Blue Heron Writes

Sharing to Inspire through Words and Pictures

Busy Summers in Muskoka!

Summer in Muskoka is always a busy time, trying to take advantage of the wonderful weather and so many special events. Visit Muskoka Tourism at this link to discover all there is to do in our beautiful area.

Here’s what I’m up to the next few weeks! Still lots of planning and work to be done for a couple of art shows and two reading events.


MUSKOKA FURNITURE195 Wellington Street, BracebridgeIMG_3211

One day only – Saturday, August 1

10 am – 3 pm

Local artisans will be displaying and selling a variety of hand-crafted items for home and cottage!

At the SOULL KREATIONS tent, you’ll find a selection of Wendie’s small paintings and new items from the Soull Kreations Jewellery
collection – designed and made by Carolyn Freedman and Wendie Donabie.


The 3rd Annual TALL PINE TALES
presented by Cottage Country Writers:

Wendie Donabie

Wednesday, August 5 – Baysville Public Library. MC – Wendie Donabie

Paul Feist, Master of Ceremonies for Cottage Country Writers August 18

Monday, August 17 – Bracebridge Public Library, MC – Paul Feist

Both events: 7 – 9 pm

Admission by donation. Proceeds to the libraries.
Refreshments and Door Prizes

Join us for two evenings of great entertainment with 9 talented writers at each event. These are the 2nd and 3rd nights of readings that started with the Haliburton event on July 15. Initiated 3 years ago by Melody Richardson, the writing groups from Haliburton, Baysville and Bracebridge have continued this summer tradition. This year all of the evenings are dedicated to Melody who died in June of this year. Her energy, enthusiasm and encouragement will be missed by all of the writers in Haliburton and Muskoka who had the privilege to know her.



Echinecea (Coneflowers) #1, Acrylic on Canvas, 6 x 6 inches, Copyright Wendie Donabie

Echinecea (Coneflowers) #1, Acrylic on Canvas, 6 x 6 inches, Copyright Wendie Donabie

Gristmill Park and the adjacent Robertson Parkette. Baysville, Ontario

Saturday and Sunday, August 8 and 9
10 am – 4 pm

Carolyn Freedman and Wendie Donabie will be participating in the 29 Baysville Arts and Crafts Festival in IMG_0553Baysville, Ontario hosted by The Baysville Riverfront Group. Our SOULL KREATIONS jewellery collection and a selection of my paintings will be available for sale.

The two-day outdoor event features unique and original work by artisans from all over Ontario. Admission to the park and festival is by donation with the proceeds going to the Baysville Horticultural Society.



Stream of Consciousness, Axrylic on Canvas, 48 x 24 inches, Copyright Wendiie Donabie

Stream of Consciousness, Axrylic on Canvas, 48 x 24 inches, Copyright Wendiie Donabie

203 Manitoba Street, Bracebridge, Ontario

As of May 22 I will have an ever-changing selection of my paintings on display here in Bracebridge.
Stop in for the best coffee roasted here in Muskoka and a menu of scrumptious sweets, breakfast and lunch items!




Puppy Love – The Only Love That Comes Between Us, Acrylic on Canvas, 8 x 24 inches, Copyright Wendie Donabie

195 Wellington Street, BracebriWendie Donabie Websitedge, Ontario

Ongoing display of paintings

Please stop by to sample Tea Infusion’s wide selection of loose teas and take some home to enjoy.

Phone: (705) 640-8327


To view more of my paintings, please visit

Muskoka Sunsets – Unbeatable Inspiration

How do I, as an artist, capture Nature’s brilliant palette of colours when the evening sky fills with a fast-changing rainbow of hues? For me the only way is using reference photos. The next problem is matching colours. Well, forget that! No matter how many paint colours exist and how much mixing I do, it seems impossible to duplicate those amazing, natural colours.

3654 - Muskoka Beach Sunset, 8 x 10, OIl on Canvas, Copyright Wendie Donabie

3654 – Muskoka Beach Sunset, Oil on Canvas, 8 x 10, Copyright Wendie Donabie (Not for Sale)

Still, I want to paint them, to in some small way share the beauty of our Muskoka sunsets.

I hope you enjoy these 4 acrylic on canvas creations, all 5 x7 inches, unframed. They are part of a collection offered at $75 each during upcoming summer art shows.

3693 - Muskoka Sunset #1, Acrylic on Canvas, 5 x 7 inches, Copyright Wendie Donabie

3693 – Muskoka Sunset #1, Acrylic on Canvas, 5 x 7 inches, Copyright Wendie Donabie

3694 - Muskoka Sunset #2, Acrylic on Canvas, 5 x 7 inches, Copyright Wendie Donabie

3694 – Muskoka Sunset #2, Acrylic on Canvas, 5 x 7 inches, Copyright Wendie Donabie

3695 - Muskoka Sunset #3, Acrylic on Canvas, 5 x 7 inches, Copyright Wendie Donabie

3695 – Muskoka Sunset #3, Acrylic on Canvas, 5 x 7 inches, Copyright Wendie Donabie

3696 - Muskoka Sunset #4, Acrylic on Canvas, 5 x 7 inches, Copyright Wendie Donabie

3696 – Muskoka Sunset #4, Acrylic on Canvas, 5 x 7 inches, Copyright Wendie Donabie

To view more of my paintings, please visit

Flower Paintings and A Poem of Rising Passion and Answered Prayer

With a couple of outdoor art shows coming up, I decided creating small paintings would be a good idea. There’s always room for a small piece of art to brighten up your home, workplace or cottage. These canvases are all Acrylic on Canvas, 6 x 6 inches, $50 each.

Brilliant colours, faces open to the sun, passion, the very essence of flowers reminding me of the love I have for my life partner and of a poem written as we drew closer to a life commitment to each other.

Step by cautious step

we draw closer.

to what?

We do not know.

3686 - Echinacea #1 (Coneflower), Acrylic on Canvas, 6 x 6 inches, Copyright Wendie Donabie

Echinacea #1 (Coneflower), Acrylic on Canvas, 6 x 6 inches, Copyright Wendie Donabie

Two fiery signs

crossing paths

igniting passion and desire.

3684 - Black-Eyed Susan #1, Acrylic on Canvas, 6 x 6 inches, Copyright Wendie Donabie

Black-Eyed Susan #1, Acrylic on Canvas, 6 x 6 inches, Copyright Wendie Donabie

When we met again I remembered

you – the teenage boy –

always quick with a joke and a dimpled smile.

What has happened in these few short weeks?

My life no longer a straight and predictable line.

Daisy #1, Acrylic on Canvas, 6 x 6 inches, Copyright Wendie Donabie

Daisy #1, Acrylic on Canvas, 6 x 6 inches, Copyright Wendie Donabie

Yes, I handed God a list

but never expected a response.

Day Lily #1, Acrylic on Canvas, 6 x 6 inches, Copyright Wendie Donabie

Day Lily #1, Acrylic on Canvas, 6 x 6 inches, Copyright Wendie Donabie

And now, here you are,

the answer to my prayer.

My best friend, lover, confidante.

Step by Cautious Step – Copyright Wendie Donabie 2010

Please visit my website to view more of my paintings.

Sharing My Poetry – In Love

I’ve been asked by several readers to share some of my creative writing so today, here is the first…

I wrote this poem in 2006 as a writing exercise for an online course. And then in 2010 I lived the poem when I met my life partner.

I’d love your feedback.


A Place As Seen By A Woman In Love

2014-18  Hidden Falls, Acrylic on Canvas, 5 x 7 inches, Copyright Wendie Donabie

2014-18 Hidden Falls, Acrylic on Canvas, 5 x 7 inches, Copyright Wendie Donabie

Fluid as mercury, yet hard as steel

Powerful as the birth of a new star  –  deep in the heavens

Thunderous as a herd of stampeding horses.


Dazzling as it played dodge ball with rays of sun.

Mesmerizing, drawing her into its welcoming embrace.

Pure as liquid crystal, and cool as a mountain spring.


With each breath, she leaned closer, wishing to fall into its wonder.

What had changed for her in the place so often visited?

Was this not simply a waterfall?


No, not this day.

For love had invaded her being – body, heart, mind and soul.

No longer could she view the world in concrete terms.


Life now reeled with poetry.

Metaphor flung itself over the precipice and dove into the gorge below.

Simile cascaded over the rocks and dripped from foliage along the water’s path.

Copyright Wendie Donabie

I love you Dad and I miss you! Happy Father’s Day!

Robert Jesse Richard Donabie 1960s

My Dad – Robert Jesse Richard Donabie in the 1960s

I’ve never written about Father’s Day…I don’t exactly know why that is. My father died on a business trip to India when I was 15 – at that age when so many of us, (me included), think our parents know nothing. I talked back to both of them. It seemed I had no control over my tongue.

When he was leaving, I tried to be nice and not snippy by saying, “Don’t get sick while you’re away.” My mother scolded me. “That’s an awful thing to suggest Wendie!” And here I thought my words were considerate! Dad had a sensitive stomach and usually experienced some kind of physical upset when he travelled.

This time, rather than get sick, he died . . . and I blamed myself. Although Dad did suffer from high blood pressure, I deduced my attitude towards him had increased his BP resulting in the massive stroke that took his life. After many years of guilt, I came to accept the medical opinion that a weakness in the myelin sheath on the brain had caused the bleed and his death. The doctor explained to my mother it could have happened at any time.

I always had the feeling Dad wanted a boy but he got me instead. My parents married older than most in those days and decided not to have a family. A short time after making that decision, Mom learned she was pregnant. As a result, I’m an only child.

Mom, Papa (Dad's father) and Dad's Rock Garden

Dad’s rock garden. That’s my Mom and Papa (Dad’s father) on the patio

Dad never said or did anything to make me feel unloved. On the contrary he included me in all his projects. We gardened together in the colourful rock garden he created. When undertaking a household repair, I’d be by his side picking up skills. And even in those difficult teen years, we still had fun times playing ping pong and enjoying family trips.

Wendie - 60th Birthday


It’s been 50 years since I last looked in my father’s eyes and saw mine reflected back. I inherited his hazel greens and as I’ve aged, his laugh lines.

I wish Dad could have been there for my high school graduation, my personal and work milestones and to counsel me through so many tough decisions in my life. I always thought of him as a practical man who made sensible choices.

Mom, Dad & Me - one of our last photos together before Dad's death

Mom, Me and Dad in February 1964 – one of the last photos of us before he passed away on May 14, 1964

Then I learned from my two aunts, Dad was more like me – driven at most times by his heart. Having a business early in life and then a family, forced him to dig into his less familiar practical nature. That knowledge helped me to feel more confident in my life. Rather than feel guilty for heart-lead choices, I now know it’s who I am – part Dad, part Mom (the more practical one). I’m a melting pot of their personalities and natural abilities/skills. I do miss them both and hope someday we meet again.

I still don’t know why I haven’t written about my Dad before on this blog. On Remembrance Day last year I did post a short remembrance of him about his service during WWII but it wasn’t so much about Dad and me.  In part the motivation today came from a fellow blogger’s post about his father. His words touched me and made me realize I wanted more than anything to tell my Dad, “I haven’t forgotten you, your love or the impact you had on my life. I love you Dad. Happy Father’s Day to you and to all those special fathers out there including my wonderful partner in life!”

View Wendie’s Paintings at

How Long Did It Take to Paint That?

The Red Canoe, Acrylic on Canvas, 8 x 24 inches, Copyright Wendie Donabie

How long did it take you to paint that?

Continue reading

An Unexpected Blessing – Celebrating Mother’s Day


In 2012 I wrote the following for a special event celebrating Mothers. My mother-in-law, Muriel Nichols, is now 92 and still as vibrant and beautiful as ever. Today I share this writing again to honour her, the memory of my own mother, Beatrice Amelia (Livie) Donabie, and all the wonderful women in my life who are mothers whether in body or spirit. Happy Mother’s Day!

*    *    *    *    *    *    *

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).

DSCN1640As 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.

Mum in 1979

In  1982, I lost my mother to cancer. I hadn’t realized how connected we were until she was gone. Over the years our relationship experienced ups and downs from teenage rebellion, through divorce and loss of a son-in-law she loved, my second marriage to a man she struggled to accept and finally loved, and culminated in our deep and abiding friendship as she battled the disease ravaging her body.

I missed her terribly. I felt lost without her. When my father passed away, I was 15 and my mother took on the role of both parents. I learned to depend on her as I entered adulthood and now she was gone. I went on with my life, yet, an emptiness remained.

This emptiness only worsened when my husband died in 2006. During his illness, I had constructed a steel-reinforced concrete wall around my heart. However, during that time I also developed several close women friends. I discovered a sisterhood I had not known before and I trusted them with my deepest feelings. In a way, they replaced my mother.  Yet, I still missed her,  especially on Mother’s Day when we take time to celebrate those who gave us life, who raised us, put up with our antics, kissed our booboos, hugged us when we cried, encouraged us when we struggled and cheered on our victories.

I never expected to have another mother in my life. My mother-in-law died in the 1980s and after my husband`s death I determined I would live a single life unless the right man dropped right in front of me.

Doug, me, Hugh and Mom (Muriel)

Then two years ago, it happened. There he was right in front of me and my wall of protection came crumbling down. When my spouse and I began dating, he arranged for us to have breakfast with his mother, Muriel, and her special man, Doug. I approached that day with trepidation having no idea how I would be received. Would she like me or hate me? I needn’t have feared. The moment we met, I felt embraced and loved. That’s what mothers do. They desire the best for their children and when they see happiness reflected in the eyes of their sons and daughters, they rejoice.

We don’t live close enough to see one another often but the times we spend together are precious to me.  They are comfortable times, as though we’ve been doing this for years and years. Whether we simply sit and talk, enjoy one of Doug’s incredible dinner creations, walk through the garden or down a country road, we find lots to laugh about and share. Muriel and I particularly enjoy taking on the guys to a game or two of euchre. Occasionally we let them win.

During a recent visit with Muriel, I took her aside to ask her if she minded me calling her “Mom”. It seemed so natural for me. She hugged me and said, “I’d love it.”

Mom will be attending the event on May 12 so I will be able to share my thoughts with her.

These will be my closing words, “Mom, you are an extra special and unexpected blessing in my life. Tonight I have this perfect opportunity to let you know how much I appreciate you and to tell you publicly, I love you. You have effectively filled that empty corner of my heart created especially for a mothers love. Thank you and Happy Mothers Day!”

© Wendie Donabie 2012

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

DSCN1419Happy Mother’s Day to all Mothers, Mothers-in-law, Mothers to be, Step-Mothers, Grandmothers, Great Grandmothers, Foster Mothers, Spiritual Mothers and any other Mothers I have missed!


Artist of the Month at MUSKOKA TOURISM

DSCN8004Are you headed up to Muskoka during the month of May? If you are, please take a few minutes to drop into the Muskoka Tourism Information Centre on Hwy 11, 2 km north of Severn Bridge, just south of Gravenhurst.

I’m the Featured Artist from May 1-31! You’ll find a selection of acrylic, oil and watercolour paintings as well as blank note art cards to view and perhaps take home with you!




The Tourism Centre is the best place to obtain information about places to stay and eat, events and things to do during your stay in Muskoka. In addition to brochures, maps and souvenirs, the knowledgeable and friendly staff will respond to all of your questions or concerns. It’s worth your while to stop by.


To view more of my paintings, please visit…… Thank you!

Celebrating The Mother of Us All – Earth Day

Today in honour of Earth Day, I am reposting a short piece I wrote 2 years ago.

Mother of Us All

Is our Earth simply a large, chunk of rock to you, or do you think of her as a sentient being – the Mother of us all – with whom you can have a personal relationship? Have you ever taken a moment to connect with her? Long ago, indigenous peoples developed a relationship of respect and interdependence with Mother Earth. They felt her rhythms, recognized her cycles, listened to her voice and learned from her.

The rock taught them faith, wisdom, strength and endurance while the trees illustrated honesty and uprightness.  As the sap flowed through them, so must honesty flow through the people. When they trod upon the grass, it bounced back teaching them to be resilient, kind to themselves and others. Animals taught companionship, how to care for and protect one another.

Today, Mother Earth continues to share these lessons; she teaches us to be human. And as her children, our job is simple – listen to her and care for her.

While walking through the forest, I feel her support beneath my feet as she responds to each footfall. Feel me, touch me, embrace me, she says.

Her scent wafts through the air filling my nostrils with the living smells of the earth, water and plant life. Breathe deeply, I hear her say, fill your body, heart and soul with my abundance.

From quiet lakes, gurgling brooks, rushing rivers, roaring waterfalls and mighty oceans, I hear her enduring heartbeat. She tells me, We are one, each a part of one another. What affects one, affects all.

Her voice travels on the wind, through the calls of birds; her messages are seen in the movement of wildlife and heard echoing through her canyons and valleys. Know me, know your brothers and sisters. Care for each other. Everything you need is here for you to use, not abuse. 

My experience is a spiritual one. But just as each child relates in a different way to his or her mother, your connection with Mother Earth will be unique. I encourage you to develop a relationship with her. She is a wise advisor and . . . we need her.

Although many cultures still honour parents, in western societies we are less inclined to respect and care for our elders. Perhaps this is why we have begun to so easily take Mother Earth for granted.

Today, while strong voices do exist, working to raise awareness of the desperate plight of our planet, others continue to ignore Mother Earth’s cries, seeing her only as a place filled with abundance to be exploited until there is nothing left. Yet, as we strip her of her wealth without putting anything back, we are most assuredly killing her and eventually all life on the planet. If we would all take the time to acknowledge our mutual interdependence, examine the natural cycles of Mother Earth and learn to live by her rules, we just might have a chance of saving her and saving us.

Please visit this link to view a short video, We are All One, that reflects my heart and concern for our planet.  Thank you.

Copyright Wendie Donabie 2015

To view Wendie’s Paintings, please visit


Earth Day 2015!

April 22 marks Earth Day 2015.

In honour of Mother Earth, here are two paintings I’ve done in the past couple of years to reflect her beauty and remind us of our  shared roots as human beings and our dependence on the planet for our very existence.


Mother Earth - Our Shared Roots

Mother Earth – Our Shared Roots. 24 x 24 inches, Acrylic on Canvas, Copyright Wendie Donabie – SOLD

Mother Earth lies nestled in the arms of a tree – without trees we would not have the oxygen needed to sustain life on our planet.

Breath of Life

Breath of Life, 48 x 36 inches, Acrylic on Canvas, Copyright Wendie Donabie – SOLD


Do you have plans for Earth Day? I’d love to share your ideas here on my blog.


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