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Theodora McLaren
Theodora McLaren (2).jpg
Theo McLaren_Don River Valley 4_12x16x1.jpg

I work mostly in water media - watercolour, fluid acrylics, inks and monoprinting. A monoprint is spontaneous - combining printmaking, painting and drawing. The effects are always a surprise!
Only one unique print is made from each pressing.

I enjoy plein air (in the air) painting. It means I have to react and work quickly, to capture the essence before the light changes.

I was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario.
My father was a part time painter and there was always an art book open somewhere in the house and brushes soaking in a jar. My mother arranged wildflower sprigs and cut garden flowers in jugs around the house. I think that's what inspired me to paint my loose florals.

After Trent University, I graduated in fine arts at OCAD in Toronto.

While I studied art, I was hired part time in an advertising department. Before computers - the days when layouts were hand drawn!
I survived a hectic career as a graphic designer and then art director.

I think that’s when I discovered I work best under pressure - spontaneous and immediate!

Growing up our family was fortunate to travel north of Toronto.

Climbing the rocks along the lake is when I fell in love with the Canadian Shield. Today I am also inspired by the Acadian Coast of Canada.


My new 'reductive monochromatic' monoprint technique of ink on plexiglass series 'Don River Valley' is a challenge but I love it!

Bridge, trestle, mill, road, pathway – for centuries our urban interventions reshaped this river valley - the forest and the life it sustained was pushed back. Regardless of our interference, the trees returned, the river flows, the undergrowth spread.

The valley lives on.

I am fascinated by the dichotomy of engineered steel (it has a beauty of its own) rising above the untamed greenspace.

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