Margarethe Vanderpas

“A master of rhythm and light, Margarethe Vanderpas illuminates the canvas with her free-flowing style and generous waves of colour. Seduced by the mysteries and mathematical properties of water, she manipulates rich oils through inspired brush-play into ‘come hither’ landscapes with conscientious environmental undertones.”
Lorie Lee Steiner, Arabella Magazine (Summer 2013), p.277.

Margarethe Vanderpas is a Dutch-born professional artist, graphic designer, and educator who studied Fine Arts at Western University from 1983 to 1985 under the instruction of Professors William Dale, Madeline Lennon, William Hart, Jose Barrio-Garay, Helmut Becker, Greg Ludlow, and Roly Fenwick. She transferred to Queen’s University in her third year, graduating in 1987 with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Art History followed by a Bachelor of Education in the Artist in the Community Education Program (ACE), Intermediate/Senior (Visual Art and Mathematics). In 1987, while studying at Queen’s, she gave Sunday Lectures at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre and in 1988 undertook an Arts Administration Internship under the direction of Ron Shuebrook at the Ottawa School of Art. Upon graduating she taught fine art, computer graphics, and mathematics for several years before transitioning careers in 1997, when she moved to London, Ontario and started Vanderpas Design Inc., which specialized in graphic design and web development.

Because the Internet was new and just developing, it presented a unique opportunity to artists with the ability to design, code, and program. Vanderpas’ clientele included the International Energy Agency, the City of London, the Department of Computer Science at Western University, the Department of Chemical Engineering, the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, and PARTEQ Innovations at Queen’s University, as well as inventors, artists, and not-for-profit organizations.

From 1998 to 2002, Vanderpas was a director on the board of the London Arts Council and had the privilege to serve alongside Alan Cohen, Jan Shepherd McKee, Beth Stewart, Susan Scott, and John Nicholson among others. It was an exciting time for the Arts community in London, and, with the support of the City of London, much was accomplished to create awareness, build relationships and connections, and foster a vibrant community for artists and arts organizations.

In 2002, Vanderpas joined the London Artist’s Studio Tour committee and had the pleasure of working with artists Johnnene Maddison, Beth Stewart, and Kevin Bice among others. In 2017, she was also one of three artists who formed the Stratford Studio Tour in Stratford, Ontario.
Inspired as a child by the works of such masters as Rembrandt and Van Gogh, Vanderpas gives a passionate portrayal of the raw natural beauty of Canada’s landscapes and waterscapes. Each year Vanderpas explores new regions in Ontario on foot and by kayak, aiming to capture the waters and unique worn, weathered landscape formations of the Canadian Shield in her oil paintings. Since moving to Lion’s Head permanently in 2017, she has spent more time exploring and painting the Bruce Peninsula, in particular its pristine waters and rugged coastline.

Margarethe Vanderpas has exhibited in a number of high-profile art galleries and art fairs including the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery, the Chapel Gallery, the Gordon Harrison Gallery, Circle Arts Gallery, Westland Gallery, Michael Gibson Gallery, the Artist Project, One of a Kind Show, Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibit, and Toronto Art Expo. Her work can be found in private and corporate collections throughout Canada, the United States, and Europe. Vanderpas is also a Signature Member of Artists for Conservation (AFC) and her work was featured in the 2019 and 2021 AFC Exhibition Catalogue.

Biography Courtesy of Margarethe Vanderpas



Steiner, Lorie Lee. “Artist to Collect: Margarethe Vanderpas – Interpreting the Light Fantastic.”
Arabella Magazine: Canadian Art, Architecture and Design (Summer 2013), p.276-293.

I draw inspiration for my oil paintings from many sources; the waters and limestone cliffs of the Bruce Peninsula and the rock formations of the Canadian Shield along the shores of Lake Superior and Georgian Bay. I am fascinated by the powerful forces that have shaped the landscape and the effects that time and weather have had upon the earth’s surface. Water in particular has fascinated me since childhood. I delight in the discovery of rhythmic patterns created by light as it passes through water, by the wind as it dances on its surface and transforms and distorts what lies beneath. These patterns inspire me not just for their beauty, but because they suggest an underlying natural order. It is fitting that the varied and dynamic forms of all life would arise from such an active and animated medium.

Artist’s Statement Courtesy of Margarethe Vanderpas

CV Courtesy of Margarethe Vanderpas

Biography Profile Photo: Kim McCarthy
Courtesy of Margarethe Vanderpas

See also: Madeleine Lennon; Johnnene Maddison; Jan Shepherd McKee; Beth Stewart

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