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I was born in Ontario's very-far-north in Pickle Crow, 1938; in 1941 we moved to Port Credit, Ontario. A once-known painter, Tom Roberts, swiped our house in 1944, but I forgave him as he taught me to paint. In 1947 I started painting seriously with Adrian Dingle, who was an excellent teacher and painter. In 1949 he sent me to the Doon School of Fine Arts and for the next five years I spent every summer in its entirety learning from some of the very best, including Carl Schaefer, Herb Ariss, Clare Bice, Yvonne McKague Housser, York Wilson and Alex Miller. Casson and Varley taught there; Dorothy Stevens taught portrait groups. It was a thorough grounding overall. We learned as much from soaking up conversations with these wonderful teachers and mentors as we did in studying with them and acquiring various techniques.

In 1956 I attended the Ontario College of Art, where I once more had marvelolous teachers and influences . . . perhaps I should particularly mention those. Jock Macdonald and Eric Freifeld were surrogate fathers to me, along with the dear and irascible Carl Schaefer, Fred Hagan, John Alfsen, Victor Papenek, Rowley Murphy . . . on the outer rim Graham Coughtry and Aba Bayefsky teaching how not to teach. I also worked at the Stratford Festival Theatre that summer painting costumes; this was a broadening experience which later led to me doing some theatrical work (in Beirut and Bangkok, of all places).

I graduated from the Ontario College of Art in 1960 with a major scholarship (the T. Eaton Award . . . first female recipient ever . . .) plus a Tyrone Guthrie Award from Stratford. With this I left for Spain for a year, which eventually turned into 14 exuberant years of painting, learning, travelling and exhibiting. I met Antonio Tapies briefly. I lived in Spain just outside of Malaga; I moved to Darmstadt, Germany from 1960 to 1962 where I exhibited at the stadtsmuseum in several group shows. I moved back to Spain in 1962, exhibited with el Grupo at the museo de Bellas Artes in Malaga, and set off overland by an old VW camping bus via North Africa arriving in Beirut November 1963. While in Beirut I taught some painting courses and had three successful exhibitions before heading east again in 1967 . . . across Asia this time, once more in the old VW bus.

This gave me a unique opportunity to become familiar with the Eastern artistic traditions, old and new . . . at least as they existed in the 60's. Eventual arrival in Bangkok via Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, settling down there painting, teaching private students, exhibiting in a few small galleries, and having my first son. In 1970 I moved to Hong Kong, where I painted, had one small exhibition, learned some new ink techniques, and two more sons were born.

In 1974 I returned to Canada, moving to Glen Allan, Ontario, and had two more children. I painted small works, and exhibited with the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of Artists at their annual shows from 1970 onward. I taught an art course at St John's-Kilmarnock School in Breslau, Ontario in 1985 and frequently exhibited in "Insights" group shows at the Wellington Museum County Museum and Archives in Fergus, Ontario, receiving the SunArt Award in 1997. I was one of the cofounders as well as one of the curators of Gallery 2000 in Kitchener. In 1998 I was privileged to participate in a show at the Art Gallery of Peel, Brampton, Ontario and from 2000 through 2002 I participated in the "Insights" Wellington Museum and Archives group shows in Fergus, Ontario. In 2003 I participated in the Waterloo Community Arts Centre's "The BIG Show", Homer Watson House & Gallery's group show of "Cruikshank", and displayed in the juried show at the Tom Thomson Art Gallery in Owen Sound, receiving the Lincoln Croft Memorial Award. In 2004 I had a solo show at the Waterloo Community Arts Centre, and in 2005 I had a solo show at the KOR Art Gallery, a solo show at the Waterloo Regional Arts Council and was an artist in the Toronto International Art Expo.

Copyright 2009 Macdonald Roberts. All rights reserved.