Monday, May 30, 2011


“Threads”. an exhibition of textile and mixed media works by Janet Donaghey and Melody Madden, opens with an artist reception this Saturday June 4. Two exceptionally talented artists, both are deeply influenced by the landscapes, forests and colours of Simcoe County where they live and work. It is a real treat for us to put their work together.

Janet’s appreciation of texture and her love of vibrant colour are revealed over and over in her art. "I am inspired" she says  “ by the beauty of crumbling stone walls and weathered wood, the rich green foliage of a rain forest and the red earth of outback Australia. At home in Ontario, I watch the multi-coloured sunsets from my kitchen window and from my studio I look out on densely wooded ravines and in the distance, the fields of a working farm".

Melody says of her work:  “through my work I try to explore the persistence of things. I compare my free motion embroidery to a painters brush using the machines needle to create depth shadow and light … the use of both paint and thread and at times wool and silk is very exciting to me….Within my art glimpses of everyday merge with fragments of memory and personal experience.”

“Threads” opens with an artist’s reception Sat. June 4 from 12 – 4pm.

The exhibition runs to July 6. The gallery is open weekdays 10:30 - 5:30 and weekends 10.00– 5:30.

Looking forward to seeing you here.

Hartley, Robyn, Uta and Elizabeth.

Woodside Pottery & Gallery Craighurst
Home to Art & Fine Craft
2049 Horseshoe Valley Rd,
RR#1, Barrie, L4M4Y8

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Show At The Craighurst Gallery

The past weekend turned out to be much nicer weather wise then was reported so I donned the rubber boots and did a bit of gardening.  When I say "a bit" I really mean a bit.  As much as I wish I was,  I am not anywhere near the gardener that Tracy Helgeson is.  But I did pick weeds out of the spinach patch to which John asked "about 10 weeds?" but according to my back it was much more than that.

I call an email from Hartley Woodside from The Craighurst Gallery last week asking if I'd be interested in teaming up with Janet Donaghey for a show on Saturday June 4th.  Janet is a textile/mixed media artist who was on the Images Tour last year.  So although short notice I think I'll put some of my older pieces in with some of the newer.

   Purple Haze

Tiger Butterfly

Both of these pieces are older works and are created in a method I don't really use much anymore but I thought it would be fun to show them again.

Purple Haze consists of collaged fabric as well as embroidered trees that I've mounted on painted canvas.   It just makes it easier for hanging as I haven't framed either of these.  Framing is always an option if I buyer decides to.  Tiger Butterfly is constructed in the same way, fabric collaged background with embroidered butterfly.

This may be one of the last (never say never) times some of this work will be shown as my paintings have really started to take off sales wise so unfortunately my textile work has begun to take a back seat.  Not to say I'll never create new work in this genre but for now my focus is elsewhere.  Can't do everything.....

Not sure what time the opening of the show is but will post it when I know.

Hope your having as a good a day as Simba is..............

Sunday, May 22, 2011


So it looks like the long predicted Rapture didn't materialize yesterday so to me that means today I've got to do laundry.  There's always a trade off isn't there?

Today I'm sticking around and finishing up a few pieces I have on the go.  I've been promising John I would paint a diptych for his office which completed would end up measuring 48"x48".... rather intimidating which is probably why I haven't even put the canvases up on the easel yet.... maybe today....who am I kidding...maybe next week.

Wherever you are,  have a good one

Thursday, May 19, 2011


To Sit in Silence
Acrylic on Gallery Wrap Canvas

The last few days have just flown by as I've been spending  much more time in the studio.  I'm currently working on about five different pieces varying in size from 6"x6" to 30"x24".  Everything from landscapes to skyscapes which I'll continue to post here before they head to gallery.

I'm feeling an incredibly strong direction in my work these days partly because I think I'm really finding my own path and what work brings me closer to that path and what work doesn't.  The work continues to evolve just as I do which brings me great happiness because I believe that's what were all here for.  

I think I mentioned in my last post how I spent last Sunday just being "in flow" with whatever happened which is big for me because I've always been one of those people who felt best when I was trying to control situations that arose in my life. John has been known to call me  a "control freak"  
But as days pass and I grow older and hopefully a little bit wiser (maybe),  I'm warming up to the idea of "flow". ... yeah I'm loving that word.  

Yesterday Sierah and I actually got to spend some one on one time together... the first since she arrived home at the end of April from her first year at university.

We made a day of it and shopped, laughed, visited Starbucks (I with my old standby chai latte and her with a coffee...yeah she drinks coffee now...that's what a year at university will do to you) headed to Roots and oohed and ahhed over the leather bags...bought a few new summer clothes....simply put...we just hung out.  There was a moment when I just sort of stood back and saw her, really saw her and realized that my daughter had grown up and that I sure liked and respected the smart, confident, kind and generous woman that stood in front of me.... it's all about the flow.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sunday's Possibilities

Sunday morning I awoke with the thought that all things were possible.  Maybe I shouldn't say it was a thought as much as a feeling and a good one at that.

It simply felt like it was going to be that kind of day

 I also decided I wasn't going to allow my "planning mode" to kick in but instead I was just going to let the day unfold the way it would without any sort of micro managing on my part.

The last few years I've wanted to plant a wild rose bush....the smell is nothing short of intoxicating.  They grow scattered everywhere at our small cottage on the shores of Lake Superior.  When John was there last week he dug one up and brought it home to me as a gift.  Today after a long night's rain we headed outside with our shovels and began to dig ... did I say "we?".  He dug,  I watched.  I'm a good watcher.

It was cloudy and cool with the threat of rain but luckily it held off while we checked out the garden, the yard and planted some spinach.

After some time spent inspecting my, I mean John's handiwork we managed to convince
Sierah to head out with us for a bike ride.  

Exactly what a Sunday should be .... full of possibilities

Friday, May 13, 2011


Have I mentioned lately how much I love my little studio? 

 I do!

Today I started the process of reorganizing all my "stuff" as I haven't since I moved to this new spot.  I more or less just dumped everything in there and worked around it but today the sun was shining  and I was feeling inspired.  Although my studio is small and a tad cramped I still smile whenever I walk through the door ... mostly cause I'm grateful to have a place to be ...

to create ...

to dream...

that's all mine.  

work in progress........

The last year one my of most favourite books has been Stephen Mitchell's translation of the Tao Te Ching... I keep it on my night table.

In eighty one brief chapters, The Tao Te Ching or Book of The Way, provides advice that imparts balance and perspective, a serene and generous spirit and teaches us how to work for the good with effortless skill that comes from being in accord with the Tao - the basic principle of the universe.

The passage that is resonating with me most these days reads as follows:

Fill your bowl to the brim
and it will spill.

Keep sharpening your knife
and it will blunt

Chase after money and security
and your heart will never unclench

Care about people's approval
and you will be their prisoner

Do your work and then step back
The only path to serenity

(Tao Te Ching, translation by Stephen Mitchell)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Just Stuff

Mother's Day Weekend was simply wonderful.

I was in the city celebrating two special Mom's 74th birthday 

as well as my niece's performance in her high school play. 

Both were fabulous!

Roses were presented at the end of the performance as is the proper etiquette for all superstars

and then we headed out for some food,  a few drinks and simply enjoyed to the fullest time spent together.

Back at home the rhubarb and asparagus are both up

and yes it finally feels like spring is here.

Got a call from Megan at

They sold four of my paintings yesterday... big smile

Wednesday, May 4, 2011