About Us

Octarine Women Artists’ Collective (OWAC), founded in 2013, is a group of eight women who work in various media and exhibit together annually.

Current members are Gail Brown (pastel), Nancy Farrell (acrylics), Judy French (oil), Carol Hughes (watercolour), Kim Johnston (watermedia and oils), Dianne Kennedy Cruttenden (woven tapestry),  Gail Root (oils and chalk pastel), M. Anne Smith (textile and fibre art), and founding member Leslie Miles who is a guest artist for this exhibition.

Their upcoming exhibition, “A Century Later: The Octarine Artists Inspired by A.J. Casson” takes place from October 6 — December 30 at the Wellington County Museum and Archives, Fergus, Ontario.  This will be the eighth annual exhibition of new work by the group, after a break during the Covid pandemic.  Previous shows took place in Fergus, Guelph, Oakville, Kitchener and Elora.

Meeting to discuss our 2023 show.

The name Octarine is taken from the colour imagined to be the eighth colour in the spectrum, the “pigment of the imagination”, which appears when magic is present.  The concept comes from the books of the late fantasy author Terry Pratchett.

Past members who exhibited in previous shows are Deborah Dryden (encaustic), Helen Hughes (textile art), Mary Karavos (paper collage), Jean Loney (glass mosaics), Leslie Miles (soft pastel and mixed media), and Susan Strachan Johnson (mixed media fibre).


Octarines making plans in 2021. Left to right:  Dianne Kennedy Cruttenden, Jean Loney, Gail Root, Judy French, Anne Smith, Kim Johnston, Heather Wood.  Photo: Carol Hughes.

Group photo at “Octarine: The Colour of Magic”, 2019.  Back row, l to r: Anne Smith, Leslie Miles, Judy French. Front: Carol Hughes, Gail Root, Susan Strachan Johnson, Kim Johnston. Absent: Jean Loney. Photo: County of Wellington.