Blue Heron Writes

Sharing to Inspire through Words and Pictures

Talented Writers Offer Public Readings in Muskoka!

Bracebridge CCW Poster Final




Tall Pine Tales

A series of public readings by talented writers from Haliburton and Muskoka.

Now in it’s 3rd successful year!


 Wednesday, July 16, 7 pm

Haliburton Community Hall


Wednesday, July 30, 7 pm
Baysville Library
10 University Ave., Baysville
Admission by donation – refreshments served


Monday, August 18, 7 pm
Bracebridge Public Library
94 Manitoba Street, Bracebridge
Admission by donation – refreshments served


It’s a fabulous way to enjoy a summer evening in Muskoka.

Let our fiction, memoirs and humour entertain you!

Please come out and support your local writers!

Proceeds to the local libraries


For more information please contact Wendie at 705-646-3663

Canadian Authors Association Opens Chapter in Muskoka – Author Terry Fallis guest at premier meeting

Canadian Authors Association opens chapter in Muskoka

Author Terry Fallis guest at premier meeting July 23

On Wednesday July 23, at 6:30 pm, writers of all genres and levels and lovers of the written word are invited to The Canadian Authors Association Muskoka premier meeting in the upstairs of Riverwalk Restaurant, 1 Manitoba St., Bracebridge (enter through the black door under the purple awning). This inaugural event is free to the public. David Friesen, Executive Chef and owner of Riverwalk, has generously provided space for the event and has prepared a special menu for attendees; doors open at 6 pm.

Guest speaker, award-winning author, Terry Fallis, will discuss his most recent novel, No Relation, which hit bookstores in May 2014. Attendees will hear about the inspiration for this, his fourth national best-selling novel published by McClelland & Stewart. Terry will share how he moves from inspiration to the actual writing of the novel.

His debut novel, The Best Laid Plans, won Terry the 2008 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour and was crowned the 2011 winner of CBC Canada Reads as the “essential Canadian novel of the decade.” Terry was a finalist for the 2011 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour and a finalist for the 2013 Leacock Medal. He won the 2013 Ontario Library Association Evergreen Award, then in June, 2013, the Canadian Booksellers Association presented Terry with the Libris Award for Author of the Year.

During the meeting, those in attendance will also learn about the benefits of membership in The Canadian Authors’ Association. The CAA is the first and longest running national writers’ organization. Founded in 1921 by Stephen Leacock and other prominent authors of the day, CAA has evolved into a wide-reaching organization that is a unique blend of local community chapters and a dynamic national network. Members are offered a wide variety of programs, services and resources to help them develop their skills in both the craft and the business of writing, to enhance their ability to earn a living as a writer, and have access to a Canada-wide network of writers and publishing industry professionals.

Terry Fallis’s debut novel, The Best Laid Plans, won Terry the 2008 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour and was crowned the 2011 winner of CBC Canada Reads as the “essential Canadian novel of the decade.”

The CAA Muskoka plans to meet t on the third Thursday of every month in the upstairs of Riverwalk Restaurant. More details will follow prior to the August meeting. Each meeting is free to members and will feature an author, agent or publisher sharing their experience and expertise about writing and the writing business. There will be a fee charged to non-members.

For more information, please contact Wendie at 705-646-3663 or Cindy at 705-646-5595 and visit to learn more about the Canadian Authors Association.


Jewellery and Paintings – July 5 in Bracebridge !

Here’s a few examples of what you will see at our booth

Saturday, July 5

at the

Muskoka Furniture Arts & Crafts Show

195 Wellington Street, Bracebridge

Show hours: 10 am – 4 pm


Eleven Muskoka Artists, Entertainment, Food, MOOSE FM and Furniture deals at Muskoka Furniture!

2014-21 Dragonfly #4, Acrylic on Canvas, 5 x 7 inches Copyright Wendie Donabie 2014

2014-21 Dragonfly #4, Acrylic on Canvas, 5 x 7 inches Copyright Wendie Donabie 2014

2014-19 Dragonfly #2, Acrylic on Canvas, 5 x 7 inches, Copyright Wendie Donabie 2014

2014-19 Dragonfly #2, Acrylic on Canvas, 5 x 7 inches, Copyright Wendie Donabie 2014

Woven Path

Woven Path, Acrylic on Canvas, 40 x 30 inches, Copyright Wendie Donabie 2014

Morning Has Broken

Morning Has Broken, Acrylic on watercolour paper, 7.5 x 15 inches, Copyright Wendie Donabie 2014

2013-26 Fun with Fiddleheads, Acrylic on Canvas, 14  x 11, Copyright Wendie Donabie 2013

2013-26 Fun with Fiddleheads, Acrylic on Canvas, 14 x 11, Copyright Wendie Donabie 2013






Crocheted wire necklace


New jewellery from recycled items


Memory wire bracelets


Wrapped stone pendants




Kumihimo Bracelets – Custom Orders Taken!

Carolyn and I look forward to sharing our creations with you!

We use natural stones, glass beads, crystals, wire, semi-precious stones and recycled materials in our products.

Our one-of-a-kind jewellery pieces are marketed under SOULL KREATIONS.


Art Tour Success


Lynda Lynn, Pat Whittle,Wendie Donabie & Janice Feist at the Inn

Janice Feist, Lynda Lynn, Pat Whittle and I experienced a successful weekend during the Muskoka Lakes Spring Art Tour, June 7 & 8.  Approximately 200 visitors stopped by to see our work at the Bala Bay Inn and picked up information about us. Throughout the Tour, the Inn and staff encouraged guests to attend the show and we directed visitors to try out the great food on their menu. 

Our art display in the dining room at the Inn

Our art display in the dining room at the Inn

Recognizing the unpredictability of the art market, we looked at the tour as an advertising and promotional opportunity. If we made money that would be a bonus.

Challenges met us with displaying our paintings without wall space in the dining room but we managed to pull it off using easels and tables along two of the walls. The Inn’s, Lux Lounge, we called the porch, did allow us walls for smaller work and chairs provided props for larger pieces. And visitors loved the Inn as a showplace for our art.

Well, we not only covered our costs, we actually made a little extra! Those results helped us decide to stay on board for the Muskoka Lakes Spring Art tour in 2015.

So What’s Next?

Muskoka Furniture,Image here in Bracebridge, will hold their 2nd annual ARTS & CRAFTS SHOW on Saturday, July 5 from 10 am to 4 pm.

Eleven Muskoka artisans are participating in the outdoor exhibit offering paintings, sculpture, jewellery, glass, fibrework, ropework, wood turning, model boats, chainsaw carving, model boats, soapstone carving. Shoppers will find lots of variety with something for everyone.

Along with my jewellery business partner, Carolyn Freedman, we will have displays of our one-of-a kind necklaces, bracelets, earrings, birthday bookmarks and Chakra Cords. Our products are made from glass and metal beads, stones, crystals, wire and recycled materials. I’ll also have a selection of my paintings available for sale.

Muskoka Furniture 2nd Annual Arts & Crafts Sale - July 5th

Muskoka Furniture Art Show in 2013

Please drop by and see us!


2nd Annual Arts & Crafts Show

Saturday, July 5

10 am – 4 pm

195 Wellington Street, Bracebridge

MUSKOKA ART TOUR June 7 and 8!

Weather Report for Muskoka, June 7 & 8:

Sunny, 26°C

Perfect for a drive around Lake Muskoka!

MLSAT 2014 Brochure CoverThe Muskoka Lakes Spring Art Tour, an annual self-guided tour of artist studios across southern Muskoka, takes place Saturday and Sunday, June 7  &  8, 10 am – 5 pm.  This year, 17 artists exhibit their work at seven locations throughout the Township of Muskoka Lakes and Bracebridge.

Artists of the 2014 MLSAT

Artists of the 2014 MLSAT

Paintings, basketry, jewellery, wood block prints, garden art, wood turned bowls and glass work are just a few of the many treasures which await you on the Tour this year.

As guest artists on the tour, Janice Feist, Pat Whittle, Lynda Lynn and I will be located at the Bala Bay Inn, Hwy 169 in Bala.


Wendie, Janice, Pat, Lynda

Please drop in to see our work, enjoy some refreshments at the Inn and take home something beautiful to enjoy in your home or cottage. If you looking for a wedding or other special occasion gift, you’re sure to find it on the tour.

We look forward to seeing you.

For more information, please visit, Brochures with a map of the tour can be found throughout Muskoka or printed off the website.



Get Your Art Out There – Marketing Strategies


MONEYDo you consider artwork  a luxury item, something purchased for your home, cottage or office after everything else or only if you inherit a fortune or win a lottery? Many people do. Even when a potential buyer admires a painting, sculpture, etc. the price may put them off.  I’ve been thinking about this for some time and thought a post about the issues could be interesting and educational to readers.

The last thing an artist wants is their home or studio filled with unsold art. Whether we sell directly from our studios, on-line, at shows, on the street, or through a gallery, our desire is to get our creations into the hands of those who love them and want them. So, what’s the answer?


First, seeing as price often creates a barrier to a sale, let’s look at how we determine the price of an object. Artists struggle with this. We must cover the cost of PRICEexpensive art materials, creation time, size of the work and, if represented by a gallery, pay a 40-50% commission.  Buyers sometimes expect to purchase paintings directly from an artist for less because no commission is paid. But galleries require us to sell our work at the same pricing level, otherwise we might get the sale rather than the gallery. If caught underselling, the artist could lose gallery representation. Artists who only sell direct to the public can be more flexible with their pricing.


Today, some retail businesses, charities and now artists offer up their work with PAY WHAT YOU WILLPAY WHAT YOU CAN PAY WHAT YOU WANT or similar plans. In terms of art, these marketing methods involve developing a relationship with the buyer, sharing a detailed story about the cost, creation process and significance of the artwork to the artist. The relationship and story add value for the potential owner. Not only will he/she own a beautiful item, he/she can share the process and passion behind the work’s creation and with friends and family. Some artists suggest a value but then leave the final price to the buyer. As scary as this sounds, it is working for many in the visual art as well as the music industries. Apparently some are selling more and making more money than when they offered their work at set prices. I haven’t seen anything written up about this system working with galleries and I’m not sure it would be viable there. Yet, there are restaurants also implementing these systems, so who knows.

Another incentive  artists can use to attract buyers is through aligning with a registered charity by donating a percentage or fixed amount of each sale to an organization. The artist must determine how generous he/she can afford to be and still make something on each sale. As much as we love to create our art, reality says we need to make some money doing it (unless we are independently wealthy). So, coming back to the desire to get our work into the hands of the public, many artists will take payment plans. With a significant amount down (let’s say 30 – 50%), the purchaser covers the remainder with set monthly instalments until the work is paid in full. Sometimes the artist retains possession of the artwork until most or all payments are made while others allow the buyer to take the piece home with them immediately.


2014-13 Firmly Rooted - Out of the Woods     30 x 40 inches, Acrylic on Canvas, Copyright Wendie Donabie 2014

Out of the Woods, Acrylic on Canvas, 40 x 30 inches, Copyright Wendie Donabie 2014

This method appeals to me and one that I’m implementing for direct sales to purchasers. If someone loves a painting, I want them to have it and to make if affordable for them. I’ve based my current price structure on the size and medium of my paintings, as well as on my experience to date so that I’m as competitive as possible in today’s art market. By allowing buyers to make a down payment with monthly instalments I’m covering my costs and putting original art into the hands of people who might not otherwise feel they could afford it. I’ll let you know how this is working.

My complete portfolio with pricing is available at, where you will also find up-to-date information on art shows, events and current work. I’d love feedback from art lovers, art buyers and artists on this topic.

What is your experience buying and/or selling artwork? Please share any thoughts, suggestions, comments.

© Wendie Donabie 2014

The Light of Human Kindness

Wendie Donabie:

The experience of a dear friend. Please read and digest. She recorded a touching moment of human kindness… May we all be so sensitive to those around us. – Wendie

Originally posted on notthesinger:

human-kind-300x300 This morning I was riding the subway into work as per my usual. I had my headphones in and my eyes were glued to the pages of a book for most of the journey; Toronto style. Nearing my stop, I dog-eared my page and gathered my stuff to prepare to get off. Just as I did so I watched a girl sitting across from me extend a long stick into its full position and I realized she was visually impaired.

She was younger than I am and travelling alone to one of the busiest parts of Toronto. I watched her make her way across the moving subway to the door. She used her long red stick to find her way, but as she approached the door and navigated through the throng of people she used her hands to feel her way. She approached the doorway and a teenage boy was…

View original 333 more words

An Unexpected Blessing – Celebrating Mother’s Day

Wendie Donabie:

Over the past few days, I’ve had so many hits on this piece I wrote two years ago for a special woman in my life, I thought maybe I should post it again. So with this, I wish all mothers out there A Happy Mothers’ Day!
Blessing to you all….Wendie

Originally posted on Blue Heron Writes:

On the evening of May 12, I will be reading at an annual event called, “Walking In My Mother`s Shoes” This evening on Mother’s Day weekend honours mothers through the arts (the written word, music and visual arts).

As I thought about what I would write, I found myself contemplating the recent blessings in my life. What great good fortune to meet and fall in love with a wonderful, loving man who brought me to live in God’s country. Here surrounded by walls of pink granite, guarded by tall pines I found a safe haven to explore and develop my creative gifts. This would have been enough for me but more came with this new relationship.

I quickly connected with artists and writers who shared my passions and interests. Heaven – this had to be heaven. And this was enough.

But there was still more to come.


View original 622 more words

Successful Art Show Opening in Bracebridge

Saturday, May 3, Janice Feist and I welcomed almost 100 visitors to the opening of our art show, Firmly Rooted. The show received wonderful feedback from those in attendance and we each got our first sales.




Friend and fellow artist, Pat J. Whittle, guided us with the placement of our work and Tracy Hoehner-McEwen directed the staging of the gallery. Our goal to create a park-like setting worked; visitors entering the gallery told us they felt like spring had finally arrived.

Pat W. Whittle

Pat W. Whittle

Organizing where the art will be hung

Organizing where the art will be hung





Tracy lighting up the show

Tracy lighting up the show


Working on the gallery staging and clean up.








The mellow, guitar stylings of Jamie Sherman, Muskoka musician and artist, and CDs of forest sounds added to the atmosphere of the opening.

Jamie Sherman with Wendie & Janice

Jamie Sherman with Wendie & Janice

DSCN7142Mid afternoon, the two amazing men in our lives presented Janice and I with beautiful floral bouquets. Their constant, unwavering support and love anchors us, inspires and quells our doubts and insecurities as artists. We know how lucky we are to have them.

Firmly Rooted continues at the Chapel Gallery, 15 King Street, Bracebridge until May 31. Gallery hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am – 1 pm; 2 pm – 5 pm. 


Please visit my website to view the complete portfolio of my work . . .










Out of the Woods

Acrylic on Canvas, 40 x 30 inches. Copyright Wendie Donabie 2014

Another scene from the magnificent trails of Algonquin Park.

Wouldn’t you like to explore these woods?

Part of the FIRMLY ROOTED Art Show

May 3-31, 2014

Chapel Gallery

15 King Street, Bracebridge, Ontario


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