Outside Being

Light always issues an invitation to ponder something, and sometimes answers are found inside by simply being outside.

The pieces in my most recent collection narrate the need for connectedness with ourselves and our environment and depict a grace that can always be found even in difficult cycles.

Slowing down to more simply being, while often very hard can bring us solace, new resilience and space to delight in the light that is at hand.

This series examining recent stories of light encountered, was originally intended for a May solo exhibition with Westland Gallery in London, ON BC-19 (Before Covid-19).

While we could not have foreseen the unprecedented circumstances we find ourselves in globally; these pieces still suggest a timely way to more slowly be in this moment, while we work through what life might look like after ‘all of this’.

In navigating a gradual re-opening with beautiful flexibility, Westland Gallery has pre-released several pieces from this series and announced a modified exhibition schedule. I am delighted to share that I will be showing with London artist Donna Andreychuk at Westland Gallery this September. The exhibition will run September 1 – 19 and will be structured to reflect conditions at that time, so please do stay tuned for details!

In the meantime, please check out the full collection below and  and enjoy this video that my talented niece created with the aim to bring the pieces more tangibly to life for you.

Stay well, be safe & 
keep leaning in. 

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Complicated Days

How are you coping, pandemic co-travellers?

I hope you are staying well and that your physical needs are being met. How are you taking care of your heart and spirit in this complicated time?

I thought I’d like to offer what I can, in my own way. I won’t promise any of it will be any kind of magic bullet or anything; some of my own days feel like an anvil pressing me down into the earth. But, what if we met for a virtual walk, or I read you a poem or painted something for you? If you think that some of that might help, please know that you can land here and find something gentle, some joy or a bit of kindness.

I will try for daily postings, follow along and share if you like.

Today I’m sharing one of my poems with video taken along the Maitland Trail deep in the winter last year.  

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Start Here
with Erica Dornbusch
Hosted By: Westland Gallery London ON
Date: Wednesday March 4th 6:30 – 9:30PM

Got A Great Project In Mind?
Not Sure How Or Where To Start?

As an artist and poet, I learned a LOT while self-publishing my book this past year. Not just lessons about things to do with pagination and binding and ISBN numbers, but about how to set an objective for any project and to begin work towards it. Having a great idea for a long range project is exciting but if you’re anything like me it can also land you in Inertia and Overwhelm Land where ideas go to lay down on the couch. Over years of realizing big projects, I’ve figured out a system that gets me from Concept to Actualizing my project goals and I’m excited to offer the workshop Start Here, along with the companion workbook I’ve created, at Westland Gallery.

This 3 hour working session will guide you through brainstorming your concept to setting specific outcome goals and scheduling actionable items toward actualizing your project goal.

Whether you’re applying for a grant, writing a book, completing a series of work, or planning to crowd fund a project, this workshop will help you get started and send you home with a timeline of tangible action steps towards your goal. You’ll also have the unique opportunity for group feedback on aspects of your project if you wish.

The Details


What To Bring:
Your Ideas.

The Start Here workbook is yours to keep and complete.

To register:
Call or email Westland Gallery
T: 1-519-601-4420
E: info@westlandgallery.ca
156 Wortley Rd
London, On N6C 3P5

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WORKSHOP OFFERINGS: The Art in Creative Play

The Art in Creative Play
with Erica Dornbusch
Hosted By: Westland Gallery London ON
A Full Day Workshop, Monday March 23rd 9am-4pm

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Dear One Of A Kind You!

I want to invite you over for a creative playdate at Westland Gallery.
And, no – you don’t have to be an artist to attend! I promise you will find deep value in spending time in creative play and self expression even if you are not a practising artist.

Our Own Stories Honoured, Can Rejuvenate And Inspire Us

Drawing from my own art making journey and mindfulness practice, I’ve created a program that will help you restore, celebrate and reconnect you to your own beautiful narrative.

The Art In Creative Play

Limited seats are still available for this full day workshop. I’m inviting just eight participants to spend a day connecting with their creative selves in a playful and mindful series of art-making exercises.

This participatory day long session will invite you to deep dive into expanded ways of connecting with yourself and others. A playful directive will invite you in to loosen up and engage your intuitive core and unique creative voice in a variety of personal and safe group exercises.

Our day together will open in circle with a bit of sharing and exploring some Intention Setting and Meditation/Visualization Exercises. Projects for the day will centre around setting and illustrating a personal mantra, and a narrative self portrait to take home and hang in your space. Plus, together, we will create a group manifesto for living that you will receive as a printable pdf after the workshop.

The Details


What To Bring:
Your lunch.
Supplies to be provided.
A willingness to dive in to some mindfulness exercises and your own personal work. (Please note, as a group it will be vital for all of us to be willing to ‘honour the witness’ during our day. I’ll expand on this point when we are together.)

To register:
Call or email Westland Gallery
T: 1-519-601-4420
E: info@westlandgallery.ca
156 Wortley Rd
London, On N6C 3P5

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April 18th is Poem in Your Pocket Day

Poem in Your Pocket Day was initiated in April 2002 by the Office of the Mayor in New York City, in partnership with the city’s Departments of Cultural Affairs and Education. In 2008, the Academy of American Poets took the initiative to all fifty United States, and In 2016, the League of Canadian Poets extended Poem in Your Pocket Day to Canada.

On this day, poetry lovers are invited to select a poem, carry it with them, and share it with others at schools, bookstores, libraries, parks, workplaces, street corners, and on social media using the hashtag #pocketpoem.

To celebrate I’ve created a downloadable Poem in Your Pocket Day PDF and I invite you to share your own favourite poem out and about, around the table and on your social media. Pop by on FB or IG and post a stanza or two of your favourite on my page, I’d love to read your beloved pieces… 

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Paint & Prose Prints & Art Cards

Happy Spring! Have you had a chance to get your feet in some mud yet? What are you growing?

I am researching new hiking boots for a trip my love and I have planned for June. There are some bucket list treks on our agenda and I’ll need solid new kicks that I haven’t already walked holes into. Can’t wait.

And closer than that is Launch Day for Paint & Prose: A Way Finder’s Meander! While the book at press, we are working out launch details and preparing for the show. Frames for the original pieces from the book are ordered, I’m finishing up some other paintings for the show, and signing and packing up the prints and art card sets that are going out to our Kickstarter campaign supporters in gratitude for their role in making this book real.

We printed three favourites as Prints and another three as an Art Card set and added a couple of cards as a bonus. They turned out really nicely. Have a look!


I look forward to getting these into the hands of this book’s super supporters! Thank you so much as ever for your ongoing enthusiasm. I can’t wait to see those of you who will be able to be there during launch week! 

Pre-order your copy of Paint & Prose here!

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National Poetry Month

I don’t know enough about the cosmic formulation of serendipity to prove it or disprove it as a ‘thing’, but it happens enough in my world to get my attention. Here is a solid example. I decided to make an art book that combined my paintings and prose and have been deep in the process for more than a year.

My collection of  art and words in this volume speaks to a mindful connection between ourselves and our landscape, I hope to invite you in to resonate with nature and evoke your own sacred stories. This is an important way of being for me and one I wanted to share in a book format. So I made the work, found a book printer and landed on an April publication date that fit into their production schedule. 

Just a few weeks ago in doing some leg work around the ins and outs of making and publishing and marketing books in Canada, I tuned into the League of Canadian Poets. On their website, I found this blurb: 

“National Poetry Month

National Poetry Month began in the US in 1996, spearheaded by the Academy of American Poets on the steps of a post office in New York City. There, the story goes, Academy staff members handed out copies of T.S. Eliot’s poem, “The Waste Land,” which begins, “April is the cruellest month…” to individuals waiting in line to mail their tax returns. Established in Canada in 1998, NPM now brings together schools, publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, and poets from across the country to celebrate poetry and its vital place in Canada’s culture.

Celebrate nature with poetry this April!

The League of Canadian Poets invites you to celebrate the 21st annual National Poetry Month in April with nature – whether it’s mountain ranges, deserts, forests, oceans, or plains; whether it’s a cityscape or a landscape. Read, write, and share poetry that translates the emotional, practical, and reciprocal relationships we build – as individuals and communities – to the natural world onto the page”

National Poetry month poster designed by Megan Fildes!

“Well, now – how cosmic is that”, I thought. 
I invite you to watch for daily shares and treats, here and elsewhere on social media throughout April as we celebrate National Poetry Month and gear up for the Paint & Prose’s birthdate! 



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Off to Manitoba

Sometimes big things happen without a lot of fanfare.

Here’s an example from this room.
My book, Paint & Prose: A Way Finder’s Meander has gone to press. 


The culmination of a year of Idea, Intention & Action, fundraising and grant writing, planning, painting, prosing and scanning and designing and more more more – all met in an electronic file upload to a producer of fine books in Manitoba, Canada on a Wednesday afternoon. 

The lovely folks in Manitoba said, “Got it. Take care.”

Our intrepid designer enjoyed a Wunderbar. 

And I did a quiet, squeaky little dance and got on with the other work I have waiting on my easel. 

I am taking tomorrow off, which also feels like a big thing happening without a lot of fanfare. 

We did a colour mock up to check out the final details before sending the files for the book out to the printer in Manitoba. We are happy and excited to have a real book in our hands. Click the cover to see a high speed youtube flip though. 

You can pre-order your copy of Paint & Prose: A Way Finder’s Meander Here
Thank you for breathing belief. 

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Lake Henry’s Glow


A Chromatic Life continues at Westland Gallery until October 13. During the span of the show, I’m sharing images and prose around some of my works.

You can view the full collection of A Chromatic Life online here.

Lake Henry’s Glow
Lake Henry’s Glow, Acrylic on canvas, 60×60”

A late summer sun is pressing down on the day

the same one that beckoned us from our first waking breaths
to leap fully into its light; brightly painting
madcap shadows of us run-dancing along the lane,

Now pulls on our tails sweetly
Signals us to temper our pace

We drop our voices
and take our bench seats,
agog at the set
all has been edged with gilt

a burnished copper water surface billows and
bows back to the marsh grasses’
pink feathery flouncing

Next a gracious choir of blackbirds enters,
staging the evening
jostling gently
demure about their red epaulettes

evening velvet drops
on a rope
at first
its music all around us

A Chromatic Life
Anna Clarey & Erica Dornbusch

September 18th – October 13th
Artist Talk: Wednesday, Oct. 3rd at 7 pm

Westland Gallery
156 Wortley Road
London, ON

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