Power and energy are strong in the paintings of Moosomin artist, Maggie Austin, whose artwork is currently on display in Weyburn.
"I create, as most artists do, from a need to do so - what some call a painful incompleteness," described Austin.
And so she paints. Art has always been a way for Austin to express her inner life, drawing on powerful childhood memories.
As member of the McNaughton clan, Austin has created art throughout her childhood on the family farm east of Weyburn. An outdoorsy girl, Austin has always had a strong kinship with nature.
The Prairies, having so few vertical landmarks, yielded rock piles, pasture and ravines, was the perfect stage for imaginary adventures for Austin. The rich detail in the bushes, grasses, rocks and earth made her want to capture and express the beauty in this wealth of nature surrounding her.
Austin began seriously pursuing her art career at university. She studied at the University of Saskatchewan, Kinderdine Campus, Fort San, Emma Lake and West Art Campus, Clear Lake, Manitoba.
A lifetime of learning the medium, plus the ability to "push it to the limits," has yielded this rich variety of acrylic works.
Confident, spontaneous brushstrokes and bold use of colour immediately draw in the viewer. Yet the further exploration of texture, contrast and subtle details adds many layers of depth, enriching each painting's message.
The Prairies is where Austin finds her true self: she feels most at home in the flat, rich, expansive space.
"I still love to wander in the country, especially during spring runoff. There is a peacefulness like a loyal old friend waiting for you in the flowing water and in the bushes by the creek," mused Austin.
"True Colours of a Prairie Girl" is on view until June 29 at the Allie Griffin Art Gallery.