The Grasslands, Near and Far
Watercolours by Catherine Macaulay, Oil paintings by Laureen Marchand
In this exhibition by Val Marie-based artists Catherine Macaulay and Laureen Marchand, we see the Grasslands in both vista and detail. Occupying a space between botanical accuracy and more abstracted representation, Catherine Macaulay’s small watercolours of grasses and flowers are landscape on an intimate scale, one that she lives in and has walked through. She invites her viewers into that landscape, and those who follow her find their own experience has deepened. Laureen Marchand’s oil paintings of a vast region shown in a miniature space invite us to explore how we engage with the beauty around us. Her representation, painterly and precise at the same time, stems from a belief that if she can paint someone or something so it looks the most like itself, it might help viewers see not just the painting’s subject, but themselves in it.
Catherine Macaulay was born in Swift Current, Saskatchewan and grew up on a farm northwest of that city. After several years exploring other locations both near and far, she reclaimed her country roots, moving to a small acreage on the Frenchman River just outside of the village of Val Marie, Saskatchewan, on the edge of Grasslands National Park. Catherine has exhibited across western Canada and in Scotland and Ireland, and is represented in public and private collections across the country and overseas.
Laureen Marchand lives in Val Marie, Saskatchewan, just north of the Montana border at the gateway to Grasslands National Park. Though she spent many years living a city life, she now calls this region home. Laureen exhibited regionally, nationally, and her paintings have been recognized by the Saskatchewan Arts Board and the Canada Council and are held in many public and private collections.
“The wide open prairie can feel both overwhelming and empty; however, a closer examination reveals a world of subtle detail and infinite colour. This close-up view turns the expansive into something much more personal and intimate.” – Catherine Macaulay
“In this series of artworks, I invite you to place yourself in some of Canada’s most remote and subtle landscapes, exploring how we engage with the beauty around and in us. This isn’t the easily perceived allure of majestic mountains or towering pines or wild oceanic tides. This is an experience that takes time to know and patience to understand – a more human beauty.” – Laureen Marchand