Shirley Van Dusen
Born in Ottawa, renowned portrait artist, Shirley Van Dusen, wife of the late Tom Van Dusen Sr. and is the mother of seven children, grandmother to fifteen grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Widely known for her paintings of Parliament Hill, her work is represented in private collections around the world. Shirley also shared her unique view of life through her writing and has been published by the Poetry Institute of Canada and recognized by the Ottawa branch of the Canadian Authors Association with an award for her short story “Mary John and Weirdo.”
In the early 1950s, she and her reporter-husband, Tom, craved a change from their cramped Ottawa apartment. And what a change they made! They packed up their burgeoning brood of kids and plunked them down in a three-room “cottage” in Wychwood in Aylmer, Quebec. Thus began the often humorous escapades that arose from living with such modest facilities as an outhouse, a woodstove, and with sightings of even an occasional bear padding along the path. As the family grew to include an unusual menagerie of pets, Shirley noted their wild and domesticated adventures on bits of paper. Eventually, Shirley and Tom moved their family to Russell, Ontario, where the adventures continued, and the bits of paper grew into full-blown short stories whenever she finally had time to sit down and write them! Many have been previously published in Joan Donaldson’s Reports from . . . . . newsletter series.
Shirley, at ninety years, is still writing, painting, and traveling. But most of all, she continues to watch the antics of her expanding and always entertaining family in order to gather material for future stories.
Author Title: The Mother’s Day Monkey