Margaret Mair:  Profile

Quick Profile:  

Born in Kingston, Jamaica, 1950.  Lived in Ontario, Canada between 1969 and 2005.  Beginning in 2005, remained based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada while traveling in the Atlantic islands of Europe, the Caribbean and along the east coast of the Americas.

More About the Artist:

I was born Margaret Cumper in Kingston Jamaica.   I enjoyed a rich and happy childhood and youth there, surrounded by life, colour and warmth, and lucky enough to have the privilege of being exposed to a wide variety of art, music and dance there and in family travels abroad.

I came to Canada as a social science student, taking with me a love of rich and vibrant colour, a zest for exploring new experiences and the persistent habit of doodling.  My training in art began later in life with books on drawing. More formal training in use of pastels and acrylics followed with lessons with Isabel van Zant and D.D. Gadjanski; less formal learning took place at demos and through continuing reading about technique and colour; and I learned a great deal just talking to fellow artists  and looking at their work. I was encouraged to keep learning, exploring and painting by many who saw my work, others who bought my paintings, and the responses of fans, friends and acquaintances.  

Now I am working mainly in acrylic using a variety of techniques, with time taken to explore watercolors, oil pastels and pencil work. Certain themes tend to recur in my work - the dancing body, bodies integrated into landscape, visual comments on the state of the world, and the use of figures more and less abstract.  When asked, I once described my work this way:  My goal is to create images which draw the eyes and engage the mind and heart.

"It is not what we see,
but how we see it..."

A Brief Biography:  Artistic Development

I began my journey to becoming an artist by learning drawing techniques in 1992.

Since then I have developed my techniques and knowledge mainly through a process of exploration, observation, communication, experimentation and osmosis.

Former member and a past Chair of SOYRA (Society of York Region Artists)

B.A., M.A., York University

Art courses taken:
Working with pastels (portraits), Isabel van Zant, 1992
Working with fluid acrylics, D.D. Gadjanski, 1997
Demos and workshops in drawing, water-colour, oils and acrylics, 1993 to 2004.

Art Aurora (juried), 1999 and 2000
SOYRA (Society of York Region Artists) Annual Fall Show, 1997-2004
The Mansion, Carrying Place Golf and Country Club, 2000
Varley Gallery (Courtyard), 2001
Aurora Fair, 2001
Skylight Gallery, Aurora Town Hall, 2001
Artlinks School and Community Show, Aurora, 2001 and 2002
The Corner Gallery, Newmarket, 2000, 2001, 2002
Corner Coffee House, Newmarket, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005
Aurora Library Art Show, 2003, 2004
Aurora Town Hall, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004
East Gwillimbury Town Hall, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2005
Barristers’ Lounge, Newmarket Court House, 2005
Newmarket Town Hall, 2002
Libra Lounge, Toronto, 2009:  We Are Islands - Islands of Hope

Paintings Donated To:
Mooredale Youth Orchestra
People for Education
Pueblito Canada

Proceeds from paintings and prints donated to:
Pueblito Canada/FUNARTE

“Strong and interesting work…”
“My eye was drawn first by the strength of the design…”
“There is a sculptural quality to the figures…”
“The intense colours reflect her Caribbean heritage…”

Future Shows:
Currently developing new work based on the idea of "Glimpses".