Born with the heart of an artist, I always wanted to draw and to paint but my only instruction came from John Nagy Learn to Draw and Paint by Numbers sets. In my mid-30s, I dabbled at art for a couple of years; however, it took a move to Muskoka (Ontario, Canada) and semi-retirement in 2010 for me to pursue my passion. Here, surrounded by walls of pink granite, guarded by tall pines I now have the time, space and a safe haven to explore and develop my creative gifts. 

I am fortunate to be part of group of artists studying with dthe ynamic Canadian painter, Pat Fairhead. Under Pat`s teaching and mentoring, I am discovering who I am as an artist. To further my art education, I receive additional training through the Haliburton School of the Arts.

My inspiration comes mostly from the natural world around me afternoon sunlight captured by a grove of trees, an explosion of fiddleheads bursting forth from the stump of an old cedar, a hillside of trilliums looking somehow more like a convention of fairy-like creatures. A painting subject must stir my emotions or the resulting art will be lifeless. I recognize a spirit in both animate and inanimate objects and I aim to express that energy. Even when painting a still and solitary barn or other interesting structure, I seek to show the life force poured into the wood, bricks and mortar by the builders or left behind by other human or animal activity. My style ranges from realistic and impressionistic to symbolic and whimsical.


When I start planning a new painting, I most often select one of my photographs as inspiration, trying out different compositions in my sketchbook and determining colours before applying paint to paper. I work primarily in watercolour. This medium allows me to communicate my impressions through the transparent quality of the paint and the layering of colours to achieve a sense of substance and depth in the finished piece.

In addition to painting in watercolour, I work with Chinese and acrylic inks to convey messages and tell stories in a symbolic way. I use stylized silhouettes of Jack Pine trees to represent the human element in these paintings and choose colours to reflect the accurate mood and message. I feel an affinity with these trees; each one has a unique look and personality just like people. 


Although I am not influenced by any particular group or style of artists, I am attracted to the work of J.M. William Turner, an English Romantic Impressionist painter, and I do draw inspiration from many long-dead as well as contemporary Master artists. 

My goal is to produce images that inspire, uplift, bring joy and beauty into the world and touch the human spirit. Beauty can exist even in the darkest places and I will always seek to find and communicate it through my art. People tell me my paintings draw them in and stir them to wonder what lies beyond the horizon, hidden in the woods, in the stillness of a barn in winter. I am a life-long seeker and my art will constantly reflect that search. I hope people discover something fresh, new and exciting in what they see.  


Please visit to view current paintings and for exhibit locations.



By appointment.



All artwork on this page is copyrighted by Wendie Donabie. 
It may not be copied or reproduced by any means or used without the expressed approval of Wendie Donabie.

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