Marsha Mitchell

Artist’s Statement

My work has always concerned itself with the peaceful times of the day -or the year- when hardly anyone goes outdoors and nature prevails. This became a constant during the Covid19 lockdowns, starting in late winter of 2020.

Pristine landforms and ephemeral effects of light on water, which have characterized landscape painting since its neoclassical beginnings, still present themselves in Gatineau Park. Here, the built environment has not taken over the lake-rimmed landforms of the ancient Canadian Shield.

Working in Ottawa in the 1970s and 80s, I explored graphic design, audiovisual production, film and writing; in government, the private sector and NGOs. Richard Gorman, Ron Shuebrook and James Boyd, who taught advanced painting in Ottawa, gave me a solid grounding in abstraction. A Master’s Degree from Carleton University gave me a solid grounding in landscape history. Onsite explorations of nature were always encouraged, both with oil media on canvas and with my camera.

Later, travels to world-class museums introduced me to the most brilliant landscape colourists in the history of western art; from JMW Turner to Joan Mitchell. Their formal explorations in painting the innate nature of a place have greatly influenced my work.