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Elspeth Cameron has done watercolours on and off since she was a child. She took art lessons then from a Barrie, ON, artist. In Grade 8 she won a prize at the Canadian National Exhibition for a large mural of Queen Elizabeth and her Commonwealth. Since then she has studied Botanical watercolours at U of T (where she taught English), acrylics at the Toronto School of Art, and private lessons with various artists. Over the last decade she has taken five courses at the Pumphouse in NOTL.
Since retiring from teaching at Brock University and McGill’s Centre for the Study of Canada in 2011, she has built a small studio and paints more often.
“I have sampled oil painting, acrylics, pastels, and mixed media, but I always return to watercolour. I like the way watercolour painting feels. There is a flow, and often “accidents” when colors collide, or drift, are truly exciting and make paintings more interesting. I love the way watercolour can be delicately translucent or richly dark. I have learned about the chemical properties of different colors. Some make a light impression that can be entirely removed. Others are opaque. Some are intense stains that are indelible.
My subjects are most often people and animals. I have done various portraits - an area I intend to pursue further. I have done many animal portraits from photos on commission for owners or as gifts. I have done one major family portrait in acrylic from photos on commission. I will continue to consider commissions of this sort.
I would describe myself as a colourist. I love color, the juxtaposition of colours, the surprise of mixing their singularity, letting them interpenetrate. It seems essential.”