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Born and raised in Vancouver's West End, Madison studied art for five years with artists Jamaican, Garth McNamee and Canadian, Jack Darcus. She moved to Salt Spring Island in 1971. There she studied with Windsor Utley, exhibited at Mahon Hall and with naturalist artist, Pat Wright in 'Wild and Still Life.' She also designed twenty-five theatrical productions and was an active member of Gulf Islands Community Arts Council, Salt Spring Players, British Columbia Drama Association, the Operatic group and Salt Spring Summer Theatre.
Having prowled the American Southwest for many years with her children, Madison returned south when they flew the nest. With her Old English Sheepdog London, she meandered, explored, camped and painted the deserts and missions of the Southwest, eventually meeting and marrying G.B. Madison, a 'wild ol' Okie boy' who ruled a little Arizona quarry town with generosity and a wilful spirit. In 1982 Madison adapted the musical 'Salt Spring Madness to the little town on Route 66 for its centennial. The result 'Ash Fork Madness,' was a standing room only production.
Madison became a member and exhibited with the Mountain Artists Guild in Prescott and the Art Barn in Flagstaff, as well as painting in The Old Building StudioGallery. In August 1983 the Art Barn booked Madison to exhibit with 'Big Deal' McNeill, an old foot wanderer, artist and gold miner. In November 1983 she was burned in a gasoline explosion and the following June, McNeill was stricken with congestive heart failure. With her twenty-five paintings completed, she met McNeill's quota in the seven weeks prior to the exhibit, by painting fifteen more pieces. The August 18, 1984 show 'Stone and Canvas' was rated a success.
Madison returned to Canada in 1986 and became active with the Delta Community Arts Council and Delta Cable, until she moved to Nanoose Bay on Vancouver Island in 1989. She has since exhibited at Rogue's Gallery, Gallery 223, Nanaimo Art Gallery, The Dancing Bean, Tosh, The Old School House Fine Arts Centre and Artfitterz Frameing and Gallery.
When she returned to Canada Madison continued to feed her spirit by traveling and painting each year in Arizona and New Mexico. Madison was joined on these painting trips by her daughter Nana Cook and her granddaughter Morgan A. Cook. In 2009, after the loss of her son, Madison was jolted into searching for 'something to paint' close to home. Inspiration touched her when a First Nations acquaintance agreed to pose. The delight of this experience may have triggered a new direction for Madison and her paintings but maybe not. Nana suggested vineyards. After a trip to Penticton vineyards where I tried one painting, my son in law Gary has been dreaming up mystery trips to Vancouver Island vineyards. I got a second painting and we now have more locations and idea in mind for my 'Festive Flying Grapes' series.
'The first moment I saw the desert I heard words in my mind, 'I am home.'
But I am here by the sea . . . and it's right.'
Sept 24 2014 I deleted my paintings as I do not use credit cards only cheques and they are not acceptable. I am eighty-three and finally finished this series. I took a second small stroke just as I was working the 23'rd image and then had to finish bits here and there on several - working at a minor disadvantage I have one more I have had great difficulty with and someday it will appear - it is my daughter, artist, Nana Cook.