born in Hull, Yorkshire, England, my nationality is
Canadian. I was
raised by the family plus staying with my grandmother
who was like a ship in full sail.
Erect, long black silk dress, lace at her throat
and two strands of pearls.
Her hair up in pins.
I came to Canada when I was 10.
My mother married a Canadian.
We came by ship – it was very rough; I loved
it. Standing up
near the bow with my new father, his arm around me, the
bow rose up and crashed down again.
my birth date? I
took my date of birth off my CV years ago because the
assumptions about women and age are rampant.
I am not a little old lady who paints.
I am healthy, I love my life as an artist; I have
always painted since I was a child and now have painted
full time for 35 years. I’ve
been very successful with about 70 shows in Canada and
the U.S.A., over 200 corporate collections, National and
Provincial collections and a watercolour in the Royal
Collection of Prints & Drawings, in Windsor Castle,
three times a week, hike, ski, have my own canoe and
kayak – I’ve been nine times to the high Arctic,
paddled the west coast of British Columbia, camped in
the Amazon rainforest, hiked the back country of
done Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, Egypt, Europe, New
Zealand and on and on. In
May 2011, a trip to the Scottish Isles by ship,
preparatory to an exhibition of Scottish watercolours,
then on to London.
in love with the Canadian landscape.
The Canadian life, camping, canoe tripping,
hiking, photographing, sketching and drawing to take
back to the studio. The
Arctic, vast bare, loaded, powerful, soaring black rock
face, glaciers hundreds of feet high bursting into the
isolation, a million miles of vacancy.
Always I have been fascinated by water, dip the
paddle into the lake or the sea, icebergs, waterfalls.
I glory in them. The
exquisite sensation of being in a place where I can say
to myself, I may be the only person who has ever stopped
here. I want to
paint the thrill of falling water.
hardest part of my artist journey is how to manage my
life as a painter and the people I love.
Artistic journey is hard, period.
There have been many gratifying experiences in my
journey as well.
like people to look at my work and feel “something”.
Is there anything else?
I am known as an innovator, a colourist.
I’ve always pushed the edge with delight, to
see what I could do. My
latest work in watercolour is the best so far.
I love transparent vibrant colour, beautiful
papers and big size. The
thrill and challenge of a five-foot piece of paper is my
idea of cloud nine.
Pat Fairhead is
Trias Gallery, Toronto,
Thielsen Galleries Inc.
- London, Ontario
Agora Gallery, Chelsea,