Bonnie Gardner

I am a late bloomer – or rather a stunted bloomer. I was beginning to blossom as a writer at the age of 16 after receiving recognition as recipient of honorable mention in the Canada Permanent Trust National writing contest when I bought into the Cinderella Syndrome and fell for the belief of marrying and living happily ever after. However, after 18 years, I realized this story wasn’t working for me, and I began over.

This time I am writing my own, unique life story, the ending of which is yet to be determined (and many years down the road, I would hope!). 

I am a lifelong resident of Grey County (disregarding a couple of years of city-life during a period of what I like to think was "temporary" insanity). I am currently a resident at A Brush With Words, a four acre property located in the suburbs of Massie, Municipality of Chatsworth with partner, landscape artist and sculptor, Peter John Reid. 

I am a self-published author of several children's books and four collections of vignettes & poetry, "Growing in Grey", "Human Beings Being Human",  "A Brush With Words" and "The 3P Pandemic Project"; also  published by Mosaic. A member of Owen Sound’s Studio XX, I had my first visual art show, Coming Out of My (Creative) Closet) at the Owen Sound Artist’s Co-op for the month of March, 2008, where I had my first sale. A second solo show at the Chesley Library was coordinated for the fall of 2008, "Don't Fence Me In" which was well-received and successful, and I was on a roll. I have since shown and sold at The Loft Gallery in Clarksburg; the Grey County Artist's Show in Meaford;  annually at the Lion's Head Art Show. My work can currently be viewed at Owen Sound Artists' Coop, Matilda Swanson Gallery in Collingwood/Stratford, Southampton Art Gallery in Southampton, Arts On Ten Gallery & Boutique in Flesherton, and Woodhouse Gallery in Port Dover.

I would be described as quick-witted with a good, if not wicked, sense of humour and most people are surprised at the dark tone and content of most of my writing. In regards to my visual work,I  seem to have a preference for items that most people pass by without a second glance; things that are often old and have fallen into decay (much like myself!), the aged patina of blistered paint and skewed structures. My loose, free flowing style leans toward the abstract but still has a clear story to tell. Through brush strokes on the canvas, I endeavour to convey my feelings of seeing the beauty in the simple things around me and transcending them to another level. 

A certified yoga instructor, I strive to invoke my reverence for life into my art. A lifelong resident of Grey County, I draw from the area's plethora of everyday miracles. 

I find being an artist - the written not so much as the visual - is a life of solitude and being given the opportunity to share my work is a way to attempt to connect with others. It's an opening of the doors to my soul and initiating an invitation to my personal world. I am most happiest when I am creating.