Here's to Joe" by David Becker, Ottawa (Canada) artist and writer. Sold on Amazon. An intelligent, gentle examination of a few unusual lives in a rural Nova Scotia location. An artist, struggling to put his life and career on a better trajectory meets a gal who is struggling to overcome a bad childhood while managing her father's small bar. The artist finds a journal in the shed of the run-down house he rented for the summer. The journal leads him back into the lives of the people around him. The story is revealed and handled with Canadian kindness, niceness, and patience. A lovely, non-typical, heartwarming read.


Death of a Russian Doll by Barbara Early. Read this book and you will see another side of cute, quaint East Aurora NY. With unusually well-written and amusing prose (for a cosy mystery), this local author takes us on a complicated romp through the murder of a Russian woman. Unfortunately, the murdered woman is the wife of the main character's ex-boyfriend, which complicates our narrator's love life considerably. We have a believable narrator, who wears comfy pajamas, has two unreasonably cranky cats and a father who is the retired chief of police.


The ongoing covid pandemic has been the best of times and the worst of times for artists. Best - because we have had more time to paint and create and reflect these troubled times in our work. Worst  - because opportunities to show and sell our work have been severely curtailed. Nevertheless, I have persisted! In these past two years many paintings were created, several group exhibits were achieved, and many jars of jam were made! Keep reading to see what I have been up to. 

The 2020 Vision – Women Artists in Western NY exhibit of over 180 women artists that I coordinated at the Castellani Art Museum opened on February 19, 2020 to a crowd of over 770 people! Surely it was the largest art event of 2020 in Western NY. Then, instead of being open for six months as planned, the gallery closed after only three weeks due to covid restrictions.

Disappointed but undaunted, I used my grant money from Arts Services Initiative of Western NY and worked with filmmaker Aaron Ettestad on a video version of the exhibit which you can see here on Youtube  
Watch Here

My other gallery work to assist artists to be able to sell their work has just restarted in Ottawa, Canada’s capital city. I manage the art gallery in Good Eats Café, on Bell St N. owned by my sister Karen. It offers excellent gallery space in a high traffic café and bistro open 7 days a week, morning noon and night! The gallery had closed for a year because of covid restrictions but I am happy to say we are now open and booked for new, monthly art exhibits until summer of 2022. Exhibit space in downtown Ottawa is near impossible to obtain, so Good Eats is really doing artists a big favor with its gallery program.

Visit Here

These past two years, I have continued to cook up a storm painting the foods my family and I prepare as a metaphor for our need for comfort, as memories of better times, to show resilience and as examples of beauty in an anxious world.

Here we see: ‘A Vegetarian Contemplates Dining Alone’, (16” x 20” oil on canvas, $704) based on a photo reference sent by my nephew Adam Beaudoin who toughed out nearly two years of considerable isolation in Berlin. I admired his resilience demonstrated by his table setting for dinner by himself, and I added the crumpled napkin as a reminder of the tension of that time. 

In spite of, or perhaps because of, the covid pandemic forcing us to be home more, I think many of us have taken time to cook and enjoy meals at home. I continued working on a long-term project called ‘Lunch’ – paintings of that unfussy, basic meal we often make for ourselves, reflecting our lives at a home and during a specific time and season.

For example, here is ‘Julia’s Lunch’, a picture of what my granddaughter was eating at two years old, including a piece of chocolate, which was her favorite food at the time. (8” x 10” oil on canvas. NFS)

And here is an abstract portrayal of ‘Ken’s Lunch’. He usually just tosses carrots, olives and cherry tomatoes on a white plate and I just floated them in space for this painting. From a distance it looks like an abstract but look closer and you see the food. Fun! (8” x 10” oil on canvas. $176.)  

Happily, thanks to the unsung heroes of the vaccine development and production world, the health risks to our families and communities are decreasing, as measured by my Jam-Production Anxiety Quotient -- I made more than 80 jars of jam in the summer of 2020 and this summer only made about 40 jars.

Here we see ‘Fields of Jam’, (24” x 30” oil on canvas, $1584) part of the ongoing tendency towards a surreal approach to the meaning of my food paintings. It also continues my ongoing positioning of food into agriculture backgrounds.

Thankfulness for agriculture and the gifts of hard-working farmers was another theme in my paintings during these past couple of years. During the worst of covid fear I focused more on buying direct from farmers at their roadside stands. Here is, ‘Roadside Stand Carrots’ (looking amusingly as if they actually were on the road) (12” x 12” oil on canvas. $316) and ‘Spring Farm Basket and Fields’ (16” x 20” oil on canvas. $744)

Opportunities to visit family have been curtailed and made more difficult, but there really is no stopping a determined mother and grandmother. In spite of quarantines, changing regulations, mercurial border guards and covid test results that arrive late, I have been able to see my family in Canada several times. By buying a short-lived cottage, was able to be in Canada to help out my grandson and his pal with online school for three months this spring. I am proud to report that my intellect is still sufficient to succeed at senior kindergarten and Grade 2 French Immersion.  

The border closure and accompanying rules have been unfair, not fully based on science and quite politicized. I have joined many Canadians and Americans in protesting, begging, demanding sensibly opened borders with sensible, science-based rules and reasonable, reciprocal, flexibility. I have written scathing, heart-broken, sensible, referenced letters, articles, opinion pieces on both sides of the border. Doing so has made me feel better, but to what avail??

Well, oddly, that little cottage fiasco and writing copious letters have led me back to writing children’s books. I am now writing 26-30 stories for one book about small and large, important events in Canadian history, for middle-school children, as told by Gnomes, who may or may not be reliable narrators. Canadian history told from the perspective of Gnomes who saw it all and sometimes changed the course of history, will give a picture of how Canada developed. Or at least I hope it does. And really, given recent findings of Canada’s hidden history, realizing that there are other viewpoints to historical reporting is a good lesson.

Publishing a substantive book in Canada requires an introduction to an agent or major publisher. I am looking for an agent and a book publisher now. If you happen to know someone, I would appreciate your referrals.

Here is a little Gnome who inhabited my cottage daffodil garden, ‘Digger Greenthumb’ (8” x 10” oil on canvas, NFS)       

During a visit to my son and his family in Port Elgin Ontario, a strong wind knocked over the large Rose of Sharon tree in their backyard. I cut stems for a bouquet and painted the blooms as another symbol of survival. On a recent visit I noted the Rose of Sharon tree growing again from the buried roots. 

Rose of Sharon’ (16” x 16” oil on canvas. SOLD!)

This spring as hope for vaccine adoption by everyone bloomed, I started painting flowers. First came, ‘Flowers for a Good Grief’, my own strange flower arrangement of the flowers Lori Caso and Marolyn Corriere gave me after the death of my mother, Patricia Marcotte. (24” x 30” oil on canvas $1584). It was followed by ‘Tulips’ referencing photos by National Arboretum horticulturist David Kidwell-Slack and children’s book author Graeme Gilmour (20”x 40” oil on canvas. $1900). And then my sister Ann in Victoria British Columbia, where spring and summer come early, sent me photos of her arrangements of ‘Tree Peonies and Tulips’ (11” x 14” Oil on canvas. $338) Spring, and creating these colorful paintings, really lifted my spirits.

Flowers for a Good Grief

Tree Peonies and Tulips

I am a ridiculously infrequent newsletter writer. My last newsletter was in 2018. I really intend to write twice a year and we will see if I actually do it. Meanwhile my focus continues to be on family, painting, writing, and trying new avenues to get people to see, and preferably purchase, my work. To that end, please forward this email to ANYONE who might be interested in art to liven their home and office. If they write me, I will put them on my newsletter list.

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And in between newsletters you can find all my paintings at and please friend my art Facebook page Michelle Marcotte Artist. My email address is During these past two years I have created many more paintings than this newsletter mentions. You can see them on my website. By watching Michelle Marcotte Artist on Facebook you will see the newest work while it is still wet and available for purchase.

Thank you very much for reading, for laughing and sending me photos of food you have prepared.

Michelle Marcotte

Copyright © 2021 Marcotte Consulting, All rights reserved.
Hi, you are on this list because you are either a customer or a contact for my fine art or my greeting card company -- and/or because I would LOVE to have you as a customer! I only send 1-2 newsletters a year but if you want to opt out, write me and let me know. No hard feelings!

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Very happy to see Dallas Jeff's blog post on my paintings. For their comments follow this link:






I am organizing several Lewiston NY artists to hold an Outdoor Studio Tour on August 8th (rain date August 9th), 2020. This year so many art festivals have been cancelled with the result that artists have very few exhibit opportunities and the public must be art starved! 


And,,,, I really prefer showing my work at my home anyway!


There will be 9-11 artists involved, safely spread out around Lewiston NY village and Lewiston NY town. And their exhibits will allow you to socially distance while seeing the art.


You can have a great day driving or biking around Lewiston NY, easily see all or some of the artists, catch a great meal at one of the many great restaurants in the Lewiston NY area, and have fun seeing and hopefully buying something interersting, exciting, heartwarming, intriguing.... etc.


Our Facebook page is River Region Artists' Studio Tour and Art Walk. We will soon be populating it with artists profiles and addresses. But once you go to one artist they will  have the list of other artists.


Please pay us a visit.  



Michelle Marcott

2020 Vision will be the first comprehensive regional art exhibition focused on all women artists living in Western New York’s five counties. The art of nearly two hundred women will be on the gallery walls of this prestigious contemporary art museum on the grounds of historic Niagara University near Lewiston NY. Intended to show the breadth and depth of the work of women artists, this exhibit will allow viewers to hear all the voices of this region’s women artists. Asking the artists to submit works representing the experience of being a woman artist in Western NY encouraged all artists in the five Western NY artists to submit their work.


Local corporations, and especially businesswomen, are invited to participate in the Business Purchase Award program by purchasing a piece of art from this exhibit to support women artists. Art by women artists will support corporate diversity programs, enhancing corporate and personal spaces. The opportunity to purchase art with this program will start during the opening on Feb 20, 2020 and continue for six months. Signage will advertise purchasers to the 10,00 – 15,000 visitors expected at this exhibit. Castellani curatorial staff and local artist interpreters can advise corporations about selecting art from the exhibit. The Castellani is not responsible for art sales; all purchase funds will go directly to the artist.


The Castellani Art Museum is open 11:00 am – 5:00 pm Tuesday to Saturday, open 1:00 – 5:00 pm Sundays and closed Monday. Admission is free. The Castellani is a 30-minute drive from Buffalo-Niagara International Airport. In summer, the free Discover Niagara Shuttle drops people off at the Castellani and the NFTA bus #50 and #52 travels to the Castellani.


Combine a visit to the Castellani with the Niagara Power Vista, the Niagara Power Authority’s visitor center, just a short walk from the Castellani through Niagara University. Its power generation exhibits are on par with the best science museums in the country, the new virtual reality ride is gripping, and the Power Visa is sited on a visually stunning Niagara River overlook.  Admission is free. The scenic and historic Village of Lewiston with its excellent restaurants is just a short, few-minutes, drive away.



For more information:

Michelle Marcotte, Lewiston artist, writer and coordinator of 2020 Vision: Women Artists in Western NY

(; 716-299-0442)

Michael Beam, Exhibitions Curator, Castellani Art Museum (

Susan Clements, Coordinator of Community Relations, (


Greeting Cards featuring vegetables, fruit, the occasional piece of cake and laughter.  With over 40 designs with warm, useful, amusing greetings for all life's events and tricky situations.


Food is full of goodness; our world needs more goodness. Fun, difficult, tricky, warm, friendly, loving things need to be said, and we need to be nice to each other.


So, was born to help you say the fun, difficult, tricky, warm, friendly, loving and amusing things that need to be said, with goodness at heart.


I paint the ideas in oils on canvas with the same care that I paint my fine art paintings. I write each card thoughtfully. The cards are printed by small, family businesses. 

It is a new design approach. Each card is nice enough to be framed as a print in a 5”x7” frame. 


About the artist


Sayitwithvegetables greeting cards are the brainchild of me, Michelle Marcotte, a Canadian-American painter, an artist, and foodie.  Ideas spring up from talking to family and friends, from life, from happy and sad events and in-between.



SAVE $$ on CARDS - Have cards ready when you need them!


Each card is $4.00 but if you buy 6 cards at the same time you will save $6.00 AND you will save $2.00 on shipping (six cards, shipping included = $20.00) 


YES! I can:


Produce larger volumes: If you want a really large printing of cards at a much reduced price, I can have my designs commercially printed on normal card stock. Email me for price quotes. 


Do your mailings for you: I can sign, address the envelopes, stamp and mail for you at an additional cost of $1.00 per card (and I will reduce the shipping cost by half (card, signed, addressed, stamped and mailed = $5.50)


United airlines had a wonderful big idea. A contest for women artists to paint an airplane. 


Here is the script of my video and my design submission:


As an artist I look for the elements, the lines that connect us all. Land - agriculture – food - connect us. Air connects us. And water connects us. Those elements inspire me and this design.


Fly over NY state and NJ and what do you see? Fields and forests and water. Cities that grew because of water. The Atlantic coasts of NY City and its bustling islands, the beach coasts of NJ, up the Hudson to the canals that lead to the Finger Lakes of Upstate NY. And finally, the Niagara River, the roar of Niagara Falls and the Great Lakes of Western NY. One can fly the blue skies or, one can traverse from NY city to Buffalo New York by blue water.


Connection is a Big Idea. Water, its connection to life and its importance to our region deserves a big platform – a United airplane platform.


This design starts with the Great Lakes and Niagara in United Blue. On large scale, Niagara Falls should be white. And that small bit of Canada shown near the nose is in Pantone Cool Gray. I’ve used Premium Purple to follow the canals to the Finger Lakes tracing up to Lake Champlain and down the Hudson River. You will find the land of NY, Long Island and the New Jersey coasts in Pacific Blue. The deep Atlantic is Atlantic Amethyst, and a thin line of Sky Blue runs along the top of the plane. Each component is emphasized with a crisp black line.


I’m Michelle Marcotte, an artist in Lewiston NY, along the Niagara River. I’m an exhibiting member of the Buffalo Society of Artists and the Buffalo Niagara Art Association. I paint land, agriculture, food and water. And in doing so, I paint life.

Women are 51% of all artists but we are under-represented in museums and collections. Women artists need art collectors to look up, way up and see that women hold up half the sky.    


Thank you.