Covid Creativity: 30Aug2020

by Tina Whitman

Not long before the Covid shutdown, Sandra McCuaig asked me if I would illustrate a children’s story for the Friends of the Glengarry Trails (FGTA) Tales on the Trails. It is a community project involving local writers and artists from Glengarry Encore Education and The Collectif creating stories mounted on panels along the new boardwalk at the west end of Lochiel Street.  

Of course I said yes, even though I had never done anything like this before.  Sandra gave me the story along with ideas she had sketched.

As always, I get home, sit down, ask myself, “What was I thinking?? I’ve never  done anything like this…..I can’t do this!”  Same thing happened with the Maxville Mural. Why did I say yes?  Because some people thought I could and that makes the difference. 

I always struggle at first.  Sandra’s sketches got the ideas turning in my head. From there, equipped with my camera, visiting the marsh, FGTA Facebook page, unlimited ref photos on Pixabay, I managed to complete the task. 

The story title is “Fen of Garry Fen”. It follows Fen, a “Ghillie Dhu” (Scottish fairy) who lives in the Garry Fen.

Fen’s Wellies, acrylic on canvas with permanent marker details, 10 x 8 in.

We see where she lives and meet her friends. The illustrated story is on 10 panels along the head of the trail. There are 4 stories that will be installed one at a time, over a period of months. The first was unveiled on Friday, 28 August.

Molly Muskrat, acrylic on canvas with permanent marker details, 10 x 8 in.

This really is a great community project. I hope you will all take the time to walk the trail and enjoy the stories. 

Follow FGTA on Facebook for details of the Tales on the Trails

Collectif members, send an image (or a few) of very recent work to with up to 100 words describing what you did, materials used, inspiration, etc. Maybe share how you’re feeling & how creativity helps. We’d like an informative, inspiring show & tell. Writers, send us poetry, lyrics, a short piece or excerpt.


  1. Your writing is very much like your paintings, Tina…sincere, honest, and modest with a huge amount of talent!Thank you so very much for agreeing to take a little piece of simplicity and turn it into a beautiful work of art…SandraSent from Samsung tablet


  2. Tina, I love your interpretation of Sandra’s vision. So looking forward to seeing the rest of the your artistic talent in Sandra’s adorable story.


  3. Beautiful, Tina! Forging ahead when you are unsure if you can do it is a great way to learn and grow. I look forward to seeing all 10.


  4. Your talent never ceases to amaze me, Tina. I swear your parents should have named you Midas! Congratulations and I am looking forward to reading Sandra’s story and seeing it brought to life through your artwork. (Molly Muskrat is adorable!!!)


  5. Your artwork is amazing and is a wonderful addition to Sandra’s story. It will follow Flip Flockton ‘s story by the end of October.


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