Northumberland Art Lovers: Rosie Riviera-Lopez

“The most challenging thing about painting is knowing when to stop,” says Rosie Riviera-Lopez, in an interview with NFOTA’s Cynthia Reyes. Rosie, an artist and educator, moved to Port Hope in 2020.

Rosie Riviera-Lopez by the Ganaraska River – Photo Credit: Francois Lopez

Why Port Hope?

My husband Francois and I are empty-nesters from Durham and we were looking for a quaint small town to retire to. We have relatives in Port Hope, so we had already been here and liked the area.

How are you liking the Northumberland area so far?

I love Northumberland’s country and enjoy the miles and miles of open air. During COVID, we were able to drive in the countryside and take in nature: hiking Monkey Mountain and driving to Millbrook. I went strawberry picking and made homemade jam for the first time.

We enjoy walks, hikes along the lake and down by the Ganaraska River. We also enjoy the architecture of the many historical homes. The neighbourhoods are quiet and friendly. 

Riviera Ladies by Rosie Riviera-Lopez

When did you start painting?

I always loved art and painting but I had not painted for decades. However, after my father died 9 years ago of a stroke and then 4 years later my mother died of Alzheimer’s, painting became a process of healing.

Three years later, my older brother died suddenly of a heart attack. Painting my loved ones allowed me to work through my grief. Painting is definitely a form of therapy for me. It inspires me to keep going during these times and it allows me to be still and appreciate the simple things in life.

Eddie by Rosie Riviera-Lopez

Who (or what) has most influenced your work?

I met a beautiful self-taught artist, Muriel Mason of St. Thomas Parish in Brooklin, Ontario. Among other things, she painted miniatures and beautiful watercolour paintings. I asked to study with her and she said, “I need to see if you have any talent first!”

Lucky for me, she took me on along with another local artist in Whitby, Catherine Mills, who also paints beautiful oil paintings.

My husband Francois and sons Jarett and Terence are also very encouraging. My family were delighted to see my painting of Eddie, my oldest brother who recently passed away.

What subjects in particular do you like to paint?

I love painting the ocean, bodies of water and landscapes, which are also beautiful. Painting people is more challenging.

Villa by Rosie Riviera-Lopez

What do you find most challenging?

The most challenging thing about painting is knowing when to stop. I tend to go back again and again to add more colour or take some away. My most difficult medium to use is watercolour, which is not forgiving of errors. I look forward to painting more when I retire and learning more techniques.

How do you think moving to Northumberland County will help your art, develop/influence it?

Moving to Northumberland County gives me more landscapes and paintings by the water to discover.

Rosie and Francois

18 Comments Add yours

  1. felicity936 says:

    Great interview, Thanks Cynthia! I love your paintings Rosie.

  2. Thanks for sharing this lovely interview Cynthia. And kudos Rosie for finding healing in your painting. They look wonderful to me. I hope you enjoy your new home and more painting.

  3. Diane Taylor says:

    Rosie, those paintings are beautiful. And Cynthia, I love that shot of Rosie by the Ganaraska.

  4. Welcome to Northumberland County, Rosie! As you’ve discovered, it’s beautiful — and inspiring — here. And we have such a great artistic community as well. Love your work and look forward to seeing more.

  5. Sally Charbonneau says:

    Great article Cynthia, and love the paintings Rosie, had no idea what a wonderful talented artist you are!

  6. Wonderful work! And so true about knowing when to stop. Same for writing. At least it is for me.

  7. mariearden says:

    Good interview! It’s always nice to “meet” another creative soul in our area. Thank-you.

  8. kimaubrey says:

    Lovely paintings, Rosie! I especially like the one of your brother looking out at the sea. It has a beautiful, peaceful feel.

  9. Rosie Riviera-Lopez says:

    Thank you very much to Cynthia she is an amazing author. Also to all the wonderful comments and encouraging words. I am truly humbled.

  10. RIVIERA TERESA says:

    Rosie Riviera Lopez, your story and paintings are beautiful.

  11. Sherry Romanowsky says:

    I love the passion you express in all of your paintings. Your new surroundings will, no doubt, inspire you to create new landscapes. Can’t wait to see your next masterpiece!

  12. Linda Ross says:

    Love the art therapy! Beautiful memories and beautiful scenery captured to become daily reminders for the soul. So you heal through creation and then visually soothed as you admire and share your work! Thanks for sharing your talent & experience Rosie!

  13. Jacqueline Gooding says:

    Beautiful Artwork Rosie!!! What a charming tribute to your brother Eddie. Your “Villa” piece is stunning and extremely inviting. It’s an absolute pleasure seeing this alluring artistic side of you. Thank you for sharing your talent.

  14. L. Brenda Riviera says:

    Wonderful outline of your beautiful life.

    We have so much in us and seeing your art work is inspiring. Finding an outlet for our pain is a gift to be treasured.

    Nice to see that out of pain, beautiful things are born.

  15. Claire C. says:

    Rosie, my friend, thank you so much for sharing your story. Such a joy to read all about your love for painting and aspirations. I have seen your paintings and they are truly amazing. Thank you for being you.

  16. Nawal Jubran says:

    It is really beautiful that your art represents parts of your life. You water colours and the backgrounds of your pictures are very calming to th eye. We can feel your emotions reflected in these picture. As friends, we are very proud of you. ❤️👍
    Sue &Nawal

  17. I have to agree with Rosie that the most difficult medium to use is watercolor, it always hard to not let a painting get muddied. Nice interview.

  18. Clare Pooley says:

    Thank you for sharing this fascinating interview with Rosie, Cynthia. Rosie, I am so pleased that painting has provided comfort and healing for you. Your paintings are lovely!

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