Margaret Burns, Leah Murray, Sarah Power, and Jenny Lewis have gathered to bring warmth, simplicity, comfort and colour (“hygge”) to the forefront of the dark autumn season through their various art forms.
Between the four of them, they have over 90 years of arts experience. Find out more about each of them below!
Margaret Burns is a versatile artist who says her art keeps her connected to the world. At 88 she is still creating new forms of art. She says she didn’t find the creative side of her brain until her mid-thirties, at which time it was fostered by necessity more than by the joy of doing arts and crafts.
As a young person Margaret had no interest in anything artistic, but once the creative juices were flowing there was no stopping her. When she and her husband Ted were laid off of their jobs within a week of each other, they immediately started to design artistically sand cast candles which really sold well for them, with people lining up to buy them.
Once the creative bug really got under Margaret’s skin, she began making beautiful batiks, and one of her larger pieces was chosen for part of the TV ad for the Toronto Exhibition.
Her busy Muse next pushed her into sculptural weaving, making large wall hangings and masks. Margaret was exploring constantly, and once she mastered a craft, her interest in it waned and she moved on to the next challenge. She began creating one of a kind dolls, which were collected all over North America by eager purchasers.
In the late seventies the family moved to Florida and Margaret decided to explore watercolor painting. Her husband encouraged her by providing her with the best paints, brushes and substrates, saying that cheap materials would only hold her back. Confident of her skills only two weeks after she began, he entered her work into a juried art show, and much to her surprise she took second place. This was the affirmation she needed, and she paints in watercolors to this day.
After her husband passed away from cancer, Margaret travelled in a motorhome from Florida to Alaska, painting and selling her work. Hurricane Andrew cost her everything she owned in 1992, so with her daughter and grandson she returned to Canada, settling on Vancouver Island.
As much as she loved painting, she wanted yet more challenges, and began to cast about for something she could incorporate with her beloved watercolors. At the age of 75, she enrolled in the Fine Arts program at North Island College in the Comox Valley to study printmaking. Four years of studying etching, intaglio, silkscreen, woodcut and collagraph followed by two more years as an independent student gave her the opportunity to experiment with all the incredible equipment available, and to indulge her great pleasure in working alongside younger students.
Margaret has now moved to the Lower Mainland and continues to paint watercolors, combine them with her printmaking, and experiment with everything that comes to hand. She is a regular artist at the Art Walk on the White Rock Waterfront every summer whenever the weather permits. Her truly unique watercolours on sand dollars are signature pieces.
Margaret maintains her arts practice in her studio located at 7327 184 Street (West Clayton), in Surrey when she’s not adding to her skills or exhibiting.
Margaret can be reached via:
Leah Murray is passionate about the wild lives that share our world and the exquisite organism that is the earth itself, and this passion drives her work. She feels that at the end of her day, the most enduring thing she will leave behind is the evolving world into which she was born: documenting the greater art that she is living within has become something of a raison d’etre.
She has been fortunate to find opportunities for doing this work on two continents in the northern hemisphere. Using digital arts, a habit of continuous learning, and training in classical and contemporary writing, drawing, photography, music and videography, she has been developing her “Celtic eye”, and applying that lens to the world around her.
The mystical and mythologically expressed connection between humans, community and the earth is illustrated in both her literary and visual work, encouraging explorations of nature, people, and spiritual growth. Collaging photography, original poetry, and prose to express scenes from world myths and legends, she creates immersive experiences for her audience in the form of short videos, photographic prints, chapbooks, and published anthologies.
She has been strongly influenced by Ansel Adams, the late Galen Rowell, Jerry Uelsmann and Franz Lanting, all photographers who made or make a lifelong habit of learning and growing. Literary influences include the classical poets, Stephen Fry, Margaret Atwood and Christina Rossetti. In the world of film, James Cameron and Peter Jackson have inspired her to constantly grow and stretch the boundaries of her storytelling skills.
Leah can be reached via:
Sarah Power’s art career began in high school, when her gifts for visual arts in many mediums were encouraged.
A foundation year at Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 1999 cemented her inclination toward a life in the arts, and she followed this with a 2 year Diploma program in Graphic Design from the Art Institute of Vancouver in 2005.
Since then, Sarah has been working in the graphic design business and with a variety of arts organizations around the Lower Mainland, lending her keen eye for whimsical contemporary art and diplomatic guidance to clients and employers alike.
The Muse has been constant, and Sarah’s incessant doodling and sketching on every available spare surface coalesces into whimsical, layered and nuanced artworks after a processing period in the studio.
Sarah can be reached via:
Jenny Lewis’ art career began early in life, when her gifts in the arts were noted and encouraged by her supportive and close-knit family.
She graduated from Kwantlen College in 2006 with a Fine Arts Diploma.
Jenny lives and works in the Cloverdale area of BC’s lower mainland, and has been a working artist for more than ten years.
She’s known for her unique acrylic ink splatter pieces. Her inspiration comes from a wide variety of sources, and her unique composition and vibrant colour palette result in artwork that is always fresh and lively.
Jenny’s work is constantly evolving, and as she explores new art forms and experiments with different media her discoveries lead to breathtaking art pieces.
Jenny can be reached via: