Blue Heron Writes

Sharing to Inspire through Words and Pictures

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.

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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.


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

ARTISTS UNITE! – Stop the scammers

Just a few days ago, a close friend called me about a suspicious email. Someone from Toronto had contacted her to purchase one of her paintings. He claimed it was for his office. After providing an address, my friend did a search on Google Maps and located a low income apartment building in Toronto, not an office! The script in the email was similar to ones in received in 2014 and 2015.

This is most recent one I received:

From: Brown White <>
Date: August 28, 2015 at 7:01:01 AM EDT
Subject:Artwork inquiry

Hope this message finds you well,im Brown from North Carolina,was
browsing through the internet and my eyes caught some of your
works,i’m interested in purchasing some of your artworks for some
spaces within my new house to make it unique and beautiful.
Can I have few images of your recent works?I won’t mind having your
main website so as to explore more into your works.kindly reply with
your cell number.Brown

This is definitely a scammer using a script. First clue? If he or she caught sight of my work on line, they would have my website address. So why ask for it?  All of my painting images that appear through an intentional or accidental internet search under my name or a painting subject tag, have the website URL displayed.

Second clue? the English grammar reflects someone whose first language is not English. This might not be a red flag but usually is. These people aren’t too creative. They use the same script over and over to hundreds of artists who are only hoping to sell their work. You’d think they would get an English speaking person to draft them a proper message and have a few variations. Not too bright.

I decided to do an online search of this ‘person’s’ name and email. What I found was article at by artist Lisa Marder. She had received the identical email and provides some useful links.

If you are contacted, send the information to the RCMP Anti-Fraud Dept for their information and perhaps the possibility of tracking down the con artist(s).  The chances of this are slim but at least they will have another report on file. In addition, I filed a report at – the FBI’s Internet Complaint Centre.

So artists, PLEASE BEWARE!!! If it sounds too good, it probably is. Protect yourself and your work.

Do a search on the internet to check out your potential buyer and their address. If something seems fishy, report the incident to the RCMP and FBI.

Check out this artist’s blog as well: ANOTHER ART SCAM – THIS HAS TO STOP!




To Sleep…

Have you ever thought about how to describe the sensation of falling asleep?

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Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Blessed New Year!

From our home to yours all the best wishes of the season and peace, health, happiness & abundance to you all in 2017!

3668  View from Window #1 , Acrylic on Canvas, 12 x 12 inches, Copyright Wendie Donabie.JPG

View from Window #1, Acrylic on Canvas, 12 x 12 inches, copyright Wendie Donabie

How are You Marketing Your Artwork?

One of the hardest parts of any business is defining and reaching the market for your product. It’s the same for your art. People don’t buy artwork every day; the majority consider art a luxury item or at least something purchased only after taking care of the necessities of life. So, how do you find those buyers?

Today, a well developed website and use of social media help us to reach a wider audience with images of our work and interesting posts to engage potential buyers. However, most buyers want to see the real thing before making a purchase. To accomplish that requires a space to exhibit. Many artists work in a studio large enough to have a gallery area that can accommodate visitors. However, if like me, your studio is a small room in your home, your space isn’t conducive to company. So, what do you do?

You book art shows and ask local businesses to display your work. For me, Re/Max North Country in Gravenhurst, Oliver’s Coffee and Tea Infusion in Bracebridge provided those locations. Sales have resulted and my work has gained exposure. So will yours! And your name will get known.

Then what? After you’ve participated in a number of group shows and had public exposure, contact local galleries about representation. It will cost you commission but remember you’re paying them for their expertise to market your work to their clients, leaving you free to produce more art.

As your reputation grows, reach out beyond your community to larger markets in other towns and cities, apply to juried shows, apply for solo gallery shows and gallery representation.

I’ve been painting for just over 5 years and 5 months ago, I was accepted into two local galleries. One is a successful artist co-operative (Arts at the Albion) where I will provide sweat equity as well as a monthly fee but pay no commission on sales. The other is a small private gallery (Dabbling Duck Gallery) open throughout our busy tourist season (mid May – mid October). I’m excited about this next chapter in my career and looking forward to where it will lead.

So, do you have a plan for your art career? I invite you to share what you are doing.

To view my artwork, please visit






Inspiration from John Denver

My favourite singer of all time. His music came from his soul and touched mine.

We have a great quote that was already scheduled for today, but I decided to add an extra post.  Why?  When I heard a beautiful song during church services I knew I had to share it.  When the pastor got up to speak after the special music she said, “Anyone else need a tissue?”  This is powerful.  It will move you.  Be inspired.

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Fairy Tales

Love this quote….THIS inspires me!
” If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” 
~ Albert Einstein
Painting details: Forest in Transition, Acrylic on Canvas, 20 x 30 inches, framed, Copyright Wendie Donabie
In Muskoka, Cedar trees grow in abundance. When they age-out and  fall to the ground, the remaining stumps continue to decay as they provide nutrients to feed tree saplings that shoot up around them. But before this transition occurs, they create magical structures  that stir my imagination. I visualize a kingdom of elfin creatures living within these moss-covered towers of greying wood. The photos I took of these natural architectural wonder sserved as my inspiration.

Earth Day – Celebrate Nature — jovinacooksitalian

The Earth Day movement, that was started in the 1970′s by John McConnell, has since seen billions take part in planting trees, cleaning up local neighborhoods and pushing government officials to enact more progressive environmental laws. Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin was instrumental in raising awareness about protecting the environment. On April 22, 1970, rallies were […]

via Earth Day – Celebrate Nature — jovinacooksitalian

Painting for Mother Earth

Painting, like any creative endeavour, is a voyage of self-discovery. What and how we paint differs for every artist. And the answers to those questions continue to evolve and change as we learn and grow.

From the start, I’ve been inspired by the natural environment. My favourite work includes trees, lakes, skies, clouds, flowers, Dragonflies, water and more recently the inclusion of larger animals. And, because I’m also a writer, I hope each painting tells a story – one that may be obvious or one left to the viewer’s imagination.

Late last summer, the tragic shooting of a mother black bear, here in Bracebridge, orphaned her three cubs. Bears With Us attempted to rescue the young bears and take them to a sanctuary but they eluded capture. The fate of the cubs is unknown but because of their age it is unlikely they survived the winter without their mother.  My anger and concern for those young bears inspired me to paint four small canvases for a charity art auction.

I always feel something visceral when a painting is complete. It’s my signal that it’s finished. But, this time was different – the gut feeling more powerful, bringing me close to tears.

The moment I saw those bear-faces looking back at me, I sensed a more specific direction for my work. I wasn’t sure what my next piece would look like but it would be about our planet, our need to work together to preserve what we have for us and for future generations.

Over the next few months other events further conspired to reinforce this sense of purpose for my art. Something new stirred in the core of my being. This feeling lead me to self-publish a book, This Little Rock We Call Earth, created to share my concern for our environment.

Book Cover   Pages

Then, more recently, I submitted a painting for a juried art show scheduled during the 4th Muskoka Summit on the Environment here in Bracebridge. MSE is a biennial event that promotes the use of research to ensure healthy ecosystems in Muskoka and beyond. Summit participants advocate for open dialogue between science and policy so that environmental understanding can be applied to improve management actions. The MSE Organizing Committee believes that presentation and debate of science-based environmental research will constructively lead to strengthened government environmental policy. This year the theme for the Summit is Solutions for a Warming World.

The opportunity to paint for this event brought a complete image to mind. I focussed on the plight of our polar bears and the ultimate impact of the melting ice cap on all life. I thought about how I could include solutions in this painting and imagined lifebuoys, labeled with actions we can all take, floating on the ocean towards a lone polar bear standing on a sheet of ice. The final painting (acrylic on canvas, 12 x 36 inches, unframed) image is titled, On Thin Ice – What are You Doing? The name conveys two messages. Not only are polar bears on thin ice, so are we.  And as the polar bear looks out at us, he asks, ‘What are you doing to add to, or solve the global warming crisis?’

3714 - On Thin Ice - What are you doing, Acrylic on Canvas, 12 x 36 inches, Copyright Wendie Donabie

On Thin Ice – What are You Doing?, Acrylic on Canvas, 12 x 36 inches, Copyright Wendie Donabie

I have other objectives to support this direction for my work including association with a wild animal sanctuary. Watch for future blogs about these plans.

For now, I’m feeling charged up and inspired with several ideas for new work you’d be proud to own and display that delivers a message about our corporate responsibility to care for Mother Earth and her abundant life.


For more about my art, please visit:


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