Mary Masters, "Leafy Lane," 2003, watercolour, 10" x 10".
By Jill Sawyer
The spirit of the west is clearly captured in Mary Masters’ crisp watercolours. Some of her canvases reflect the white light found in a Western Canadian winter sky, and the variegated shades of blue and green in a forested mountainside. Born in Buckinghamshire, England, Masters travelled extensively, particularly through Africa and points around the Indian Ocean, before settling in Canada in the early 1980s. Though she had studied art in all media at High Wycombe College of Art and Design, she came to watercolours later in life, when she was given a roll of delicate blueprint paper by a friend and began experimenting with her children’s paintbox. She now works full-time in her studio, painting from memory – sometimes scenes from the lush gardens of her English childhood, or a heritage laneway in Boston. But most often she paints landscapes from the West, whether they’re snowy Saskatchewan farmhouses or Yukon cabins. Masters is represented by Gallery de Jonge in Spruce Grove, Alberta, and by Collectors’ Choice Art Gallery in Saskatoon, which will exhibit her work April 17 to May 8, preview April 16, 2004.