November 03,2019



excerpt from

Ash Fork Madness©️

written by

Nana Cook and Charlotte Madison

copyright 2019 Nana Cook and Charlotte Madison


                  Props and Pigeons

Once G.B. knew about Madness I was free to fly!
Over the next six weeks I painted thirty feet of twelve foot high, masonite scenery flats, created a black lacquer Chinese screen and a life-sized red and gold stage-coach.

Each day as I painted, my Park Avenue Pigeons paced back and forth across the top edge of the flats, occasionally splashing their own medium onto the scenery below. While I painted volunteers worked on papier-mãché fire hats, Connie worked her crafty magic on papier-mâché, and after a few days she had made a fine crop of prickly pear paddles, pears and blossoms.

I was perched atop my ladder painting the gold lettering onto my stagecoach when I heard Connie call down the old building.

“Char-lee, I’m having a problem! Every time I try to attach these darned paddles, I don’t get a cactus, I get a cartoon mouse!”
I crawled down from my ladder and went to see for myself. Connie sat on the floor covered in flour, surrounded by bowls of water and flour paste, sacks of flour, piles of shredded newspaper and dozens of papier-mâché prickly pear paddles.
“Oh don’t worry Connie, you’re too conscientious. Unpainted papier-mâché is always grotesque.” I said reassuringly as I looked at the abomination. “No one will ever notice — once it’s all assembled — and painted green. Well, what if we just . . . .”

It was too late. We had both imprinted on cartoon mouse ears not prickly pear paddles and we were thereafter condemned to see cartoon mouse ears no matter how Connie arranged them. When she finally painted and added the beautiful prickly pear blossoms to her four foot high cactus plants — we had cartoon mice with flowers in their ears.


Posted by Charlotte Madison at 12:41
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February, 2020
January, 2020
For over forty years, painting related totally to the American Southwest. It was people of the dry hot desert, solid mesas, cacti, stone and canyons that made my heart leap.

When I realized I would never see the desert again, I began a search for something to paint. Nana suggested, B.C, vineyards and took me to Penticton where I did one painting. Nana and Gary then began to take me on Mystery tours of the island and always included a vineyard. But they all were so green! So many leaves so many trees - I don't do trees and I rarely use green - dont really like looking at green, but I got started on a duty series not an inspired series.

I guess it was July or early August when we were driving home from a winery visit. I was grousing about painting the Festive Flying Grape series when Gary said "Start another series, you can work on more than one at a time."

For some reason those words triggered the words "I could paint the Island artists!" Nana and Gary agreed and it was the topic of conversation all the way home

For a while I was afraid I wouldn't get volunteers to pose but it is rolling and each one offers something special to inspire me. And it is lovely to feel all I am doing was sparked by Gary and like all I do, supported by Nana.

April Update 2012 Sixteen fine artists, many of national repute, have posed for Artists of Vancouver Island and many are booked or promised. There will be no poses after June 30,2012. When I have painted all twenty-five I will turn my thought to . . . what next?