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Stares hosting Laurie O'Reilly


Almost Alone
Laurie O'Reilly
mixed media collage/oil painting/poetry on ply, 22”x 26”


1066 Main St, Dorset

Artist Inspiration

This piece was painted in early April 2020. It was a time of fear, loneliness and depression. We were told not to go for walks, not to visit with anyone who didn’t live in our house, not to go for a drive or a boat ride because if we had an accident there would be no first responders who could get to us. We were isolated, our elderly parents were isolated and our children and friends were isolated. This piece speaks to those feelings of isolation and loss. The words of the poem began to fade and that seemed appropriate. However, two and a half years later, we are visiting with our children our aging parents and our friends. The birds are back. The sun is shining and the river and lakes call. We know that things are not back to normal but the opportunities for renewed; contact with friends and family and joy of outdoor exploration, feel like a renewal of spirit and hope and this painting reminds me of the journey that we took to get here.

Artist Bio

I was raised, in Niagara Falls and Toronto. As a young adult, after a parochial education bereft of art, and rife with discipline, I traveled extensively, seeing the world and participating in other cultures. Returning to Canada I received a BSc, from Guelph University, which gave me hands on experience in form, function, physiology and ecology. A minor in Fine Art helped me develop some of my technical skills. I have participated in 3 curated gallery shows, juried shows, city sponsored exhibitions, local gallery exhibitions and studio tours. I have lectured on encaustic practices, run workshops, and contributed to a U.S. juried art publication.

My art is narrative driven. After portraying children, and youth, as vulnerable members of society, I have begun observing our planet with a similar sensibility.

I am an observer; by using paint, mixed media, and constructs, I become a story teller. Telling stories compels me to problem solve. Whether my mind wants to solve emotional or intellectual problems, or my hands want to solve construction puzzles, the need to problem solve drives my sensibilities, my thinking and my narrations.

When, what I am observing in the present, whether vulnerable members of society or fragile ecosystems, meshes with my past life experiences, I am motivated to devise artistic methods that can help me work through the angst that these overlaps bring to the fore, and tell the stories that I see and feel.


Stares is located in the Johnson Establishment on Dorset’s main street. The building is like visiting a mini-mall. Inside you will find Stares Sportswear where the clothing selection ranges from infants to men’s and women’s XXL. As well you will find a variety of giftware, home décor, cozy blankets and more. They serve Kawartha Dairy ice cream products and frozen yogurt at Northern D'Lights. Also in this establishment you will find a Forest Hill Real Estate office and Zachary’s Restaurant which is open year round.

The Johnson Establishment together with Northern D'Lights, overlooking Lake of Bays, is a well known, friendly environment that offers a wide selection of services.

Zachary’s Restaurant and Northern D’Lights can be found on Instagram at: zacharysrestaurant
Northern D’Lights can also be found on TikTok at: northern_dlights
Stares Sportswear can be found on Instagram at: stares_sportswear
Please visit our website for our hours.

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