Vanderpas is fascinated by the powerful forces that have shaped
the landscape and the effects that time and weather have had upon
the earth’s surface.
Canadian Shield is one of North America’s most exquisite and
distinctive landscapes and I delight, not only in the discovery of
exceptional locations while on hiking and kayaking journeys but
also in translating my experiences of these landscapes onto canvas
in bold and vivid colours,” says Margarethe who is a Signature
Member of the Artists for Conversation. This non-profit group of
nature artists from around the world works collectively to promote
their work and, at the same time, to promote the conservation of
our natural heritage. “For me, spending time in nature has an
invigorating rejuvenating effect and I want my work to convey
this. In essence, I am paying homage to nature with each painting
1988, Margarethe experienced her first kayaking trip along the
shore of Georgian Bay and this would have a profound effect on her
art. “I believe there is a turning point in every artist’s
evolution, for me it was experiencing nature in a new way,
immersing myself in it for days at a time,” says Margarethe.
“It was then that I began to notice nature’s rhythms. The
scenery was spectacular and I was hooked.” Many of
Margarethe’s paintings depict views from her kayak looking
towards the shoreline.
oil on canvas paintings in this exhibition are based on
Margarethe’s kayaking and hiking expeditions along the shores of
Georgian Bay that include incredible views of the Canadian Shield.
The paintings are of locations along the eastern and northern
shores of Georgian Bay as well as Fraser Bay, which lies north of
the village of Killarney.
painting begins from a reference photograph taken by Margarethe or
a sketch using pencil, pen and ink or soft pastels to capture the
colours and moods of a particular location. These are brought back
to her studio in Lion’s Head, Ontario, where they are worked
into large paintings. Sometimes, she will start by painting a
small sketch before embarking on a larger piece. This allows
Margarethe to work out just the right colour scheme for a painting
in advance. “This is particularly important in my work as I
often use complimentary colours and they cannot intermix or the
result is mud. I select my colour schemes carefully in an attempt
to capture the true spirit of the place.” In preparing for this
one-woman exhibition, Margarethe discovered a new colour palette
for her paintings.
was born in the Netherlands and her family immigrated to Canada
when she was six years old. She spent most of her childhood
growing up on farms in southwestern Ontario with a great deal of
time outdoors. Every autumn, after the harvest was done, her
family would travel to Muskoka for a four-day camping adventure.
It was the highlight of their year.
parents encouraged Margarethe’s early interest in art and on
trips to Europe, would take her to art galleries and museums, her
favourite being the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam where she was drawn
to the work of the artists of the Dutch Golden Age, particularly
Vermeer and Rembrandt for their attention to detail and dramatic
use of light. On subsequent trips to the Netherlands, she was
introduced to the post-impressionist work of Vincent Van Gogh who
she admired for his use of bold colours and vigorous brushwork.
studied fine art at the University of Western Ontario then
transferred to Queen’s University into the art history program.
She received a Bachelor of Arts, Honours degree in 1987 and a
Bachelor of Education degree in the Artist in Community Education
Program the following year. Upon graduating, she taught secondary
school for several years then transitioned careers in 1996, moving
to London to pursue painting and to start a graphic design
business. She began selling paintings from her home, participating
in art shows and secured gallery representation. As the demand for
her art increased, she devoted more time to painting.
the beginning, Margarethe’s work was photo realistic then
becoming much more interpretive with bolder use of colour and
greater emphasis on line and shape. “I consciously try and
create pieces that glow from within and do this by keeping my
colours as clean and intense as possible. In doing so, I have
developed a signature style of painting,” remarks Margarethe.
For the past fifteen years, Margarethe has been painting the
Canadian landscape, exploring new regions of Ontario, aiming to
capture the water and worn, weathered rock formations of the
hope that when people look at her paintings that they will have a
renewed appreciation for the beauty of the Canadian landscape and
experience it as a living entity that we need to protect and
respect. Wind, Water, Rock and Trees opens with a public reception
on Saturday, September 28 between 1pm and 4pm.