you in the next few months.









It’s grown significantly since these photos were taken in March-June, 2016. I look forward to showing you our progress in a subsequent update.

All my best hugs,



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