What’s Inspiring Me – July Edition – Marianne Vander Dussen

What’s Inspiring Me – July Edition

Happy July, Friends!

Marianne Vander Dussen - Artist's Studio
Welcome to my studio...

I hope that all of you are continuing to adjust to the new normal as best you can. My kids have been back at daycare for just over a month now, and I'm hoping that this will be my final week of working on my sunflowers (please oh please). I am incredibly proud of this piece; by the time it's finished, I suspect that well over 100 hours will have been poured into its creation. As such, I am quite anxious to see it finally leave my easel and leave for its forever home. When that happens, I'm going to be taking a week off to putter around my house and my other properties to catch up on a few maintenance projects. 


If you follow me on Instagram, you may know through my stories that I am also a landlord. I started investing in real estate just over a year ago, and I now own two multifamily units (a triplex and a fourplex) as well as a student rental. This summer, I have a LOT of exterior work to do. I'm fortunate that my dad is helping me by building the new steps at the student rental, but the exterior at the triplex is going to be a big project that requires my trusted contractor (which also means $$$$).

Fortunately, I have wonderful tenants who are incredibly understanding of the work that is about to occur, which motivates me to make their spaces extra pretty via fresh coats of paint, landscaping, and renovations. I can’t wait to enhance the curb appeal of all of the properties, and slowly transform them all to be beautiful spaces for the wonderful people who live there. 

What's Next After the Sunflowers?

I have a few commissions lined up, and one of them is another big piece (36" x 60"), but I am taking a small break before tackling that one and knocking off some smaller works.

I am still running my promotion of a 9"x12" commissioned panel for $500 including taxes and shipping, which I will be closing at the end of August. If you're interested in reserving one of these pieces, please send me a message so we can chat!

Before knowing that I was pregnant with the twins, I started a beautiful canoe piece in Toronto under the guidance of my mentor, Olaf Schneider. The piece has been sitting and waiting for me to return to it, and I definitely want to complete it and offer it for sale on my website via the new ecommerce platform that is being built.

Marianne Vander Dussen - Artist with Unfinished Canoe Painting
Canoe Painting, still yet to be finished.


Yes! Starting very soon, you'll be able to purchase prints and original paintings, all with an easy to use online shopping platform through my website. Right now, you can still purchase prints through my page at Fine Art America, but over the next little while, we're working to integrate Fine Art America straight into my website so you can shop directly from here. Exciting!

What's Inspiring Me in July 2020

Once the sunflowers are complete, I'll be starting a new weekly ritual of going for an inspiration walk somewhere new in my community. I'm so fortunate to live in a lush natural setting, just a few minutes away from trails, marshes, and lakes. Something that is currently missing from my practice is time spent in nature to recharge my inspiration batteries. Back when I first started painting, I was walking in the trail network nearly daily, and I felt supercharged with creative energy. It's time to make space for that once again.

Additionally, I find myself inspired by artists creating realistic tributes of food, particularly desserts. One of my favourite dessert companies in town is Good Glaze Doughnuts. Recently, they posted a few photos of their doughnuts that made me want to immediately bust out the paints.

I wish I could take credit for the idea, but I follow Oriana Ingber on Instagram, and her work is absolutely phenomenal. In particular, she recently posted a chocolate glazed doughnut painting that just took my breath away. 

Oriana Inber - Chocolate Glazed
Artist: Oriana Ingber, "Chocolate Glazed," oil on panel, 16" x 16"

Even though I'm predominantly a landscape artist, I do get the urge to do something out of the ordinary every once in awhile, and painting a doughnut is completely out of the ordinary for me. 

Eventually, I'll be posting a video showing the entire process from start to finish, including: ordering the doughnuts, taking strategic bites out of the doughnuts, arranging and photographing them, and finally painting them. Oh, what a strange and wonderful job I have. 

On top of the small scale commissions that I'm currently working on, I also have two beautiful images from friends that I am anxious to turn into paintings. One is a beautiful wintry moonlit scene of a river in Muskoka, and the other a sunset in the forest just behind my house. Both were taken by friends, whom I have accredited below.

Photo by Jodee Yeo
Photo by Jodee Yeo

Photo by Katrina Cotterchio
Photo by Katrina Cotterchio

Join the Art Incubator

Last but not least, in the month of June I ran a Sketch a Day Challenge in a group, where the members were encouraged to respond to daily prompts to help deepen their sketching practice and enrich their artistic eye. The chemistry of the group was so wonderful that I kept the group open after the challenge ended, and renamed it "Art Incubator with Marianne Vander Dussen" (the name Art Incubator was already taken). Now, the group has been left open for members to share their work, ask for support, and encourage as needed. I'll be running another challenge style event in either September or October. If you haven't yet joined, please consider joining our group! You can do so through this link. Anyone, of any age or any skill level, is welcome! Diversity is our strength. 

I look forward to sharing my final sunflower painting with you, hopefully sometime next week. Until then, thank you so much for your support, and just keep painting! 

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