Artists Statement


Elizabeth (Gaye) MacDonald is  an “extreme plein air painter” and co-founder and president of Windsor & Essex County Plein Air Artists, an organization that promotes and organizes all season plein air painting events year round in southwestern Ontario.

Born in Grosse Pointe Farms, MI, Elizabeth draws inspiration from the Canadian Group of Seven. She grew up in southeast Detroit and spent some of her youth living on a small, rural town farm in Canada.  From her earliest memories summers were filled with camping on a lake in northeastern Ontario.  The secluded woodland lake brought out her love of nature and the outdoors.  Her father, a lifelong scout leader, avid outdoors man, draftsman, and artist, nurtured her love of art through his many art projects: drawing, painting, sculpture, and leather-work.

She has exhibited and sold her artwork throughout Canada and the U.S. and has participated in and coordinated many plein air events and exhibitions. She has earned the title ‘extreme plein air painter” because no season or location is off limits to Elizabeth. Her paintings record the compass of her travels: cold, open water at the peak of winter in Ojibway Park, Ontario, along the beach on Canada’s southern coast, in meadows and woodlands, small towns and big city scapes such as Detroit, MI. She can be spotted traveling along Canadian and US highways and back roads with her bright yellow ‘plein aire mobile unit’ in tow.

Elizabeth who holds a BFA in Visual Art, University of Windsor, makes Windsor, Ontario her home where she served as vice president, treasurer, social media coordinator, webmaster, and administrator for the Windsor Printmaker’s Forum (2009-2013).

Plein air painting unites her lifelong love of nature with her love to create.  She hopes that bringing attention to the subject matter of her paintings will help to preserve woodlands, historic buildings, and rural areas.

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