When she was a young girl, Mary-Dawn Roberts could always be found colouring or drawing horses - her father raised and showed Belgian horses as a hobby. As a student, she credits her teachers for nurturing and encouraging her artistic abilities. Though art was her passion, she eventually pursued a career in Home Economics at the University of Guelph. It wasn’t until Mary-Dawn moved back to the Guelph area that she began a full-time career with her love and passion for painting.
A professional artist since 1975, Mary-Dawn Roberts creates works of art using watercolour, oil and acrylic with a focus on landscapes, flowers and floral landscapes. In addition to the many beautiful picturesque locations near Guelph, Mary-Dawn is inspired by the private and public gardens of southern Ontario as well as the Trent Severn waterway, beautiful Georgian Bay and Algonquin Park.
Garden House Gallery, located on a beautiful rolling acreage in southeast Guelph, houses Mary-Dawn’s permanent collection and working gallery. Visitors will find many of her original, limited and open edition artwork as well as art cards. Though she has used many different mediums over the years, Mary-Dawn now focuses primarily on acrylic painting. When asked why she prefers using acrylic paints, Mary-Dawn explains, “Acrylic affords a deep strength to properly portray the landscapes. The power and ever-changing atmosphere of the land encourage me to state their depths. I have found that acrylic enables me to state those depths of large scenes with definition and without glass as a barrier to viewing.”
Aside from natural beauty, Mary-Dawn is also inspired by the healing properties of art.
While a patient herself at Sunnybrook Orthopedic Hospital, Mary-Dawn noticed the empty grey walls that patients and staff live within. Her excellent care and a desire to give back motivated her to make a gift to the hospital in the hopes that her artwork would uplift their spirits. Mary-Dawn believes that art invokes a variety of emotions within the viewer and has observed strong emotional reactions from her clients when they look at her art.
A philanthropist at heart, Mary-Dawn has made many charitable contributions to local hospitals and organizations including The Guelph General Hospital, the local hospice, Marianne’s Place, Hope House, the Drop-In Centre and Homewood Health. To help raise funds for local charities, Mary-Dawn has also donated her artwork to be auctioned off with the proceeds going towards a variety of charitable causes.
Mary-Dawn will be hosting an Art Exhibition at Garden House Gallery on Saturdays and Sundays, November 16 – 24, 2019. The exhibit will feature a new collection of acrylic and watercolour paintings including limited editions and art cards.
“My reasons for painting are not unique. Painting is central to the person I am and my emotional well-being. Just as a singer needs to sing and a dancer needs to dance, I am happiest when painting.” ~ Mary-Dawn Roberts