Painter captures Haliburton’s downtown

By Jenn Watt

Published Sept. 25 2018

It took more than 30 hours for Haliburton artist Marianne Woolley to get her depiction of the Haliburton Fire Department just right.

Using photos taken by a firefighter friend of hers of the local hall combined with online research on fire trucks and gear she was able to create an instantly recognizable scene.

Once she was happy with it Woolley gave the acrylic painting to the fire department.

It wasn’t long after that Dysart et al chief administrative officer Tamara Wilbee saw the image and contacted the artist.

“I noticed the painting on Facebook when Marianne Woolley posted it a couple of days ago saying she hoped the fire department liked it” Wilbee said in an email to County Life.

Woolley said she was happy to share it.

“She asked me if she could put it on the fire department website and I said that would be awesome and then I said ‘have you ever seen my town picture?’ I sent her a copy of the town picture” she said.

Wilbee asked if she could share that one too and Woolley was happy to grant permission.

“We always encourage people to submit their photos of the area for us to share on our social media and website but local artwork depicting the area is really nice to use as well” Wilbee said.

Both of Woolley’s pieces featuring Haliburton’s downtown are colourful and bright. The downtown scene is of the intersection at Highland and Maple the town hall can be seen in the distance with several local shops gleaming.

Architecture is an interest of Woolley’s who said she’s on the lookout for another interesting place to paint perhaps Minden.

She’s lived in Haliburton since 2013 after moving up from Port Perry. She teaches watercolour painting to children from kindergarten to Grade 8 in schools throughout the Durham region.

She also hosts paint nights and takes commissions.

Woolley’s works are realistic but also convey the spirit behind the subject matter.

When you’re painting “you really want to bring out the character” she said.

She usually starts with a photo of a place which she uses as a reference as she draws.

“Once I start I can’t stop or I won’t go back to it” she said. It usually takes under a week for her to complete a piece.

Woolley intends to make her Haliburton paintings into prints for people to purchase. She also teaches and does commissions. You can contact her at To see more of her work check out her Facebook page: