Blog – Page 2 – Marianne Vander Dussen

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I Bought a Victorian Rental Property

When you know, you know. Sometimes there's just this inescapable feeling of this is The One. This is meant to be. I'm not talking about romance, of course. I'm talking about a house.  Over the past two years, I have been very aggressive about snapping up rental properties in North Bay. It started with a student rental in the late spring of 2019, and has since gone on to include a triplex (January 2020), a fourplex (May 2020), and now, this historical gem that I can't wait to get my hands on (closing June 2021). It is a legal triplex, but there is a twist to this that I'll reveal in the months to come.   Back in October 2020, I wrote into...

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Holiday Gift Guide for Artists 2020 - Art Supplies from Beginner to Advanced

It's the most wonderful time of the year! I absolutely love Christmas. I love carols, twinkling lights, and the food. But like so many families this year, my husband and I find ourselves in a precarious position. We are fortunate enough to live in a green zone. Half of our extended family resides in a grey lockdown zone, which means there is a good chance we won't be able to be with them for Christmas. It's particularly heartbreaking because my little boys are two and a half, and their grandparents miss them dearly.  That being said, we are figuring out ways of coping. I've been playing around with watercolours more, and I'd like to start sketching again in acrylics, just for...

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Paint-a-Thon in Support of the Joy Project - #SantaIsntCancelled Part Two

The Idea... About a month ago, I had this crazy idea.  Pandemic Halloween seemed almost like a canary in a coal mine, festively speaking. After I took my own children out on a pre-planned route to visit select neighbours who had prepared goodie bags for them, I looked down my street and realized that I had never seen it look so dark. Not a single house had a light on, let alone a candle in a pumpkin. It was like someone threw a thick blanket over the street, and it was eerie.  At that point, it seemed highly unlikely that Christmas would be saved from the chopping block. So how could I use what I do best (paint) to help populations who...

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#SantaIsntCancelled - Part One

I am so excited about this. Beyond excited. Nervous. Pumped. All of the things.  When the lockdowns first started happening, I was incredibly concerned about two vulnerable groups: the first being longterm care patients, and the second being children in homes that were already struggling. With that in mind, I began trying to figure out how we could use art to reach out to both of those groups to make them feel valued, loved, and cherished during Christmas.  All over the world, major events are being cancelled. So to counter this, I decided to call this campaign #SantaIsntCancelled.  Part one of Santa Isn't Cancelled is an open invitation for anyone and everyone to create handmade Christmas cards with a holiday message...

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Coming October 1st… Online Shopping

Something's Coming... It's hard to believe that this website is coming up on six years old. I felt like a total imposter when I first set it up, and a charlatan when I set up my Facebook page. I struggled to get one hundred people to even like the page. I was still finding my proverbial voice, and hadn't yet moved into my current style of realism mixed with hints of impressionism.  Two years later, I started offering in person paint classes out of the studio I was renting at 176 Lakeshore Drive in North Bay. My little Facebook page started to gain steam, growing to 500 followers, then over 1,000. I was running a paint class almost every other...

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