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Remembering Fanny, the Matriarch of our family of artists

Today we celebrate the birthday of the matriarch of our Family of artists, Fanny Y. Cory.

Fanny was born October 18, 1887, in Waukegan, IL. She endured many hardships growing up, including the death of her mother and beloved sister, Agnes, from tuberculosis. By her late teens and early twenties she had become one of the leading illustrators in New York City, a profession dominated by men.

She married a Montana cowboy, Fred Cooney. Fred and Fanny raised their three children on their 400 acre ranch next to Lake Sewell (Canyon Ferry Lake), close to Helena, Montana.

To put her three children through college, Fanny took up cartooning. Her daily strip “Sunnysayings”, published by King Features Syndicate in newspapers throughout America for 35 years, was beloved by young and old alike. Besides Sunnysayings, she also illustrated, and sometimes wrote, “Little Miss Muffet” which was King Syndicate’s answer to “Little Orphan Annie.”

You can learn more about her life as an illustrator and cartoonist here.

Fanny had an incredible imagination. She was also a wonderful gardener. Those two things came together in the imaginary world of fairies. During her years in Montana she began a series of watercolor paintings of fairies which after her death was published as the “Fairy Alphabet.” She considered her Fairy Alphabet her greatest artistic achievement. Fanny painted twenty six watercolors of fairies and wrote rhymes for each letter of the alphabet. These watercolors are now stored for preservation in the archive of the Montana museum of history. They are compiled today in her popular “Fairy Alphabet.” Because of copyright, we can’t show the original illustrations. But this “Dancing Daffodil” painting was not used in the series. It shows the soft watercolor and brilliant imagination Fanny had.

In 1952, Fanny moved from her 400 acre ranch near Helena, Montana, to a small cottage on Camano Island perched on a cliff overlooking Saratoga passage and the Olympic mountains to the west. She called the beach below “Montana Beach.” Her cottage was just across the road and down a long driveway from “Sea Crest Farm”, the farm on Camano where my mother, Ann, grew up.

Fanny welcomed her beloved grandchildren into her home, including my mom, Ann. She formed the “Grunt and Groan Art Club” where each member was encouraged to paint a painting every week, and they often painted together at her cottage.

Fanny continued to paint fairies into her 80’s. Even though her eyesight was failing and hand was a little shaky, they are charming.

Fanny also painted a little watercolor every day, a scene from her window, looking out over the water.

And every day into her 80’s Fanny did pushups and sit ups and read a chapter from the Bible. At night she kissed the picture of her beloved sister Agnes that sat on her dresser.

Fanny passed away on July 28th, 1972, at her daughter Sayre’s home in Stanwood, WA. But her creative gifts, her imagination, and her zest for life live on in her family of artists and creatives.

This October, Sunnyshore Studio is celebrating the life and legacy of Fanny Y. Cory by releasing the second season of “Fairy Sightings”. This short videos were shot at the home of Betty Dorotik, just a few hundred feet south of the cottage where Fanny lived. Here’s one of those videos from Season Two:

If you’d like to learn more about Fanny’s story you can check out this documentary I made in 2017.

My son, Julian and I, spent a couple days of vacation in Montana. Visiting the sights and shooting footage. His middle name is “Cory” named after his famous great-great-grandmother Fanny Y. Cory.

Fairy Sightings: Season One

In season one, Jason, inspired by his great-grandmother, artist and illustrator Fanny Y. Cory, begins his quest to sight a fairy.

For most of her life, Fanny lived on a ranch near Canyon Ferry, Montana. There she began her famous watercolor series of paintings of fairies now known as the Fairy Alphabet. She also kept a luscious garden, where many fairies made their home among the flowers. In 1952, Fanny moved from Montana to a little white cottage on a bluff overlooking Saratoga Passage on the southwest side of Camano Island. Her family suspects that Fanny brought many of her fairies with her, though she never said. However, she did continue to paint watercolors of fairies, even into her late 80’s when her eyesight was failing, like this one below.

Fanny also taught her granddaughter, Ann Cory Dodgson (she was named “Cory” after her grandmother), now Ann Cory Dorsey, the lore of fairies. They searched for Queen Mav, one of the fairy queens, in Fanny’s flowers on Camano.

Having been trained by her grandmother, Ann is now one of the few Fairy Masters in the United States. In this first series you can learn from Ann fairy lore, and watch Jason begin his quest to sight a fairy.

Season One: Episode One, “Fairy Sightings – Fairy Houses”

In Episode One, Fairy Master Ann Cory Dorsey, shares about where fairies live.

Season One: Episode Two, “Fairy Sightings – Introducing Fairy Mystery Boxes”

In Episode Two, Fairy Master Ann shares about Fairy Mystery Boxes and how you can start your collection of fairy things and even create a fairy friendly environment where they can live.

Series One: Episode Three, “Fairy Sightings – Fanny Y Cory’s Fairy Alphabet”

In Episode three, Fairy Master Ann shares more about her Grandmother, Fanny Y Cory’s, Fairy Alphabet book.

Season One: Episode Four, “Fairy Sightings – An Abandoned Fairy Home?”

In this Episode, Jason begins his search for fairies and at his mother’s home, Fairy Master Ann Cory Dorsey, discovers possible fairy houses and signs of fairy activity.

Season One: Episode Five, “Fairy Sightings – Fairy Master Ann Cory, my mother, won’t tell”

In this episode, Fairy Master Ann Cory Dorsey won’t tell her own dear son Jason for sure and once and for all if fairies live near her home.

Season One: Episode Six, “Fairy Sightings – Fairy Friendly Environment”

In this episode, Jason begins to search around Sunnyshore Studio, which is very near Fairy Master Ann Cory Dorsey’s home, for places where fairies might live and play.

Season One: Episode Seven, “Fairy Sightings – Jason Discover’s a Fairy Circle”

In this episode, Jason, son of Fairy Master Ann Cory Dorsey, discovers a fairy circle in the woods near Sunnyshore Studio. He calls these woods, “fairy hollow.”

Season One: Episode Eight, “Fairy Sightings – Jason sees fairies dancing”

In this episode, Jason searches for fairies at night, and sees what he thinks are fairies dancing at the fairy circle in fairy hollow.

Season One: Episode Nine, “Fairy Sightings – Willow’s Discovery”

Willow Dorsey, niece of Jason Dorsey and granddaughter of Fairy Master Ann Cory Dorsey, discovers a fairy treasure in fairy hollow.

Season One: Episode Ten, “Fairy Sightings – the Treasure in the Fairy Chest”

In this episode, Willow shares with her uncle Jason the treasure in the fairy chest. She is now helping her uncle Jason in his quest to sight a fairy? Will you help Jason too?

Help Jason on his quest to sight a fairy

You can help Jason on his quest to spot a fairy. Send your fairy lore, photographs, and videos to him at

Want to start a fairy collection?

You can purchase a Mystery Fairy Box at Sunnyshore Studio (2803 S.E. Camano Drive, Camano Island, WA). We can’t tell you what’s in the box, but we think you’ll like it. We can also ship Mystery Fairy Box. To inquire about a mystery fairy box write to Jason at

Sunnyshore Studio announces our 2019 Artistic Season

Sunnyshore Studio is thrilled to announce our 2019 Artistic Season. We hope that you are able to visit us for one – or all! – of these shows as we “share beauty with the world.”


Our season begins in March with the second of five Jack Dorsey Invitational: Vintage Watercolorists of Washington shows. We’re thrilled to partner again with the Northwest Watercolor Society (NWWS), one of the premier watercolor society’s in the US.

We’ll showcase the art and celebrate the lives and artistic legacies of five of Washington’s top watercolorists: Jerry Stitt, Seiko Konya, Nancy Fulton, Cooper Hart and Sandy Langford. Jack Dorsey will also have five of his paintings on display. And we are excited to have on display a watercolor by Elizabeth Warhanik, one of the founding members of Women Painters of Washington.

You won’t want to miss the meet the artist reception, 3-5pm, on March 9th. We expect it to be packed with watercolor lovers, artists and friends of the art as it was last year!

Check out the poster below for information on the show featuring one of Cooper Hart’s marine paintings.

Vintage Poster 2019 - Cooper

And here’s a video preview of the artists with some fun bloopers of Jack Dorsey and the making of the video.


Sunnyshore Studio will be participating in the popular “Studio Tour” hosted by the Camano Arts Association. The tour takes place over five days in May:

  • Friday, May 10, 10am-5pm
  • Saturday, May 11, 10am-5pm
  • Sunday, May 12, 10am-5pm
  • Saturday, May 18, 10am-5pm
  • Sunday, May 19, 10am-5pm

We will feature artwork by our family of artists: Fanny Y. Cory, Jack Dorsey, Ann Cory, Jason Dorsey, April Nelson, and Jed Dorsey, as well as guest artists who we’ll reveal at a later time.

Studio Tour Ad - 2019

The Studio Stour is a fun way to see beautiful Camano Island and experience the vibrant colony of artists there. Enjoy this virtual tour of some of our artists.


Jack Dorsey - Color

Jack Dorsey, the patriarch of our family of artists, is a well known northwest artist whose artworks are collected and prized. Jack has painted for close to sixty years and has an impressive body of art that ranges watercolor landscapes to still life and western oils. Here’s your chance to see a broad collection of Jack’s works, get your hands on a Jack Dorsey original, and maybe even a great deal on it too.

The silent auction will work this way. There will be a minimum bid for each painting. If you want to take the painting today there will be a price for that too. At the end of the show we will see what painting is going to a new home.

The show will take place over three Saturdays in June:

  • Saturday, June 15, 10am-5pm
  • Saturday, June 22, 10am-5pm
  • Saturday, June 29, 10am-5pm


Jed Dorsey (1)

A highlight of our artistic season each year is Jed Dorsey’s solo show. Jed usually sells his shows out, and typically there are people waiting at the door to get in before the show opens!

Jed’s show will run on two Saturdays in October:

  • October 5th, 10am-5pm
  • October 12th, 10am-5pm

This year we’ll plan to host the show online as we did last October so Jed’s friends and fans across the US and world (remarkably, but it is true) can purchase his beautiful acrylic paintings.

If you want to learn more about Jed, or are interested in taking an online course in acrylics through his Acrylic University check out his web site:


Each year we do a themed Christmas show. Last year’s show was “Christmas in Miniature”. We haven’t settled on a theme for our 2019 Christmas show. Maybe we’ll stick with the Christmas in miniature theme. Maybe we’ll branch out with something new.

But for sure we’ll have a wonderful time sharing new original art, and affordable prints, books we’ve published, and lots of delicious food and drinks. We’ll also have fun inviting guests artists who help us make this an especially festive show packed with friends!

Our family looks forward to welcoming you in to our creative studio-gallery as we share the beauty of Camano with the world!


  • December 7th, 10am-5pm
  • December 14th, 10am-5pm


Mark Your Calendars for the 20th Anniversary Camano Island Mother’s Day Studio Tour this May

Sunnyshore Studio is excited to participate in the 20th Anniversary Camano Island Studio Tour and welcome the thousands of people who will make the pilgrimage down to the south end of Camano to view the many studios and galleries here.

The Studio Tour opens on Mother’s Day weekend, Friday, May 11th and runs Saturday, May 12th and Sunday, May 13th (10am-5pm) with an Encore Weekend, Saturday, May 19th and Sunday, May 20th (10am-5pm). 

Sunnyshore Studio will represent five generations of artists of the Dorsey family:

Fanny Y. Cory

Matriarch of our family of artists

Jack Dorsey

Father of Jason, April (Nelson), and Jed

Ann Cory

Granddaughter of Fanny Y. Cory and wife of Jack Dorsey

Jason Dorsey

Son of Jack Dorsey and Ann Cory

April Dorsey

Daughter of Jack Dorsey and Ann Cory


Jed Dorsey

Son of Jack Dorsey and Ann Cory

Julian Dorsey

Son of Jason Dorsey

Jackie Dorsey

Daughter of Jason Dorsey


We are especially thrilled to welcome Jed Dorsey back to Washington State! He will have just arrived the week of the Mother’s Day show and we can’t wait to share his epic artwork with old and new collectors.

We will also be featuring three guests artist which we’ll be introducing you to over the next month.

Mark your calendars for the Studio tour. And make sure to stop by Studio #5 as you enjoy Camano’s colony of artists and natural beauty. You won’t want to miss this event!



Sunnyshore Studio releases inspiring documentary

Sunnyshore Studio is thrilled to announce the release of Fanny, the Artist who made America smile.

This full-length documentary tells the story of Fanny Y. Cory who rose from a life of poverty and struggle to become one of the leading American illustrators, cartoonists and artists in the 20th century. Fanny’s life was an incredible testimony to what can be done when you refuse to accept your limitations. She had the rare gift of bringing humor out of misfortune and joy out of the shadows.

Her captivating story is especially inspiring for women, young to old.

The documentary weaves old recordings of herself and her son Bob, her lovely illustrations, cartoons and artwork, and current video of her four grandchildren to provide a historic snapshot of the life and times of a leading American illustrator whose path takes her from Waukegan, IL to New York City, to Canyon Ferry, Montana and finally Camano Island, Washington.

Enjoy discovering Fanny: The Artist who made America Smile.


If you’re interested in reading more about Fanny Y. Cory you can publish the newly released biography by Toni McCarty here.

Purchase Queen of Montana Beach: the story of artist Fanny Y. Cory


Release Announcement of Queen of Montana Beach: the story of artist Fanny Y. Cory.

Sunnyshore Studio announces the release of Toni McCarty’s biography of artist Fanny Y. Cory, Queen of Montana Beach.

In this fast-paced, engaging, captivating biography you will discover Fanny Y. Cory, one of the top illustrators and cartoonists in the twentieth century. You will watch her overcome great sadness and bring smiles to people across America. There is something in this book for everyone! Artists will be inspired by her artistic career, motivated by the desire to provide for her family. History buffs will enjoy snapshots of New York City at the turn of the century, life on a ranch in Montana during the years of the Great Depression, and life on Camano Island in the 1950’s and 60’s. And people who love children will be delighted at a woman who captured them in all of their innocence and whimsy.

You can purchase a copy at our Studio or our online store:



Thanks for Fanny Cory by David A. Day

Margaret Day, the granddaughter of F.Y. Cory and her husband Kenneth embarked on an incredible life adventure with their family starting in the late 50’s. Their relationship was forged in the fire of God’s love by the joining of 2 very different people who committed to one another to live life and raise a family in harmony with His plan.


Our family consisted of 5 children, 2 girls (Debbie and Beth) bookending the 3 brothers (David, Daniel and John).


Reflecting back on our experiences growing up, it now seems that just about everything in our lives did not conform to the societal norms. We wore hand-sewn clothes, rode in used cars that had been bought from someone Dad knew (never a new car), ate home-made foods (rarely went out to eat), drove 30 miles to church, and were encouraged to think and dream expansively.


Our parents wanted to do the best job they could in raising our family, and committed to sending all 5 of us to a Christian school in Mt. Vernon through 8th grade even though it was a big sacrifice. Mom and Dad did not want our brains to turn to mush – so no TV was allowed in our house for many years. Without the numbing influence of TV and secular radio, mom and dad intended for us to be creative and self-sufficient. I don’t remember any idea being squashed, or dream not having being attempted – we built tree forts, tanned a goat hide in the basement on the pool table (unsuccessfully…), made a wind tunnel and chickens were raised in the bathroom for science projects, Mom sewed a Daniel Boone outfit for Daniel out of a deer hide. By the way, this is just scratching the surface.

I didn’t realize how much Fanny Cory influenced my mom until sitting down with her earlier this year to ask her about her memories of her grandma and what she was like. Mom’s eyes lit up as she told me about the summers she and her siblings spent at the Canyon Ferry Ranch in Montana with their grandma and grandpa, and then the times spent at ”Meetsy’s” (Fanny’s nickname) Montana Beach cabin on Camano Island later in life.

I had made the commitment to my cousin Jason that I would write a tribute song to honor my great-grandma Meetsy to be sung by The Day Brothers at the celebration in honor of her 140th birthday. This song became “Thanks for Fanny Cory”

Music has played such an integral part of life in the Day family that it is impossible to even picture our life without music. Dad was an incredible singer, and had an infectious enthusiasm that drew people to sing along with him – whether leading congregational worship at church, playing his guitar or gathering around the piano to sing with the family. Mom loved music, and encouraged our musical adventures, but she was disappointed in her own musical contribution. We all took piano lessons until we could play a hymn of our own choosing, and most of us played musical instruments in school. All 5 of us can sing, and we can harmonize intuitively which is how our Dad sang – he could pick out various parts, and could sing with any of us, mixing in a harmony part that fit in to fill out the harmonious sound when singing with him. One of our special traditions in the Day family is to sing this grace acapella to the tune of the Doxology: Be present at our table, Lord. Be here and everywhere adored. These mercies bless and grant that we may strengthened for Thy service be. Amen.

We sang 4-part harmony to hymns in church or for special occasions as a family, but the 3 Day Brothers didn’t sing together until much later in life. I was 4 years older than Daniel, and while growing up didn’t work very hard to do things with the “little kids” (Daniel, John and Beth) and moved out of the house the day I turned 18, and was married to Karen by the age of 19! Daniel and John were only 1 ½ years apart and did many things together, and Daniel and John started singing and writing songs in high school and college. Our journey singing together as the Day Brothers started a decade ago when the 3 of us sang “Day by Day” at the church in Bellevue that John pastored. One of his parishioners heard us sing, and suggested that our strong vocal presence and harmony would lend itself to singing bluegrass.

At that time, I didn’t know what bluegrass was, and didn’t particularly think anything of that suggestion – but Daniel and John took that ball and ran with it. John started a bluegrass gospel jam in the basement with the help of his parishioner Mike who made that first suggestion. Daniel would drive down from Stanwood to go to that jam once per month and it was a howling success. Our dad had suffered a severe stroke that had silenced his voice – he would have loved this bluegrass adventure, but never got to participate with us in this endeavor. My melancholy perspective from watching my dad suffer and the death of my father-in-law changed my perspective on music. Prior to this, I was a strong advocate of contemporary music in the church, and was a worship leader with great enthusiasm for the role of music and worship in the church. But I found that as time went on, for the first time in my life, the response of my heart responding to music and worship had stopped. I would just sit in church – and be silent! That had never happened before. Dan and John invited me to drive up to Bellevue to their bluegrass gospel jam, and let me come bringing an electronic autoharp that I had bought to play something (at that time, I didn’t play any acoustic stringed instrument). I will never forget the experience of sitting at that jam, and as we sang songs like “Pass Me Not” or “In the Garden” tears would well up in my eyes, and my heart would leap once again as I thought about this amazing God who sent his Son to die for a lost world! My heart wasn’t dead after all it just needed a different perspective! For me, my journey to bluegrass was really a journey back to God.

The Day Brothers really jelled as we sang to comfort our brother John’s heart as he went through a very difficult season in his personal life. We found that as we sang together, time stopped, and we were transported to a very special realm where God was able to comfort and console. We now look for opportunities to share songs with others that move our hearts, and our hope is that by sharing these songs, it will touch the souls of our listeners. While John has been writing songs for years, Daniel was the next to add his voice in creating songs, and I have now dipped my toe with great trepidation into that adventure more recently. We love giving voice to experiences that have impacted our lives – our songs can be tender and heart-felt, tongue-in-cheek or even ironic.

Our great-grandma’s creative energy has flown through us in other ways. Daniel and I are now building instruments – this part of the journey started when Daniel moved to Oklahoma and found a luthier who taught a class on guitar building. I was able to find a similar program in Portland, and each of us now have built 6 or 7 instruments. It’s almost like we want to give new life and purpose to the wood from the trees, and we are especially interested in the quality and character of the instrument’s tone, while featuring the beauty of the wood.

One of the things that struck me while reflecting on Meetsy was that as she observed the world, she was able to see nuances of expression that she could somehow convey through her drawings. As I look at her painting “The end of a perfect day”, in my mind I can actually picture many times our family returned from some exhausting adventure or quest, and feel that tired satisfaction of having provided an experience for my family that they will never forget. That picture is the one that I was imagining while writing the chorus for “Thanks for Fanny Cory”. The first verse was taken from my conversation from my mother as she would share about how fun-loving and engaging that Meetsy was. She must have had an incredible imagination – and just maybe a part of her is influencing me since I am enjoying creating instruments that are unique and unlike any other instrument. She saw animals that existed, and imagined others that she saw with her mind’s eye – and brought us into that whimsical world. This is what I was alluding to in the 2nd verse of the song. My hope is that this song will speak to your heart, and like my great grandmother Fanny Cory, you will see the best in people, and that your curiosity about life will drive you on an unending, incredible quest for adventure.

Sunnyshore Opening Poster

The Grunt and Groan Art Club

I personally don’t remember not having my wonderful Grandma Meetsy  (Grandma Meetsy = nationally known illustrator, comic strip artist, Fanny Y. Cory) living across the road and down a lane from our Camano Island farm home.   I was the youngest of her daughter, Sayre’s, four children.

Dr. D, Bob Cooney, Mar D, Carol, FYC, Bud, Rob, Ted, Kay, Jean, Ann

Family picture with Fanny’s daughter, Sayre Dodgson’s, and son, Bob Cooney’s, and their children at the Dodgson farm on Camano Island. Ann Cory Dorsey is the little girl in the white dress, bottom right. Margaret Day  is standing third from the left in the back row. Fanny Y. Cory is at the top, far right. 

I also don’t remember there NOT being a “Grunt and Groan Art Club” but it was something that came to be after our grandma moved near us from her Montana ranch.   I grew up with it being an important part of our lives!

Meetsy's pictures I own, Robert scanned 007

Painting of a Grunt and Groan Art Club Member fast at work by Fanny Y. Cory

My older sister, Margaret Day, recalled her memories of the club’s early days, and how it came to be,  in a letter to her granddaughter, Amanda Day.  I could not say it better and being the youngest, I do not even know all these early details – and so I will share my sister’s story.

Margaret wrote, “Whenever we went over to her (Grandma Meetsy’s) house to visit,  we would sit around the big round oak table… which looked out on a lovely view of Puget sound.  There were always watercolor sets, brushes and Strathmore board small pieces sitting out and while we visited, we’d paint the view we saw.  We’d ask each other how we were doing on the sky, tree, sound, mountains and usually the only answer would be a congenial grunt ‘um hah!’”.  Or, as Margaret continued,  “One of the artists would exclaim over a less than perfect effect with a low ‘oh no!’ groan.”

Hence came the “birth of the ‘Grunt and Groan Club’” of which she was a charter member.  Of course, Meetsy and her daughter, Sayre, were the high officers.  My brothers Bud and Robert were probably charter members too .

Grunt and Groan Art Club postcard, Mar 4, 1957, Meetsy to Margaret resized b

A letter from Fanny Y. Cory to Margaret when she was at Nursing School in Chicago keeping her informed of the latest on the Grunt and Groan Art Club. 

However, personally as the youngest sibling, I remember worrying about painting something worthy enough to get myself into actual membership.  As I recall, I felt that I had achieved standing in the club with a piece I considered an exceptionally good art effort when I was about 12!

One thing about this art club, it was for fun.  It was not an instructional time at all.  I only remember two things about art that my Grandma ever told me all the years I knew her.  I treasure them like gold!

Some of Meetsy’s paintings during the “Grunt and Groan” sessions.

The club was resurrected many years later at my mother’s home in Stanwood.  Again young artists gathered around the same oak table.  This time it had been carefully covered with plastic tablecloths and on a certain day of the week for some months they all practiced painting with acrylic.

My mom, Sayre, now in her late 90’s was a happy observer, Margaret and I joined right into the fun one more time.  The youngsters were mainly Margaret’s grandchildren.  It ended up, some days at different times, there were maybe 9 of them who enjoyed this extra time of community art.  We older members gave some guidelines to the younger members, and we all did the proper amount of “grunting and groaning” as we attempted our great artist endeavors !

Once in a while, my husband, artist Jack Dorsey, stopped by and couldn’t resist giving an art pointer or two.  Unfortunately I can’t find photos of our larger group days together immersed in art – but did find photos of one day.


Anyway, may the “Grunt and Groan Art Club” live on forever at least in heart, as young people are encouraged to just try their hand in this wonderful world of color, form, design, creativity called “art”.

by Ann Cory Dorsey in collaboration with Margaret Day 


Showcase of Fanny Y. Cory one month from today… ready or not!

One month from today we will showcase the life and cultural legacy of Fanny Y. Cory whether we are ready to do so or not. Here are a list of the jobs still to be done.

Can we do it?

Complete Fanny: The Artist who made America smile Documentary

We are creating a documentary movie that tells the story of Fanny Y. Cory titled “Fanny: The Artist who made America smile.” My son Julian and I shot footage in Montana this summer, and we interviewed the four grandchildren of Fanny. We have also collected a lot of old video and photographs. Now comes the task of weaving the footage and interviews and photos into the compelling story that Fanny’s life is.

Here’s an example of some of the raw footage that we have.

(1) footage of the old studio, bunkhouse and windmill that was moved to higher ground in 1952 when the water of Lake Sewell was raised which left the old ranch completely under water.

(2) Footage of a morning sunrise over Canyon Ferry Lake (once called Lake Sewell).

(3) Footage of our interview with Amanda, Curator of Collections at the Montana Museum, in the vault where Fanny’s original Fairy Alphabet paintings are stored.

My friend Chris Wyatt, who is a film critique and film maker has promised to provide some consulting on pulling together the final product. But there is a lot of work still to go. Can we do it?

Release of a new biography of Fanny titled, Queen of Montana Beach: the story of artist Fanny Y. Cory by Toni McCarty.

The least of our problems is picking up the 600 copies of the book on my day off, Monday, October 2nd. The much bigger job before me is arranging two book signings in the Seattle area. I’m happy to say one is nailed down in Redmond on Monday, October 16th, and will include a showing of the documentary film. Besides this there is setting up an account on Amazon as an individual seller, nailing the on-line pre-release of the book on October 1st, and all the other promotion that will help us sell all 600 copies before the end of the year.

Queen Cover - FINAL

Preparing the Display

Because this is a showcase of the life and cultural legacy of Fanny, there is a lot of work still to be done to create a visual showcase telling her story through photographs, timelines, newspaper articles, etc. There are letters to go through, many magazine articles and newspaper clippings to present, all with the goal of telling the story of this amazing woman. Besides all of that there are 24 fairy prints to frame.

And if that was not enough…

Hanging the Show

We have to collect the art and hang the show. This is where Jenny the “collager” shines. But she will have her work cut out for her.

She will find a way to showcase the 24 paintings of the Fairy Alphabet.

Fanny Y. Cory, Daffodils

She will display the over 40 books that Fanny illustrated. She will showcase “Sonny” which was a nationally syndicated daily cartoon that ran in newspapers all over the country – and world – for 35 years,

and “Little Miss Muffet”, another syndicated cartoon that was King Syndicate’s rival to “Little Orphan Annie.”

Little Miss Muffet by Fanny Y Cory, King Features Syndicate b

She will find a way to show the beautiful paintings of Fanny like this one of a rose.

Cottage Roses by FYC

She will display the many magazine covers and illustrations that Fanny’s art was featured in like these.

And also show the sweet illustrations of Fairies that Fanny made in her late years. They show Fanny’s decline eyesight and less control of the brush that came in her 80’s, but still they sparkle with her vivid imagination and love of beauty.

And if that was not all, Jenny will find a way to demonstrate many of the hundreds of paintings that Fanny did looking out her window on the southwest side of Camano Island, onto Saratoga passage and the Olympic Mountains beyond. These paintings catch the changing seasons that Fanny witnessed, and show the overflow of her creativity.

It will be in short, an incredibly rich and strikingly beautiful show.

Meetsy's pictures I own, Robert scanned 020

Those who are able to visit Sunnyshore Studio on Saturday, October 14th and October 21st, will be treated to an amazing display of creativity, beauty and imagination that was Fanny Y. Cory!

Can we pull it off? By God’s grace, I hope we can!

Dear Meetsy by Megan Weidler

Dear Meetsy,

As a girl, when I didn’t know what to do or where to go to find peace, I would go sit on the sand cliffs and look out over the great waters of Puget Sound. The music of the waters lapping at the shore would quiet my heart. When I close my eyes, I can still see across the waters to the distant shore and forested peaks of Whidbey Island rising up to the sky.

FYC enjoying morning at Montana Beach a.jpg

Can you guess where I was? I was at Montana Beach, your home. My parents Robert and Sandy moved there from their Seattle houseboat on Lake Union a year after you passed away. My sister Heather, who you held as a baby, was two years old then. As I was born in 1974, you and I never met.

Yet, throughout my life, I’ve heard stories of you from Grandma Sayre (your daughter) and my parents. As long as I can remember, I’ve always known you were my great grandma. Just recently I heard the lilt of your voice for the first time. It was on a voice recording Dad had made. You were telling stories about your early years in Montana as a girl and time in New York City. I feel like I know you now, so I wanted to write to tell you a little bit about me, my favorite memories from Montana Beach, and your legacy in my family.

FYC ranch, Margaret Dodgson

In 1976, Mom and Dad formed a corporation called F. Y. Cory Publishers to preserve your Fairy Alphabet watercolors as a set and endeavor to publish them as a book. Grandma Sayre and Uncle Bob (your son) also joined the corporation with their spouses Tom and Carol.

When I was around three years old, we invited all of our local dearies to Montana Beach and took pictures. We got a great portrait of Grandma Sayre and Grandpa Tom. Family photos were taken for each of their kids (your grandkids): Margaret, Bud, Dad, and Ann. There was even a photograph taken of all sixteen of us grandkids (your great grandchildren) on the steps of the cottage. Looking back on it now, I realize this took place around 1977, one hundred years after you were born in Waukegan, Illinois.

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Over the years, F. Y. Cory Publishers had cards and prints made from your Fairy Alphabet paintings which adorned the walls of our cottage and filled my young heart with wonder. I always thought “B” for Baby looked like me trying to put on my socks. Since I was five years old, my favorite has been “L” for Lullaby. As you wrote in the accompanying rhyme, “L is for Lullaby the robin sings, while the old gray spider the hammock swings.”

During Summer, I would spend as much time as possible down at the beach with my parents, sister, or cousin April. It reminds me of the rhyme you wrote for “N” of your Fairy Alphabet. “N is for Nymph, who lives by the sea, where the waves go ‘boom’ and the gulls go ‘skee.’” I remember sunning myself in the sandy slopes and then racing to cool off in the icy waters.

On rare and most treasured occasions, Dad set up his Marx electric train set on the cottage living room floor. He would tell how you gave it to him and Bud for Christmas when they were boys. I would watch with amazement at the working front light and how it sparked as it went flying around the metal track. He even showed me how to work the transformer to make the train go forward and backwards.

In our family, there is a most famous tree that stands tall as a legend. In your seventies, fresh from your ranch life in Montana, you decided a particular tree on your Camano Island property needed to be cut down. So, you set your ax at the base of the tree. Each time you walked by the tree to your garage or back to your cottage, you took a single swing at the tree trunk. Eventually, you felled the tree. I remember this story from time to time when there is a daunting task before me and smile.

Great Grandma, you and I were born almost 100 years apart and forty-three years have passed since my birth. So much has happened. In 1986, my family moved from Montana Beach to a home in Bothell, Washington where my parents still happily reside. F. Y. Cory Publishers successfully published your Fairy Alphabet book in 1991 and again in 2011.  What a labor of love it has been for my parents to preserve and share your artwork with the world for these past 41 years.

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Lord Jesus gave me a strong and kind husband named John in 2008, just over nine years ago now. We have a seven-year-old son named Johnny who knows you are his great great grandma.  He also very much enjoys that Marx electric train set on the rare and treasured occasions we have played with it.

I miss you.



Written by Megan Dodgson Weidler for her Great Grandma Fanny “Meetsy” Cory Cooney 

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