November 05,2019

excerpt from

Ash Fork Madness©️

written by

Nana Cook and Charlotte Madison

copyright 2019 Nana Cook and Charlotte Madison


                  “Vent Y’all’s Spleen”


Once the directors and crew were chosen and work began I expected to supervise Madness, paint sets and occasionally flit about checking on the show’s progress, but it did not happen that way. I had endless details to review, t-shirts to design, posters to create, publicity to determine and an endless succession of duties to delegate. Plus I discovered everything depended on something else preceding it.

As if painting the flats, working at three regular jobs, working with my listless personality, G.B. and Madness were not enough to contend with, I discovered cracks were forming between several of the directors and their casts — and the cracks were widening each day.

“G.B. I can’t do it!” I rushed into his arms and burst into tears.

“Now Sweetheart, this was y’all’s idea, not mine, but y’all have to know — Madisons don’t quit!” Then he added, “Jes’ go out thar, an’ vent y’all’s spleen!”

The next day I ran around town venting my spleen, liver and pancreas! The five directors were hunted down and to each one I instructed, “I want you and your cast to love doing this show and enjoy working together. You’ll have some unpopular decisions to make — and so will I. I don’t have time to be nice so eventually everyone will be mad at me. I want you to blame me for everything and protect your relationship with the cast and crew. I’m too busy to care if someone’s angry and not talking to me. As a matter of fact, that would be a nice change!”

Late in May I attended my first and last rehearsal, as I had to abide by the limitations demanded by G.B.. Everyone had learned their parts but Madness desperately needed an expert to fine tune each act and pull all five together.

As I sat in the dark auditorium concerned and disappointed, a new participant appeared on the stage. He was a professional singer, actor and director and he was — the high school principal!  Mr. Hanna asked if he could take over the production as “coordinating director” — and we let him!


Posted by Charlotte Madison at 12:31
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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?