Blue Heron Writes

Sharing to Inspire through Words and Pictures

Art, Art, Art!!!! A Whirlwind Week

Andrea Mossop

Last week I spent an amazing 5 days with an inspiring teacher at “Shades of Pale”, a course in acrylic painting offered by Haliburton School of the Arts (HSTA) ( at their offsite location in Huntsville, Ontario. Our teacher, Andrea Mossop, from St Lawrence College in Brockville, where she has  taught full-time for 38 years, offers a rotating list of 6 courses through HSTA during the summer months. Eventually, I hope to complete them all.

This course taught us to employ the lightest shades of neutral colours to create

Our classroom in Huntsville

paintings. In its purest sense, this means painting with a variety of shades of white or grey. Every one of the 15 students would normally paint with colour – vibrant colour and contrast – so we were all challenged to overcome some barriers in thinking and practice. The results were astonishing.

When we stood back and looked at the finished pieces, the room  filled with a sense of peace, tranquility, calm and light….. Andrea expressed her hope we would find ways to integrate this new technique for applying colour in our individual painting styles and recognize it as another tool in our artist’s tool box.

My first painting completed in the course

Early on the last day of class I got word from my website developers, Charm Media, they were ready to launch my website I think Emma and Jen have done a great job – they created what I envisioned. Please take a look and let me know what you think. I invite your feedback to make the site user-friendly and attractive. I have removed the art pages from BLUE HERON WRITES and created a link to the new website under the page, Wendie’s Art, and also further down this webpage under Recommended Websites.

My experience in this class came at just the right time as I am sure if I had been home all week my mind would have filled with concerns about the art show on Saturday; I would have over thought and worried about what I had left undone or forgotten. Instead on Friday evening, as my wonderful man finished what we thought were the final details of the display, I surrendered to my body’s need to just relax.

The display wall at 8:00 pm on Friday

Friday night as darkness fell, the canopy for the art show display had not been completed so once again, my supportive partner, rose at 6:00 am to finish it off.

The canopy at 8 pm on Friday

The Final Display – the wall is actually WHITE, not pink!

At 8:00 am Saturday, with the display loaded in our neighbour’s pick up truck,  the art in our car, we arrived on site to construct the display. I found myself  experiencing a little internal panic when last-minute adjustments were needed and my paintings still sat wrapped in the laneway at 9:00 am (the official opening for the show).

Looking down Chancery Lane towards Manitoba Street

But, of course, everything worked out perfectly – even the engineering to make the display level in a laneway angled at 30°.  We had everything in place by shortly after 9:00.

Lesson: Trust more; worry less!!!

Early in the day a friend from Burlington and her husband, travelling home from their vacation, stopped by with my booth.  After purchasing 4 notecards and 2 bookmarks, she decided she had to have one of my paintings.

My friend Phyllis making her purchases

How do I describe the feeling of selling my first piece. Exhilarated might be the word. When someone connects with an image I have created – poured my heart and soul into – I am both thrilled and satisfied. Although that painting was the only one I sold on Saturday, I felt great. It can take years for an emerging artist to sell work and this now became my fourth sale of the year.

The day passed fairly quickly engaging visitors to my booth and chatting with my neighbour artists (Shanandoah Kidd, Sonya Grabowski, Malcolm Dix, Jamie Borne, and David Goldthorp) in Chancery Lane. We might have cooked in the laneway but Mother Nature provided us with a light breeze most of the day and some cloud cover to break up the constant heat of the sun.

I actually had a third sale towards the end of the previous week. A local store owner here in Bracebridge, expressed interest in buying one of my paintings. Both the store owner and his wife had admired the painting independently while it hung in my friend’s health food store (Northern Nutrition) on Manitoba Street. So,  as a surprise birthday gift, he bought it for her.  Another thrilling moment for me.

Recently, I overheard an artist say, “I can’t sell my art. It must connect with and speak to the buyer.” I totally agree. However, while talking to people on Saturday,  I did discover  I can share how I come to create a painting with those who show interest in my work. Sometimes, it is in the story behind the art that a viewer recognizes him/herself and makes an emotional connection. I enjoy sharing my artistic journey with the public and look forward to doing it more.

This coming Saturday, July 28, and on Saturday, August 4, I will be once again in Chancery Lane, Bracebridge for ART IN THE HEART (9:00 am to 7:00 pm) and will report back the results in a future post.

I will close with a HUGE THANK YOU to My Love, for your amazing support. Without you, the art show would not have happened for me.

© Wendie Donabie 2012



  1. I was wondering how the art show was going for you. It must be very exciting to have sold some of your painting. It is nice to know that other people appreciate all your hard work.

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