OUR NEIGHBOURS: OOE Artist Louise Rachlis – Creating Art With A Sense of Fun and Place

Brenda Small

Louise Rachlis didn’t realize that she had been having an effect on others for many years until she attended a student reunion from her elementary school days: “I remember you,” a former classmate exclaimed. “You used to like to paint and write.”

Old Ottawa East resident and artist, Louise Rachlis, is pictured outside her home. Photo Supplied

Old Ottawa East resident and artist, Louise Rachlis, is pictured outside her
home. Photo Supplied

She still does.

The long-time resident of Old Ottawa East will be joining members of the larger Ottawa artistic community at the upcoming Art in Our Gardens and Studio Tour on July 9 and 10 which will feature 25 artists and friends throughout the Glebe (glebearttour.ca).

Rachlis will be displaying her acrylic and watercolour paintings and art cards, along with work by fellow artist Victoria Sutherland and photographer Pamela Mackenzie, in Mackenzie’s lovely garden on Patterson Avenue that backs Central Park.

Rachlis has returned to her easel after a lengthy time in the workforce as an Information Officer with the Ontario Ministries of Education and Colleges and Universities, and a long career with the Ottawa Citizen as the Advertising Features Editor.

She took up running when she was fifty and ran two marathons a year. She runs shorter distances now but likes hiking and walking along the Rideau River. And she is spending far more time painting.

Louise likes to paint in bold watercolours and acrylics, like this floral composition. Photo Supplied

Louise likes to paint in bold watercolours and acrylics, like this floral composition. Photo Supplied

Rachlis and her husband moved to Old Ottawa East in the early 1990s after raising their kids in the suburbs. They liked the excitement of living downtown and being close to the Rideau River and nearby the Canal through all four seasons of the year.

She likes the shops on Main Street and can often be found browsing at Singing Pebble Books or at Three Trees. When her grandchildren come to visit they head straight to the parks in Old Ottawa East.
The paddling pool at Brantwood has been a favourite in the summer, though her grandkids, older now, prefer Springhurst Park with its outdoor ping pong tables.

She’s retired now, but Rachlis still freelances for the Ottawa Citizen. And runs. And paints. She likes her art to have a sense of fun and place, triggering memories of the places she has been and the things she has done. She strives to create something unique with her art that others can relate to and enjoy.

Recently she has shown her art at The Glebe Community Centre and both the Pop-up Art Gallery and the Wall Candy Gallery at Lansdowne.

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