Blue Heron Writes

Sharing to Inspire through Words and Pictures www.wendiedonabie.com

Heron’s Nest Studio Gallery Open for the Season


Heron’s Nest Studio Gallery will open for the season on Saturday, June 6 from 10 am – 3 pm and thereafter for the same hours on most Fridays and Saturdays until October 11.  At other times, please call for an appointment. For the protection of visitors, we ask you to bring and wear a facemask. We will be wearing them too. Hand sanitizer and plastic gloves will be provided by us.  Due to space constraints we will be limiting access to 2 people from the same household at the same time. Drop ins are welcome, however, when possible, we ask visitors to call ahead: 705-646-3663.  Curbside pickup and local delivery within 50 km is available. All gallery products are viewable at our online store at  https://herons-nest-studio-gallery.square.site/. Items can be placed for viewing in a safe location outside the gallery if requested.  

Heron’s Nest Studio Gallery features the work of Muskoka & Area Artists and Artisans. Currently, we carry encaustic paintings by Pat Whitte, Antiqued Ironwork Home and Garden Decor by Deb Harkness, Stained Glass creations by Maureen Haines, Aritisan Designed furniture by Conel O’Regan and Paintings in various mediums and limited edition giclee prints by resident artist, Wendie Donabie.

 

News from the Nest – June 2020 – Hot off the virtual press!


View this email in your browser
News from Heron’s Nest Studio Gallery – June 2020News from the Nest is a newsletter from resident artist, Wendie Donabie
to keep you informed about what’s happening at Heron’s Nest Studio Gallery.
Please share it with friends and family.
HERON’S NEST SEASONAL OPENING

Since my last newsletter, the world has changed. It’s been a difficult time for so many losing family members and jobs, dealing with business and school closures and the added stresses for those working on the frontlines. We’re all experiencing social distancing and isolation from friends and family and taking precautions to safeguard our health.

Opening under these new “normal” conditions took some careful thought and consideration. I still wanted to offer a safe place for a Muskoka outing to local and seasonal residents and vacationers.

As restrictions are beginning to ease, we’ve set up some safety protocols to protect people coming to the gallery. Visitors will be required to bring face masks and only two people from the same household will be permitted access at the same time. We will provide and ask everyone to use hand sanitizer and wear plastic gloves.

 We open on June 6 from 10 am to 3 pm and thereafter will be open on most Fridays and Saturdays during the same hours until October 11At other times thoughout the year, the gallery will be accessible by appointment only. When possible, please call ahead 705-646-3663

Our Artists
We’re pleased to have the following artists returning to Heron’s Nest:
Multimedia Artist, Pat Whittle: encaustic (wax) paintings, pendants and stained glass applique lanterns.
Stained Glass Artist, Maureen Haines: from angel sun-catchers to sophisticated designs and pictoral stories in glass
Artisan Blacksmith, Deb Harkness: antiqued ironwork garden and home decor
Artisan Furniture Designer, Conel O’Regan: furniture and home decor created from deadfall – no trees are cut down for his designs.
Sculptor, Naomi Frohlich: hand sculpted black bears
and me (Visual Artist, Wendie Donabie)- Acrylic, Oil, Chinese Ink, Watercolour paintings. Limited Edition Giclee Prints and blank Art Cards. 

Wendie’s News
The biggest news is the cancellation of all art shows so far this year. This has been a huge hit to working artists, many of whom earn the bulk of their income during the summer months. I still have paintings hanging from shows in two locations that have been closed since the outbreak of COVID-19 and don’t know when I’ll be able to bring them home.

However, the shutdown of galleries and museums has inspired the creation of virtual exhibits like the Brown Baggers Painters Show on currently at Muskoka Place Gallery in Port Carling. My painting, Meditation – Water Lilies on Cache Lake, Algonquin Park, (acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 24 x 24 inches) is part of that exhibit that runs until June 30.
 
As of today, I’m still scheduled for a solo show from July 6 – August 9 at the Muskoka Tourism offices on Hwy 11, (northbound between Washago and Gravenhurst), however, their offices are still closed so the show may be cancelled.  

Also, I’ve applied to two other shows, one, a gallery exhibit and sale in Ontario, and another virtual exhibition in the USA and I’m awaiting status of these applications. 

Heron’s Nest Online Gallery Store
With the potential for fewer visitors to Muskoka and to artists’ studios and galleries this season, I decided it was time to create an online store. Every product available in the gallery is included in the online inventory. You can browse through and when something catches your interest, I can arrange for you to view it in a safe location. If you want to avoid coming inside the gallery, I’m offering curbside pick up and local delivery (within 50 kms of Bracebridge).  The Online Store is also accessible through Facebook and Instagram.

NOTE: The best display option available for the online store is a 1:1 ratio (square images) so products that are rectangular do not display the full image. If something interests you, email or call and I will email full images to you. For full-sized images of my paintings in their original ratio, visit www.WendieDonabie.com 

Other Projects
For now, I’m writing short articles on local artists for a new online magazine, Muskoka Style. You’ll find the articles listed under ARTS. The magazine offers a refreshing light and entertaining view of life in Muskoka, dedicated to curating the best of style in Muskoka. ART. FOOD. FASHION. FUN.[The] team’s inspiration is the easy summer style that best reflects the spirit of Muskoka and sunny days at the Lake.[Publisher],Lori Knowles is an editor, writer, author, and lifelong Muskoka resident: lori@MuskokaStyle.com    Take a look – subscriptions are free!
 
What’s Happening on the Easel?
Forest Commune, Acrylic & Mixed Media on Canvas, 40 x 30 inches is finished..As I mentioned in the last newsletter, the inspiration is Mother Trees to illustrate how these trees feed and nurture smaller and weaker trees in the forest with through canopy communiation and an underground network of mycellium. To sculpt the bark and the roots in the foreground, I used tissue paper and acrylic soft gel.  

In April, Patience – Making Strides, Acrylic on Canvas Board, 12 x 16 inches, also left my easel and is off being framed to hang in the gallery. During a photo jaunt to Algonquin Park and area, I captured a number of images of a heron fishing in a misty rain falling on the Madawaska River. I was confident his fierce concentration and patience would pay off with a tasty lunch. The painting name also reflects what I’ve been feeling during this time of social distancing and restrictions on our ‘normal’ lives. We all need to develop patience with ourselves, our family and friends, with the government, with life in general. We are making strides towards a treatment or a vaccine to defeat the virus, and towards better understanding one another and the impact we have on the earth. The changes in the natural world have been profound and my hope is that lessons are being learned by us all.

This month, I completed another painting as a housewarming gift for my granddaughter, Tiffany and her boyfriend. Last year when they purchased their first home I asked them to think about what they would like me to paint. The decision came from Tiffany. She wanted a reminder of her parent’s farm where she spent most of her childhood. The result was Home at Sundown, Acrylic on Canvas, 20 x 16 inches.  

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Free of deadlines for shows and exhibits, I’m taking time to paint something different now. In the past, I’ve completed canoe paddles (an endangered Spotted Turtle and an iconic Muskoka Black Bear) for Muskoka Conservancy’s annual charity auction but I’ve never painted any to sell. So, up next is a canoe paddle that will be adorned with beautiful trilliums…. watch for it in the online store and in my next newsletter. There will be more paddles to come!
 
Musings from Wendie
Unlike many people, these uncommon weeks have been good for me. I’ve recognized how much pressure I’ve allowed outside influences to put on me and drain away my time. Moving forward, I’m clearer on what I want to focus on and where my priorities lie in my life and my work. I’ve recognized how important my relationships are during this time and I want to nurture those connnections with family and friends.
 Even changes we’ve all had to make to our shopping habits has been good for me. Now, I shop once a week whereas in the past I might drop into the grocery store several times a week for one or two items. This simple change has given me more time to do the things I enjoy. I love to cook but that has changed also. Now, I plan meals in advance, instead of prepping food at the last minute.

I hope that through all these strange and sometimes trying months, each of you has discovered something new and exciting to add to your life, that you’ve paid more attention to nature and wildlife, become more patient with yourself and found joy in the simple things.

ARTrail Muskoka
Due to the pandemic and concern for the health of the public and their own families, several of the artists on ARTrail Muskoka this year, have opted to stay closed for the next several months. However, others are making accommodations to provide a safe environment for visitors or finding other ways to offer access to their work. 

For 2020, our year-round, self-guided tour offers the public access to over 50 artist studios and artist-run galleries. We always recommend calling ahead before planning a visit to any of our artists, especially at this time.

The 2020 Studio/Gallery guide is printed and will be distributed across Muskoka once pandemic restrictions are lifted.  You can also download our brochure/map NOW from our website


When the PURPLE BANNER is out, the artist is in! 

For more information visit www.ARTrailMuskoka.caFacebook pageInstagram. email artrailmuskoka@gmail.com or call 705-205-0119.
 Feel free to contact me at 705-646-3663 if you have any questions or are planning a visit to Muskoka. Please call ahead to confirm gallery open days and hours.

When Heron’s Nest is open, the PURPLE BANNER will be flying outside the gallery.
 Thank you for your interest in my work and in Heron’s Nest Studio Gallery. 

News from the Nest is published bi-monthly, so you won’t be bombarded with emails from me. ~ Wendie


Heron’s Nest Studio Gallery
Where art and nature meet!95 Muskoka Road, Bracebridge, ON P1L 1H4
Heron’s Nest Studio Gallery Online Store
info@wendiedonabie.com
www.WendieDonabie.com

June 2019 Issue of NEWS FROM THE NEST!


The JUNE ISSUE of our bi-monthly newsletter, NEWS FROM THE NEST, will be emailed to subscribers this coming weekend. If you are interested in seeing and reading it, please click on on this link. Like what you see? You can subscribe on the same page! And it’s FREE!

NEWS FROM THE NEST keeps you updated on what’s happening at Heron’s Nest Studio Gallery and with Wendie’s art projects and shows!

JUNE SPECIAL:

In the June issue you receive a coupon for a FREE Art Greeting Card with the image of one of Wendie’s original paintings. Drop by during the month of June to choose your card from the large selection available. No purchase required. Just bring the coupon or show it to us on your cell phone.

News from the Nest! – first edition


News from Heron’s Nest Studio Gallery

Hello from Heron’s Nest Studio Gallery! Last June we opened the Gallery, located steps from downtown Bracebridge. Working in a variety of mediums, my paintings reflect my love of nature and my concern for the environment. The intimate studio gallery also features work by other Muskoka artists who draw their inspiration from the natural world.
When our gardens are in bloom, you can stroll the property to enjoy the view and you could encounter some of our backyard wildlife. If you’re lucky you may meet the deer who frequently visit us in the summer or, Gustav the Great, our giant neighbourhood groundhog.

Spring has finally arrived!

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A few days ago, I saw my first robin so spring must be here – mustn’t it? It’s been quite the winter in Muskoka with Environment Canada reporting we received a whopping 14 feet of the white stuff. Our heron sculpture survived the winter and the walkway to the front door has finally cleared.


News from My Studio
Last year, I participated in several group shows throughout Muskoka and beyond. Two of them were held at the Algonquin Park Visitor’s Centre Gallery. Then three of my paintings were part of the Bracebridge Brown Baggers’ painting group exhibit at the Visitors Centre that closed on April 24.

Another one of my acrylics, was included in the Muskoka YWCA show held at the Chapel Gallery in Bracebridge during Women’s History month and in recognition of International Women’s Day. Opening on the same day, at the Orillia Museum of Art and History, my painting Genesis (cow and calf Humpback Whales), was part of the Connections show. This was OMAH’s 42nd Annual International Women’s Art Exhibit. This show finishes April 13.

I’m thrilled to announce Muskoka Life Magazine will be featuring my work in the upcoming June edition. You’ll be able to pick up a copy throughout Muskoka.

For the month of July, I’ll have work at the Muskoka Tourism office on Hwy 11 northbound, and south of Gravenhurst. Then in August, my paintings will be on display at the Baysville Public Library.

Local businesses are generous in their support of our artist community. Oliver’s Coffee and Unique Muskoka, both located on Manitoba Street in Bracebridge provide opportunities for me to display a few paintings for sale. As well, Tea Infusion and Momma Bear’s Ice Cream carry a selection of my blank greeting cards. And when you’re driving north on Hwy 11, you can pick up my cards at Muskoka Tourism.

What’s on the Easel?
I’m currently working on an acrylic painting for a small local show being held in June. The inspiration is Bracebridge’s Wilson Falls.

After that I’m planning a series using more sculptural effects on canvas. One of the paintings from the East Central Ontario Art Association show in Algonquin Park featured a central tree created from tissue paper and acrylic medium. I enjoyed the process of building up layers to make the tree and want to experiment more with this technique.

Hardwood Outook Trail, Algonquin Park,
Acrylic & Mixed Media on Canvas, 24 x 24 inches (SOLD)

What’s Happening in the Gallery?

         

Returning Artists:
Soon the sun porch will be filled with the lustrous, stained glass creations of artist, Maureen Haines. In addition to traditional styles, Maureen incorporates found objects in her designs – snowshoes, plates, perfume bottles, family heirloom objects. Her glass-work presents a bright and inviting entry to Heron’s Nest.

Inside, you’ll discover the inspired, hand-crafted furniture by artisan, Conel O’Regan. The wood used in his pieces are collected from dead-fall on his Bracebridge property. He allows the wood to speak to him and keeps the natural aspects of the forest alive in each design.

In 2018, Pat J. Whittle displayed a couple of her luscious encaustic paintings but this year we’ll have more of her free form, colourful work. Nothing holds Pat back from expressing her vision. She’s always prepared to try something new and bravely approaches every painting with an open mind and enthusiasm. Pat works in encaustic, oil, acrylic and mixed media.

I’ve added a selection of Limited Edition, Giclee Prints on Fine Art Watercolour Paper to my paintings in Acrylic, Oil, Watercolour and Chinese Ink. Heron’s Nest always has a good supply of my paintings on blank greeting cards as well.

New Artists
We’re excited to welcome two new artists to Heron’s Nest this year.

Blacksmith Artisan Deb Harkness brings her expressive metal work to the gallery. More than eleven years ago, Deb traded in her nine to five job for an anvil and hammer and moved to Muskoka. “I finally found the medium where I can express myself to the fullest,” she says.

Years ago, Henrike Clement learned the craft of porcupine quillwork from an aboriginal artist. Since then, she’s developed her own designs inspired by the natural world. Most of the materials used in her boxes and other products are found in the woods around her home.

We will also be carrying the one-of-a-kind beaded necklaces by artist, Bev McMullen. Each one is a conversation starter! There’ll be a photo in the next newsletter.

Events
We plan to hold many special events throughout the summer and fall including artist demonstrations. Watch for those in the next newsletter.

Something New for Art Lovers!

ARTrail Muskoka PURPLE BANNER
Last fall local artist, Bonnie Bews, came to me with an idea of promoting more Muskoka artists to the public. A small group of us gathered to discuss a way to make this happen. We borrowed a concept from artists on the Sunshine Coast in British Columbia and ARTrail Muskoka PURPLE BANNER was born.

We’ve drawn together 67 regional artists to create a year-round, self-guided art tour for the public with the publication of a full-colour brochure listing the participating art studios and artist run galleries. The brochure is arranged by areas with a map that provides each business location. Our pamphlets can be picked up throughout Muskoka.
Each Art Studio / Artist-run gallery will display a Purple Banner placed in front of their location when they are open.

When the PURPLE BANNER is out, the artist is in! 

For more information visit www.ARTrailMuskoka.caFacebook pageInstagram or emailartrailmuskoka@gmail.com or call 705-205-0119.


That’s all for now everyone! We’ll look forward to seeing you in 2019!

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or are planning a visit at 705-646-3663. I expect to be open most weekends throughout the summer and into the fall but suggest you call ahead to confirm.

When Heron’s Nest is open, the PURPLE BANNER will be flying outside the gallery.


News from the Nest is published bi-monthly, so you won’t be bombarded with posts. ~ Wendie

IMG_2254
Heron’s Nest Studio Gallery
Where art and nature meet!

info@wendiedonabie.com
www.WendieDonabie.com

Gallery Open for Business!


EXTERIOR SHOTThere were lots of last minute details but Heron’s Nest Studio Gallery opened on schedule, Saturday, June 2. Friends, visiting for the weekend, helped to make set up the refreshments, greet visitors and clean up afterwards. The weather couldn’t have been better – 21C, sunny with a light breeze all day so folks could mill around outside with a cup of punch and snacks to chat after viewing the gallery space.

Here are a few shots of the interior with Maureen Haines’ stained glass filling the sun porch and paintings in the inside gallery space by Micheal Zarowsky, Pat J. Whittle and me (Wendie Donabie), as well as furniture and food service pieces in wood by Conel O’Regan. We’ve also added some small alcohol ink coaster sets and matted pictures by Sue Tait, as well as blank art cards with imprints of many of my paintings.

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We’d love to have you come by when you’re in Muskoka!

Heron’s Nest Studio Gallery
95 Muskoka Road
Bracebridge, ON P1L 1H4

OPEN: Saturdays, 10 am – 4 pm, and at other times by chance or appointment. Please call ahead 705-646-3663

 

 

 

Creating a Gallery Space


Last summer my husband and I purchased an old home in our neighbourhood. Built in the early 1920s, it had the traditional set up of a rectangular living room and dining room running along one side of the main floor with the kitchen and staircase to upstairs on the opposite side. Upstairs there we have one large and two small bedrooms and a bathroom.

At some point in its history, probably in the 90s, a two-story extension was added to the back of the house creating a family room, laundry room and small bathroom on the main floor and another bedroom with ante room above it.

We knew the family room would be our main space for spending time and entertaining and decided the formal living room could be converted into a small gallery with an entry off the sun porch at the front of the house.

Gallery space for paintings and stained glass

Living Room

Porch will display stained glass in windows and small paintings on tables

Sun Porch

The normal entrance into our home is off the family room at the side of the house. With our winters, the main entrance through the sun porch isn’t practical. Too much snow and a resulting slippery stone walkway leading up to the front door. But as an entrance to a gallery and retail space, it’s perfect for the summer tourist season when it would be busiest.

Public Entrance

Entry to Sun porch and main entrance to house.

The sun porch offers a lovely entry that will be filled with the beautiful stained glass creations of fellow artist,  Maureen Haines (Log Cabin Glass Studio). Her colourful work will be a cheerful welcome to visitors.

Native Rainbow, Stained Glass and Lead, 28" x 21", Copyright Maureen Haines

          Native Rainbow, Stained Glass and Lead, 28″ x 21″           Copyright Maureen Haines

Once inside, paintings by Micheal Zarowsky (website) and I (website) will be found in the actual gallery space, along with a selection of artisan designed wood furniture by Conel O’Regan (Happenstance Design Studio)

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 Infinity Rings, Autumn, Watercolour &  Acrylic on Birch Panel, 12″ x 12″     Copyright Micheal Zaworksy

3761 - Soaring Over Georgian Bay, Oil on Canvas, 20 x 16 inches, Copyright Wendie Donabie

Soaring, Oil on Canvas, 20″ x 16″             Copyright Wendie Donabie

Cherry wood table with beech and ironwood legs

Cherry Wood Table with Beech & Ironwood Legs , 81″ L x 17″W x 23″H,     Conel O’Regan

Maureen’s exceptional stained glass designs shimmer with colour and magic. You must see Conel’s one-of-a-kind artisan furniture to truly appreciate the fine workmanship. Micheal’s special technique working with watercolour and acrylic paint on birch panels produces paintings alive with movement and light. Wendie’s paintings reflect her love of nature and concern for the environment.

Collaborative art displays and shops such as this can prove more successful than an artist going it alone. Potential buyers are presented with a variety of work to view and find that special item they must have.

In addition, I’ll be cross promoting with other artists in the area. Do you remember how staff  at Macy’s in the movie, Miracle of 34th Street sent customers to Gimbles Department Store because they didn’t have what the customer was looking for? Well, I see art the same way. All art doesn’t appeal to all people. So, why not help each other out.  If visitors don’t find something at Heron’s Nest, I’ll be providing them with information on several other studios for them to visit.

 

Art Show Opening Draws Curious Crowd


We got together over a bottle of wine to discuss the possibility of creating a group show with a theme or central idea.

Using ‘4’ as the jumping off point, we brainstormed words with ‘4’ in them until we came to foreskins!

Continue reading

Dragonflies Take Flight from My Easel


Just completed 7 new Dragonflies and 1 Damselfly for consideration by the Dabbling Duck Gallery in Port Carling, Ontario. Love these magical creatures. Currently, over 5,000 varieties have been identified but there are probably many more out there. There main diet consists of midges and mosquitoes which makes them a great benefit to us in the summer

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Images copyright Wendie Donabie.

http://www.WendieDonabie.com

Ventures into Abstraction


I’ve repeated on more than one occasion that I don’t understand abstract painting and thus would never do it… As they say, Never say never.

Continue reading

Artistic Evolution


Working on material for a group show with three fellow artists this fall, I’m stretching and trying new things in my paintings. Although I feel I will always be a representational painter, I am working on loosening up my work and evolving into a more impressionistic style of painting.

I continue to use photos as reference but no longer copy them as I have done in the past. Here is an example.

3735 - Sailor's Delight, Acrylic on Canvas, 6 x 12 inches, Copyright Wendie Donabie

Sailor’s Delight, Acrylic on Canvas, 6 x 12 inches, Copyright Wendie Donabie

Also, in some of my paintings, I’m working faster, using more limited colour palettes and trusting the brushes and knives to create exciting motion. This small piece demonstrates what I’m referencing.

3736 - Perfect Day for a Sail, Acrylic on Canvas, 5 x 7 inches, Copyright Wendie Donabie

Perfect Day for a Sail, Acrylic on Canvas, 5 x 7 inches, Copyright Wendie Donabie

And again, because of this upcoming show, I’m attempting to try my hand at abstraction. Not as easy as it may appear…..This painting is acrylic with mixed media, including broken glass from our car window embedded in acrylic skins (thin pieces of dry acrylic paint). I call this Creation Dancer.

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Creation Dancer, Acrylic and Mixed Media on Canvas, 14 x 11 inches, Copyright Wendie Donabie

The artist’s journey is never ending. We come to interesting rest stops along the way but just as we change and evolve over time, so our art will continue to reflect our growth and development. Thank you to everyone who takes the time to read my posts, view my work, comment on what moves you and share my journey.

To view more of my work, please visit www.WendieDonabie.com

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