A Week of Canadian Painting: Megan Hepburn

Because we are a Canadian-run publication and we admire those who continue to work with the arguably dated medium of paint, in the arguably dismal landscape of the Canadian art-world, we have decided to do a week-long feature on some of our favorite current Canadian painters, in no particular order. Stay tuned this week to see who we believe to be among the greatest established and emerging painters the Great White North has to offer!

sentence is a room

What I find most exciting about Megan Hepburn’s work is her use of colour. It is almost as if her paintings are illuminated from within, and I’m not sure why or how, but it feels like more than just paint smeared around on canvas. Using rich, muted hues that are mysteriously vibrant, Hepburn’s paintings are so visceral and luminescent that they seem organic or alive to me. These works are taken from Hepburn’s “Provisional Shadow” series, a collection of darker paintings which, to me, stand-out amongst her large and impressive body of colourful abstractions.  – Olivia Whittick

Where did you grow up? What was the landscape like?
I grew up near Brisbane Australia, Toronto and Vancouver. The landscape was oceans, fish, wet pavement, magnolia, hibiscus, huge trees, leaves for umbrellas, stumps houses, lizards, torrential rainstorms, slugs, spiders, spider webs, trucks, quiet people, primary coloured toys, jungle gyms, over-sized t-shirts, shorts, friend’s pets, cliffs, swimming pools and the smells I hate the most: skunk and wet dog rain coat.

Do you think being Canadian has had any impact on your work?
Yes. It has made it difficult to make sentences that are not in the passive. Speaking Canadian doesn’t make any syntactical sense to people from elsewhere, it just sounds like mumbling. I also dislike shouting.

 What is your favorite medium to work with?
Oil and linen.

What themes do you work with, if any?
I have subjects I return to like women, work, historical transfigurations, or events that surpass the ability to comprehend them in the amount of time given by a life. I have a slow aesthetic process of being with events that my instinct would be to run away from or shut my eyes to, as fast as possible.

when this dance is done

along the way



Are you inspired by any Canadian painters?
Definitely. Many of my friends across the country make remarkable work, and I’ve been consistently inspired by teachers and mentors like Janet Werner, Eleanor Bond, Eliza Griffiths, Landon Mackenzie, Elizabeth McIntosh and Liz Magor, who is not a painter but crucial.

Is there any one painter who has influenced your work more than others?
Not one, no. Recently I’m looking at Manet.

Are you drawn to any particular historical art movement?
I have interests in a lot of different times and art histories. At the moment it’s events in painting-thinking that lead up to Duchamp’s work.

What do you think is missing from the Canadian art scene?
Confidence. We are going to need much stronger sunglasses.