Mary Doane


Originally from Nova Scotia, I lived in Quebec for 37 years. It was during my training in interior decoration that I first used watercolour as a medium to render perspective drawings. After practicing as an interior designer for several years, I began teaching the profession at the Centre de formation professionnelle Marie-Rollet in Sainte-Foy, Quebec, and for 27 years I taught all things concerning colour, harmony, balance…
All through my life I’ve experimented with many forms of artistic expression. As a child, my parents always encouraged us to “make things” and the confidence I gained in my capable hands has never left me. For over 25 years I created Pysanky, Ukranien Easter eggs. During this time I was invited to numerous festivals, expositions and television shows to display my work. Working Pysanky pushed me to excel in the rendering of precise details as well as developing my patience, since a decorating a single egg can take as many as 12 hours. The palette of colours available for this traditional art form is quite limited and the challenge is in the planning of the patterns so that the contrasts of colours create a pleasing rhythm.
With time, this form of expression became too limiting and in 1999, under the watchful eye of watercolour artist Paul-Yvan Gagnon, I once again took up watercolours as my primary medium.
I tend to be a reflective person; I am drawn to the representation of detailed subjects, often in a close-up view. I enjoy drawing the spectator’s eye to details that would otherwise go unnoticed and bring him or her to discover the beauty that is to be found in the textures and forms of the everyday objects around us. Even though spectacular beauty awaits us when we lift our eyes towards a picturesque landscape, wonderful discoveries can be made by looking closely at a bird’s feather, the texture of tree bark or the fascinating patterns created by old paint that peels off to let ancient wood peek through…
Watercolour is a medium that does not easily forgive; before putting my brush to paper I study my subject to get to know it in the smallest detail and to be able to see, in my mind, the finished product before even wetting my brush. Preliminary sketches and colour tests allow me to work out all the problems of composition, contrasts, light and shadow. Once these elements have been thought through I can concentrate solely on the watercolour itself, always enthralled to see the colours and shapes appear on the paper.
My work is represented by 14 Bells Fine Art Gallery in the Hydrostone District, Halifax.


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