“m is for mysterious”

Magical forests, triangle mountains, Sasquatches, small towns, a question about beaver tails, AND a fellow Canadian … painter Meghan Hildebrand is my lovely guest today. This is a description of her work that sums it up perfectly: With a unique vocabulary of symbols, she translates her northern coastal landscape into electrifying dreamscape scenarios, each image often alluding to a larger narrative. Exactly. Listen right up there under “If The Flame Rises”, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First up, Meghan’s visual vocabulary that she calls on in all of her work. There are dots, dashes, rainbow-esque lumps, upside down Vs, and lots of pointy Ms. Take a peek:

Sigh. Love.

These are a few pieces from her latest series, titled “Fire Season”. It was the body of work she mentioned that began with a coat of light pink gesso! Gorgeous, and a really smart way of getting around the whole ‘scary white canvas’ situation:

Oh, it’s all just so beautiful! For those of you in Toronto, this is the info for her solo show of this work opening at Mayberry Fine Art on May 6. GO!

Up next, “Giants”. This is my favorite series… Sasquatches staring back at the viewer, dreamy watercolor tree bark, tiny faces hiding in the trees, and oh, all of those patterns! Seriously, just so gorgeous:

Doesn’t that just make you want to make stuff? Beautiful.

Speaking of beautiful, Meghan lives in a lovely small town on Vancouver Island overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Not a bad place to spend your days:

Ahhhh, that view. I’m kind of waiting for a bear or a Sasquatch to pop up into frame though.

And finally, I’ve always thought Meghan’s work would be perfect for a mysterious, beautiful, fantastical kids’ book… especially her whimsical watercolors. I mean, just look at these:

Right!? Someone call her about this because seriously, these could become one of those books that children remember forever … much like the three books that Meghan and I were reminiscing about – links below. Oh, and btw, I am totally reaching out to galleries in LA and Portland because this woman should be showing up and down the coast, yes? YES. {Watch out Seattle and San Francisco, you’re on my list too.}

Alright, and with that I will say thank you so much to Meghan for doing this with me,  granted I wish we’d been eating ‘Beaver Tails’ during our conversation… next time! Thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting this episode, and as always thanks to you for listening. There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. “That Night In Toronto” – the show Meghan is doing with me!
  2. Mayberry Fine Art
  3. The Tragically Hip
  4. Madrona Gallery, Victoria BC
  5. Martha Rich, Episode 1
  6. Kootney School of the Arts, Nelson BC
  7. NSCAD
  8. “Norbert Nipkin” / “The Rainbow Goblins” / “Swimmy”
  9. Beaver Tails!


comments (15)

  1. Julie /// 04.23.2017 /// 3:31am

    SO much FUN!! Loved listening so much! Note to self: Must visit Canada one day soon!

  2. the jealous curator /// 04.23.2017 /// 7:09am

    and get a beaver tail while you’re here! ; )

  3. Julie /// 04.23.2017 /// 8:37am

    Of course! Canada has been on top of my list for a long time 🙂

  4. Gretchen /// 04.23.2017 /// 11:18am

    Oh my gosh, I LOVED that book, “The Rainbow Goblins” as a kid—all kinds of beautiful with just enough scary bits! It had a big impact on me artistically, too. Loved this interview, thank you!

  5. Carla /// 04.23.2017 /// 11:26am

    I love her work! The watercolors are just the best. Screaming to be in a kids book indeed

  6. Emily /// 04.24.2017 /// 3:15pm

    Three things that came to mind while listening to the podcast this week:
    1. Minnesota galleries, and print shops would LOVE this work! Seriously, what goes well with Paul Bunyan and Babe, Sasquatch and pine trees!
    2. North Dakotans also LOVE their caesars, and Clamato juice 🙂
    3. Obsessed with the podcast! Much love from this Minnesota girl

  7. the jealous curator /// 04.24.2017 /// 10:28pm

    haha! i love all three of those things! thanks emily : )

  8. Michael Joyal /// 04.26.2017 /// 12:25pm

    Hey, fellow NSCAD alumni here. Yes, Halifax is too much fun to have a school too. I had many loonie draft at that bar in NSCAD. As a realist painter, I totally get having a hard time in a conceptual school.

  9. Michael Joyal /// 04.26.2017 /// 1:54pm

    Ice cream ON TOP of beaver tails?!? Mind. Blown.

    Dear match-maker, who would you match me with?

  10. Jane Denton /// 05.21.2017 /// 2:42pm

    Absolutely loved this episode – best yet xxx

  11. Jan Little /// 05.23.2017 /// 1:24pm

    I loved this episode! And then realized that her show at Mayberry would be up during my brief stay in Toronto. I just came from the gallery and her work is breathtaking in person! Huge and dreamy and all the better for having listened to her describe her process. So cool!

  12. Jenna Douglass /// 09.18.2017 /// 9:37pm

    Her watercolors make me want to paint right now! The color juxtaposition and mark making is so exciting! I would also love to be transported into that sunny studio.

  13. Rebecca Van Der Werff /// 12.07.2017 /// 4:06pm

    That story you tell about making the work “lighter” and having the option to move away from heavy themes of social commentary really resonates with me. It sounds like we really had a similar experience at art school and I love that you share your reflections on it. I agree, funny art really is the best! Another amazing episode!

  14. the jealous curator /// 12.07.2017 /// 9:11pm

    hooray for humor! thanks rebecca : )

  15. Amy Martino /// 01.28.2019 /// 10:28am

    Thank you for introducing me to her work via your pod cast. I am now obsessed with her amazing art! She should show her work here at a Gallery in Santa Fe off of Canyon Road (the most art galleries in the world).

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