An Artist Interview with Nora Gross


Nora Gross is a multi-disciplinary artist specializing in watercolour, and an elected member of the prestigious Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour (CSPCW). She was recently honoured with the President’s Award at the CSPCW Annual General Meeting in Toronto on May 7th. Her paintings are owned by many private individuals and corporations throughout North America and Europe. She is highly in demand as a workshop instructor and a demonstrator of watercolour technique.

How did you start making art?

My mother told me when I could hold a pencil. With 6 children under seven years old, the one who got the pencil got any paper and frankly I was the only kid interested. So began my journey with a very long love affair with line and colour. I did attend NSCAD part time for two years when I first moved to Nova Scotia in 1983, but mostly I am self taught.

How do you work?

I have a lovely studio space and I lose myself there for hours on end with my lights, my music and the most important tool any artist can own, my vivid imagination. It does not take much to inspire me to paint; ice on a puddle, shadows on snow, rain on the window and the mind goes into high gear. I have several kinds of watercolour paper and some days I just dip into the pile, pick out a piece and knowing the personality of that particular paper, create something that gives me a challenge. I don’t need expensive holidays, being in ‘the painting zone can give me an amazing experience. I paint with acrylic and sometimes use my watercolour background to get the feel of soft blending. I am not a realist painter nor an impressionist, rather I let the colours flow and allow the viewer to finish off any loose ends.

How has your practice changed over time?

I painted in oils in my early 20’s, but when we moved from Regina to Toronto our moving van was stolen and 3 years went by before something as frivolous as paint and brushes could be purchased. I went to the library and got a Zoltan Szabo watercolour book and taught myself to use that medium. My ego was massaged by not using oils, but I did not expect to excel in watercolours for quite a while. Later, when I moved to Dartmouth in 1983, I took a week long course with Zoltan. I was elected as a member of the Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour (CSPCW) in 2005 and have been the Atlantic Regional Director since May of 2010. When not studio painting, I do photography and teach both watercolour and acrylic painting classes and workshops.

Where do you sell your work?

At Visual Voice in Truro, Lyghtesome Gallery in Antigonish, Art 1274 Hollis Gallery in Halifax (, and the Teichert Gallery at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. Also at my studio and website:

Where else can we find you?

I am a member/owner of a cooperative art gallery in Halifax at 1274 Hollis Street near the train station. Another member, Gwen Paquin and I are having a show there for the month of May titled “April Showers bring May Flowers”.

I also have work featured in the group art show, called “HOME” at Visual Voice Fine Art, 128 King Street, Truro. That show runs until June 18th.

I teach regular painting classes and am also hired by groups to conduct workshops. To enquire about workshops, classes, demonstrations or speaking engagements, please email me at

Here is the link for the interview out this week in the Colchester Weekly News