Official public opening reception July 16th in Partners Hall at the Algonquin Theatre

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

WINTER LIGHT represents a quality of afternoon light and a moment etched in time in my memory.

Christmas is around the corner and I pause and think back to a time when my Dad and I would go tromping through the thick bush on an old trappers trail in search of a Christmas tree. I can still smell the scent of Spruce and Cedar boughs in the crisp cold air and see my breath float in front of me in an icy cloud. My lungs filled with frosty air until I finally breathed through my mitts to warm it up a little. Yes it was cold, but my heart was warmed by knowing that the time spent with my Dad would never be forgotten.

Somehow I just knew to take a photograph with my mind of the moment; the deep Dad and daughter talk, the laughter, the boots getting stuck in the marsh, the decisions on which tree would finally be picked to be " the one" that would come home with us; that I needed to etch it in my heart and soul forever.

All of the trees looked great with snow on them, and the one we always picked was a little less than perfect, but somehow that was for the best. None of us are perfect either, and we all have our "good sides" and our "bad sides" We can try to dress them up or dress them down, but to me the real beauty in the tree lies with its heavenly scent. I don't care if the branches are less than perfect or that it is lopsided, or too short or too tall, or too whatever. The true gift of the tree in in the scent of its needles and sap in the trunk and branches. Kind of like people don't you think. It is not the outside that matters it is the soul.

My most perfect moments are the ones when I gasp at the beauty around me. I absolutely love being outside in the Winter and going for walks in the bush, especially when it is snowing. There is this quiet hush that happens and everything is muffled as snowflakes gently float to the ground. WOW..what a moment.

Here's to all of you that you may enjoy moments that make you gasp with Joy, special times with family that warm your heart, and memories to etch in your soul.

Merry Christmas and blessings to you and yours.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


wow!!! Blazing beautiful colours in the most rich hues are painted everywhere you look!! I was up to Ragged Falls recently with a friend for a walk, to see the Fall colours and it was breathtaking...absolutely breathtaking!! The water was at a low level, but the slow moving waters made for stunning reflections. I grew up around the corner from this beautiful place and I still don't take it for granted for a second. Every single time I make a trip up to the Falls I am reminded of the glory of creation and how it all fits together in truly amazing ways. I always say hi to the trees on the way up shaking hands with their branches like a good friend, and saying goodbye until another time when I go. I have my head tilted up to snif all the mist and good stuff floating through the air. The rich earthy smells leave me feeling intoxicated and heady, but completely immersed in the peace of this place. I love climbing over rocks and pools to get to favourite sitting spots to view the Falls,to sit and just "be". The smells, sights and sounds of rushing water calm my spirit and renew my mind, creating in me a renewed sense of place and belonging. There are few places that have an effect on me like this place. Here I feel at one with nature and God's' glorious creation. I respect the environment and every living thing. It is here in this place that those thoughts and feelings were long ago established in childhood and will remain with me always.

I have much to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day. i may not have much according to the worlds view of things, but what I do have is abundant and overflowing-a joy so deep and overwhelming I scarce can contain myself at times. Nothing...nothing will ever take that away, and for that I am rich beyond measure. I am thankful for the love of family and friends, some food in the fridge and a safe place to rest my head at night. My son Jon and I have been through a lot over the years, but nothing can ever break the covenant of love established before he was ever born. I am thankful for my Church family, and the love and care of my spirit filled minister, Ven. Dawn. Thank you to everyone who has touched my life, may you be blessed beyond measure the rest of your days.

I encourage you to take a few moments while out on a walk by yourself to reflect on the many blessings in your life..and give thanks to God for them.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

"AN ARTIST IN THE GARDEN" OCTOBER 2nd 2:00-5:00 Oxtongue Craft Cabin and Gallery, 1073 Fox Point Road, Dwight 705.635.1602

IT'S FALL. YAHOO!!! Come and celebrate Fall and visit me in the lovely gardens surrounding the Oxtongue Craft Cabin and Gallery. I will be there painting away in the garden from 2:00- 5:00 on October 2nd. with some of my new small works on display. The nasty ol' flu bug kept me at bay from being out there this past weekend, sorry if I missed you. But you can be sure I'll be out there next weekend with my painting goodies. See you there!!

I just absolutely love Fall. All the sights, smells and sounds and the air...oh the air. The smell of sweet grass is so heavenly. This time of year is so wonderful when Creation is ablaze in all it's glory, bursting into reds, oranges and golds in one great big hooray. The Fall colours here in Muskoka are amazing and it reminds me how blessed I feel to be living here. I just love how the light filters through the trees and then sets a tree on fire glowing brightly against the darker trees. takes my breath away.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Tapestry of Light-The Locks in Huntsville

I will be set up outside in the lovely gardens surrounding the beautiful log gallery and will have some new smaller works on display. Hope to see you there!!

AHH..The smell of Fall is in the air. How I love the glow of light on the trees in the afternoon light. The contrast between the textured warm light filled leaves against cool smooth waters and shadowed rocks is indeed breathtaking especially at the magical place of The Huntsville Locks just past the bridge on Brunel Road in Huntsville. It all seems like one great big tapestry of Light to me with explosions of colour and texture all woven together to become the most wonderful masterpiece ever designed..Creation!!.

This time of year causes me to just slow down and take a long deep breath and take in all the mind blowing colours, sights, smells and sounds of Fall. I love to get out my sweaters again, load up my backpack with painting gear and hit the dusty trail to go for a glorious paint out en plein air. Man... it doesn't get any better than this!! I sure feel blessed to live here in Muskoka and near my favourite Algonquin painting spots.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Blue Heron Mural-The Group of Seven Outdoor Gallery

The Group of Seven Outdoor Gallery 2011 Gallery Tour Guide is now out. WOW!!! Way to go Gerry it is awesome!!! I am so proud to have been a part of this project that Gerry Lantaigne has founded and directed. Come and pick one up at North Art Supplies and at other locations around the Muskoka area.

It makes me feel so good to see my version of "Blue Heron" originally by A. J. Casson, being used on the front cover of the gallery guide and in a faint shadow pattern throughout the guide. How cool is that!! What makes me feel even better is I get to pay homage to A.J. Casson whom I met at the tender age of eight. It was an absolute honour to create a version of his painting of a Blue Heron taking flight with the wake of his lift off still present on the water.

It is even more amazing for me because I grew up on the doorstep of Algonquin Park at my parents resort called Timber Trail. It was located on the Oxtongue River right near Ragged Falls. A.J. Casson asked permission of my dad to go down to our beach area to paint the Oxtongue River. I took off like a shot when I found out there was an "artist" painting my backyard. I didn't even know who he was until later, all I wanted to do was be near him to watch him paint. I remember standing there motionless quiet as a mouse until he turned around and looked at me. I mustered the courage to ask him if I could watch him paint. He kind of eyeballed me over and made a hummph sound, paused and then said "Well...I guess it is OK as long as you don't ask me any questions" OHH...I didn't. I just stood there in absolute awe watching him paint. I remember thinking to myself, if he thinks my backyard is worth painting then so do I. I had all ready decided to become an artist but that chance meeting sealed it for me. I could never imagine in my wildest dreams to later be painting a scene I had experienced as a child. It was very common for me to see a Great Blue Heron take off like that on the Oxtongue River. Thanks A.J. for allowing me to watch you paint!

My Group of Seven mural foray started when I was selected to do a mural back in the 2007 Mural Festival to paint A.Y. Jackson's -Night Pine Island. I was thrilled to be able to participate as a local artist and paint a 10'x12' version of his wonderful night scene complete with stars in the sky and reflections in the pool of water. The next one I was selected to paint in 2009 was a real treat, another 10'x12' mural called Winter in the Northern Woods, originally by Lawren Harris. I have a great appreciation for the draughtmanship, skill and technique in his original piece. took a long time to do this one with all the subtle shifts of value and temperature as well as great shadow patterns in the snow. My favourite part was creating the "tree" family of momma , poppa and baby tree in the centre foreground. They were basking in the last warm rays of sunshine on a cold winters day.

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Friday, June 10, 2011


I absolutely love Spring. It is so fresh with new growth and bursting out all over. My most favourite part of Spring is hearing spring peepers in the marshes. I have fond memories of growing up on the doorstep of Algonquin Park at my parents resort on the Oxtongue River. Every Spring the Oxtongue River would rise and spill over into the marsh at the bottom of the hill. I would go down with a jar and catch bugs,water spiders and pollywogs for closer inspection. Of course my little boots weren't high enough but I didn't care as I plodded through up to my waist looking for signs of life. The smell of wet marshland, the mist rolling in off the river and hovering over the marsh in a blue hazy cloud, together with the constant chorus created by the spring peepers was sheer heaven to me. At night I would hear the roar of Ragged Falls in the distance lulling me off to sleep.

It is with this backdrop of firsthand knowledge and experience that I created Spring Peeper Heaven from memory. I had no idea what the criteria was for the annual Muskoka Arts and Crafts Spring Members Show in 2009, I simply just wanted to paint what made me think of Spring. I barely left myself time to paint it before the show but I squeezed in some time late at night after my day job. I took it down to the show not really thinking anything more about it, and went on with my volunteer duties to help with food and serving during opening night.

Much to my surprise I was called out of the kitchen to stay handy during awards presentations. I was standing there totally enjoying the people and watching the projection screen when all of a sudden up pops my image of Spring Peeper Heaven. I gasped in shock and was lost for words. What was my image doing up there?? Then my name was mentioned and I found myself up at the podium receiving my award for the Muskoka Heritage Foundation award. How cool was that!!

I still remember my son Jon looking at me completely puzzled when I started the painting. He walked by me in the hallway, stopped and said.."uh Mum..what on earth are you doing"? You see I was searching out the canvas with white paint on my brush, feeling out the lay of the land, the curve in the river, and the meandering flow of water through the marsh all from my memory. I said, just a second. I turned off the lights, and all of a sudden he could see what I was talking about. The brush strokes carved the texture of the canvas into divisions of space, leaving behind a raised surface that created the contrast of light and shadow that was visible even in low light. He was amazed. I responded that NOW I'm ready for colour. I went on to finish the painting, enjoying the memories and flood of emotions.

REAL painting really begins when it has absolutely nothing to do with technique or tricks, but everything to do with heart and soul. I've learned through my life so far to just let it out and be free to respond with the gift I have been given, and to be a conduit for all that I am thankful for, and eflecting back the joy I have inside and the light that will never go out.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

ONE OF A KIND SPRING SHOW AND SALE It may be over but it sure was amazing!

WOW!! What a show!! All the hard work and late nights were worth it just to "be" there at the OOAK. It was such an honour to be selected to represent Muskoka. Everyone loved our professional looking booth and high calibre of artists and craftspeople. I was on a corner of the booth in the flow of traffic, so I got to watch people as they approached. Blown away comes to mind!! They would literally stop in their tracks look in and around and then up...way up.. to our big sign showcasing all 16 of us. Painters,weaving, furniture makers, jewelers, funky recycled sculpture, gnomes and painted glass all dazzled the thousands of people who made their way past our Muskoka Artist Marketplace. I'm sure there was 50,000 people who went past!! Saturday and Sunday were especially busy with wall to wall people.

The OOAK staff went out of their way to help us and make sure of our success.Special thanks to Valerie and Amy. I was able to commit to doing a 2 hour painting demo each of the five days while at the OOAK. It gave me an opportunity to show people what I do, hand out my rack and business cards, but also to redirect people back over to the Muskoka Artist Marketplace to my buddies in hopes of sales for them!! The whole experience gave me a much needed push to reach higher and to define myself and my work to a new and bigger client base. I do hope and pray that all the rack cards, business cards and CV Bio sheets that I handed out will come back as future sales or commissions. The exposure on the OOAK artisan website was awesome and is still LIVE so you can still check us out.

Most importantly the whole experience and opportunity to go was made possible from the dedication of Muskoka Arts and Crafts and volunteer hours way beyond "normal" to help us be prepared for a show of this magnitude. Special thanks to Barry and you guys made us look sooo good with such a well designed and classy booth construction. Thanks also go out to fellow booth mates who made sure we were OK for breaks or help of any kind. Thanks guys!!

The hard work, determination and funding of Muskoka Arts and Crafts together with funding from FedNor and the Town of Bracebridge allowed the possibility of the chosen 16 exhibitors to be able to pay a reduced rate compared to what it would have been as a single artist. I am extremely thankful for the funding initiative that made it possible for me to go. I look forward to the future of being in the One of Kind Show in Toronto and later perhaps Vancouver, New York and Chicago. It has been a goal of mine for the past five years to some day be "in" the Toronto One of a Kind Show and now I have done it!! To the future and beyond! CHEERS!!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011


SHOW HOURS, WEEKDAYS: 10am -9pm, SATURDAY: 10am-9pm, SUNDAY: 10am-6pm

For more than 125 years, Muskoka's natural beauty has attracted artists, first as a destination for landscape painters who sketched the rugged wilderness of the region, and later as a place where artists of all kinds could live, work and play.
Today, Muskoka is home to hundreds and hundreds of talented artists whose small businesses are part of the creative rural economy. A challenge for many artists is reaching a broader market and developing a reputation that will enhance the value and desirability of their work.
The Muskoka Artists Marketplace is an innovative project to connect the artists of Muskoka with a large urban market of consumers who share a strong appreciation for all things handmade. It also brings attention to Muskoka as a designated arts community and a destination place to visit, live and work.
The sixteen artists of the Muskoka Artists Marketplace are making their Spring One of Kind Show debut. Through the work of these artists, visitors will experience Muskoka-its landscape, people and artistic heritage.
The Town of Bracebridge in partnership with Muskoka Arts and Crafts Inc., and with funding from FedNor spearheaded the Muskoka Artists Marketplace. Muskoka Arts and Crafts Inc. was the administrator of this project that benefited all of Muskoka.

I am absolutely thrilled to have been selected and to have made it through the two cuts to get to the One of a Kind Spring Show and Sale in Toronto. It has been one of my main goals to achieve, and now it is becoming a reality. I am honoured to represent Muskoka not only with my art, but with my whole being . I grew up here and this is where I have chosen to raise my son Jon. Muskoka is a great place to live, work and play. It gave me a solid grounding, a respect for nature, a friendly caring community and a place to always call home. The landscape and its rugged beauty is a constant source of inspiration. Now I want to do more than just celebrate it, but to use my art as a form of stewardship, as a call to protect and preserve it for future generations.

Well...back to the job at hand and all the preparations and details that go into a show of this magnitude. Hope to see you at the show!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I had so much fun creating this piece for the annual members challenge. I have a little watercolour sketch that I did on location while on a painting trip to Algonquin Park back in 2000. It has been tacked to my board in my studio, patiently waiting to become a full fledged painting. This years challenge spurred me on to create something out of this little sketch. I looked at the simplicity and strength of my design, and the moody colours that I had used. I remember the power of Nature that I saw on that stormy day on Burnt Island Lake, complete with heavy rain coming straight down and then in sheets across the lake. Oh yes...there was lots of lightening too, but not before I had climbed up a cliff to get a better vantage point to see the storm coming. I had only a short time to "get down" what I saw and felt.

I met A.J. Casson when I was about eight. I had all ready decided and had announced to my parents that I was going to be an artist when I grow up. Meeting Casson sealed it for me. He had asked permission from my Dad to go down to our beach area on the Oxtongue River to paint. My Dad told me he was an artist...well I tore off after him like a shot. WOW...A REAL ARTIST here painting "my backyard" how cool is THAT !!!! I approached this "old guy" with caution not knowing who he even was. I stood there waiting for a chance to speak. He had set up his paint box with all his goodies and was painting away. He finally turned around and looked at me. I asked if I could watch him paint. He eyeballed me up and down, and then made a "hummph" sound at my tenacity to stand there. "well I guess it's OK as long as you don't ask me any questions." OH..I didn't. I stood there in complete and utter awe of watching him paint.

That chance meeting so many years ago came flooding back when I looked at that little watercolour sketch. I was invited to go on that painting trip with my boss and two other men artists. I felt a little bit like Emily Carr being invited to go painting with "the boys" which were The Group of Seven. I guess they knew I could handle a paddle as well as a brush. Funny how I remember growing up and thinking about the fact that the Group of Seven had probably been painting on the Oxtongue River and also up at my favourite spot which is Ragged Falls. They certainly painted in Algonquin Park and whenever I paint there I think of what they must have experienced. To me THE PARK, as it is known by the locals, would have been a great escape and a place to try new things. "Storm Coming - Burnt Island Lake" is a reflection of my inspiration from A.J.Casson and the spirit of the land he captured so well on canvas. Thanks A.J.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

WINTER WONDER- An exhibition of fine art celebrating the season

On until March 22, 2011
at The Canada Summit Centre, 20 Park Drive, Huntsville ON.

Come and see this wonderful exhibition of paintings, photographs, sculpture, jewelry and glass showcasing the work of local artists.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


HAPPY NEW YEAR! I thought it was time to change the scenery on my blogspot especially tonight as we get a fresh dump of snow. It's a Winter Wonderland out there!

This painting was done from memory and is in honour of my Dad Roy Marson. Every Christmas we would go out onto the old trappers trail in search of the perfect Christmas tree. We got our boots stuck in the slush of the swampy trail as we made our way through the dense bush. All the trees were covered with snow so they all looked good to us. Dad would cut one down and we would drag it back down the road. We laughed once the snow was off the tree exposing a less than perfect shape. It didn't matter at all. The heavenly scent of balsam or spruce that filled the room made up for it all. It was worth all the effort and for cherished time spent together.

I hope you all enjoyed the quiet peaceful moments spent with loved ones over Christmas and New Years. May 2011 be a blessing and filled with all good things. All the best. Cheers.