Throughout her life, Wendie Donabie has pursued some form of creative expression from learning piano through the Royal Conservatory of Toronto, various artistic crafts as a child, to drawing and painting as an adult. She has also published articles and poetry in magazines and collections and is currently working on a murder mystery novel set in a fictionalized Muskoka town.
Born and raised in the Bata Shoe company town of Batawa, located on the Trent River in Ontario, her love of nature grew from the rural area and the hills of deciduous forests surrounding the small village.
At her easel, Wendie’s deep concern for our planet informs her paintings. “I have my phone or a camera with me at all times. I never know when something will grab my attention and say, paint me. When this happens, I actually experience a pleasant fluttering sensation in my gut and know I just have to capture the moment.” Creating images of the beauty around us she hopes to foster a greater appreciation for the natural world and an understanding of the interdependence of all life.
Working primarily in acrylic and oil, her paintings often incorporate various mediums and objects to create textural interest and a little bit of magic.
In part self-taught, Wendie also received training with renowned Canadian artist, Pat Fairhead, R.C.A., and completed courses at Haliburton School of the Art. Today, she continues to participate in private workshops. “Every painting offers new challenges, so I keep taking workshops to learn more and sharpen my skills.”
Wendie’s paintings are held in collections in Canada, the United States and Great Britain. In 2014, she received the Muskoka YWCA Woman of Distinction award for Art, Culture and Creativity. In 2018, Wendie opened Heron’s Nest Studio Gallery where she showcases her work along with that of other local artists.