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News and Upcoming Events

Preview of my sketches at Roundhouse Gallery

Plein Air Sketch - Chair in Overgrown Garden

  Chair in Overgrown Garden, 10 x 8

As I’m putting the finishing touches on this exhibition, I’m getting very excited about sharing these never-before-shown sketches and studies with you. To see a preview of some of the images, click here.

Roundhouse Gallery at 481 Berry Point Road.
I’ll be there from 10am – 4pm
August 4, 5, and 6th

There will be treats and surprises, so please stop on by!



Once upon 10 Thousand Hours

A Visual Journal of my Plein Air Sketches and Oil Studies

       Oil Plein Air Sketch   Plein Air Oil Sketch - Begonias

Hosted by Roundhouse Gallery
481 Berry Point Road
Gabriola BC

August 4, 5 and 6, 2018
10 am – 4 pm

A few days ago I sat on the floor surrounded with hundreds of small oil sketches I’ve done since I started painting 18 years ago. This brought on feelings of nostalgia and memories of my artistic journey.

Thinking back, I’m acutely aware of my prolific endeavour with the intention to ‘get good’ at painting and that I have in fact spent well over 10 thousand hours learning to paint and learning about myself. A journey that is only in the early stages of it’s life…

This visual journal is a reminder of the places, environments and conditions I’ve experienced, the people I’ve met, the friends I’ve made, and the creative road I’ve travelled. It’s been undeniably difficult at times and it’s also been extremely satisfying as well.

It’s time now to take these little gems out of the treasure chest and find them a new home. I’ve selected some 50 plein air sketches from the last ten years, and given them a fresh coat of varnish.

I hope you will pop around as you may see something special in one or connect with another and take it home where it can be seen, shared and loved as I love it.

I will also be showing a variety of studio paintings and sculptures.


She’s Come Undone

Ten women
Ten self-portraits
Ten thousand reasons why

She's come undone self-portraits by women

Opening reception Friday September 15th 7-9pm
Saturday September 16th 11-4pm
Gabriola Arts and Heritage Centre, 476 South Road, Gabriola BC.

How I won the Plein Air Grand Prix

Elsa Bluethner wins Plein Air Grand Prix d'Art

On July 22nd, I participated in the Qualicum Beach Plein Grand Prix d’Art. To my delight and surprise the judges awarded me First prize from a selection of beautiful works.

Sometimes magic happens. It was an overcast day and the assigned location lacked the movement and life I needed to make a nice painting so off I walked in search of inspiration.

Rounding the next block I saw a bowling green surrounded with benches and lovely gardens. Pochade box on the easel and paint squeezed out, I hoped the boules players would eventually show up and offer some interesting painting possibilities. Instead I painted an overcast lonely deserted bowling green. A few observers stopped by to see what was going on and I offered to paint a couple into my painting. They said “no thank you” and walked away. Others came looking for me and were surprised to find me here instead of there. Oops! I guess I was supposed to paint where I was sent rather than one block away. I wondered if I would be disqualified…

I packed my gear and returned to my spot. There were no flower baskets, no benches, no people!

Time was ticking away and I felt a little warm under the collar as I perused my surroundings. A beautiful reflection on the hood of a car caught my attention. As I scribbled in the start, a couple was heading my way. I looked at them and said “Hello! I hope this isn’t your car because I need to paint it!” After a bit of nattering about how I really prefer to paint people than buildings and cars they asked if there was any way they could help me out. Absolutely! They obligingly stood in front of the old gas pump in the window of the gallery across the street. Not wanting to impose on them for too long, I thanked them and gave them their leave. I finished, framed and delivered the painting to the judging station with a minute to spare.

Thanks to all the volunteers, organizers and judges for hosting a great event. And most of all thank you to the models who collaborated with me in making this lovely little painting.

I enjoyed this so much, I’ve decided to sign up for the Steveston Grand Prix on September 23rd.


Elsa Bluethner plein air painting

A shot of me taken by the models before the painting was completed.

Solo Show at The Old School House Arts Centre


Sculptures and paintings of fantastic characters full of whimsy and imagination will be on display in the Dorothy Francis Gallery at The Old School House Arts Centre.

February 20 to March 11
Opening Reception: February 22 at 2:00pm

Hours: Sunday closed. Monday noon – 4:30pm.
                                          Tuesday to Saturday 10:00am – 4:30pm
The Old School House Arts Centre
122 Fern Road West
Qualicum Beach
250 752-6133

Please forward this to anyone you think would be interested.
Everyone is welcome!
Thank you for viewing my art, and I hope you can make it.

Elsa Bluethner



TV Interview | Changing Landscapes

Last October I was approached to appear in a segment of Changing Landscapes – episode 5, a TV show that is airing this week on Shaw Cable.  I was honored to have Dominik Modinski come to my studio and interview me for the Gabriola Island – Isle of the Arts segment.

Airing this week September 5-11, 2016

Quoting from Scott Wilson’s Blog on how I was chosen, he writes:

“Flipping through the Studio Tour guide booklet he (Dominik Modlinski) immediately gravitated to her work, he mentioned the brush work and light in her paintings and was quite eager to see her work up close and interview her.”


Changing Landscapes airs on Shaw TV Chanel 4

  • Monday at 11am & 8pm
  • Tuesday at 10:30am, 4pm & 9:30pm
  • Wednesday at 11am & 8:30pm
  • Thursday at 10:30am & 9pm
  • Friday at 11am & 8pm
  • Saturday at 9:30pm
  • Sunday at 5:30pm

Sooke Fine Arts Show

sookeI am thrilled to announce two of my sculptures have been juried in to the 30th Annual Sooke Fine Arts Show! Though I had not heard of this show until this year, I realize what an honour it is to be part of this exciting event.

Show dates: July 22 to August 1, 2016
Hours: 10am – 7 pm
Location: Seapark Leisure Complex
2168 Phillips Road, Sooke BC

As well as beautiful art, this event boasts artist talks, demonstrations, music and much more.
Here’s a link to their website for a full schedule of events and hours.

Sooke BC is a picturesque seaside town situated on the south-western shores of Vancouver Island boasting fabulous restaurants, galleries and shops,unspoiled rainforests and tranquil beaches. A destination well worth visiting.

I wish you a wonderful summer!

I Caught An Uncatchable Fish
Her Constancy Under All Her Phases