Tucked inside the old Quebec Street Shoppes, inside the Guelph Artisans Store that’s run by the GCAA (Guelph Creative Arts Association) is a wall that proudly displays some amazing works of art.
Amongst them are the works of Margaret Peter, a local Guelph artisan who has been contributing to the local art scene for many years. Having always fostered a love of art, Margaret has been making a name for herself since her graduation from the Fine Arts program at the University of Guelph in 1974. She has dabbled in many different mediums, attended workshops and classes to broaden her horizons but her favourite art forms remain print making, acrylic painting, and painting with oil and cold wax.
Working with a 50/50 mixture of oil paint and cold wax has lent itself to some very fluid and unique pieces that have so much depth they compel you to sit and take them in for a while. They invite you to re-experience past memories that evoke strong emotions and asks you to recognize and question the artist’s choices. Not only does her work connect you to the past but it also feeds the future. The cold wax mixture allows Margaret to build up areas of the canvas that feeds the intensity of the experience and the end results are always a strong combination of concept vision and mastery of medium.
When inspiration strikes, Margaret can spend hours at a time in her studio in the Williams Mill Visual Arts Centre completing her vision.
Margaret’s favourite work lies in her abstract and landscape work as each has its own personal narrative that she loves to watch unfold on the canvas. “With landscapes you know where you’re going. You start with a photo but the events, the sky and the colours can all be changed” says Margaret.
When working with abstracts, she enjoys the evolution of the work as it starts with a colour pallet and brushes, and grows into rollers, mark making tools and textures.
She draws inspiration from many places, like the Group of Seven, but it’s the artists she has met in her personal experience, like Lila Lewis Irving or Jan Mason Steeves, that have really shaped her and her art. She has taken her craftsmanship and made it accessible to everyone through her gallery showings (like her upcoming show at Miijidaa Cafe and Bistro running May to July) or the classes that she herself offers. If you have ever thought of trying your hand at art or some other creative outlet and you’ve found yourself doubting your capabilities, think of what Margaret says. “Go for it. You never know if you like it until you try it. We’re all creative in our own ways. We all have a creative talent that we have to let loose”
Margaret is an elected member of The Ontario Society of Artists and the Society of Canadian Artists. Works are in public and private collections.
Written by: Tala Jenkins | Photography: Paul Spears