Wild Women: Painters of the Wilderness


by Joyce Burkholder, Kathy Haycock, and Linda Sorensen

132 Pages
October 16, 2014

Wild Women is a celebration of the wilderness as seen through the eyes of these three women artists: Joyce Burkholder, Kathy Haycock and Linda Sorensen. The book presents reproductions of each artist’s paintings, and photos of the artists at work in the landscape and in their studios. It includes short biographies of each artist, followed by a section of conversations that illuminate and compare their individual approaches and techniques. The foreword and afterword bring the message of the importance of conservation directly to the reader.

Wild Women: Painters of the Wilderness is a beautiful art book that is also a strong statement by women about recording, sharing and preserving the Canadian wilderness. It introduces to a wider public a group of contemporary professional women painters who work together and support each other in their mutual goals. Part of what makes this book unique is that it presents the lives and work of three established female Ottawa Valley artists who gather together to paint the wilderness. Each has a back-to-theland experience that drew her to this remote, rural area and connected her to the wilderness.




Joyce Burkholder has been a professional and prolific award-winning artist for 45 years, painting outdoors (en plein air) in all seasons and in her sky-lit studio/showroom Hillside Paintings and Pottery located near Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada. A rugged individualist, Joyce has carved her rural life with a commitment to living simply and with nature. She teaches Adventure Painting Workshops in wilderness settings inspiring her students to further appreciate the area in which she lives. Joyce is a member of the East Central Ontario Art Association and Artists for Conservation. www.joyceburkholder.com

Kathy M. Haycock has lived in Ontario’s Algonquin Region near Eganville since 1973. She is a dedicated year-round plein air painter. Inspired by her father, Arctic artist Maurice Haycock and his painting partner, Group of Seven member A. Y. Jackson, Kathy follows the seasons, painting the wilderness landscape across Canada and the Arctic. She is represented in Canadian and international private, public and corporate collections and is an elected member of the Society of Canadian Artists and Artists for Conservation. www.kmhaycock.com

Linda Sorensen’s artistic talents were recognized and encouraged by teacher, world renowned wildlife artist and environmentalist Robert Bateman. She paints plein-air in any season exploring light, form and colour through her wilderness treks in Algonquin Park and beyond. Back in her studio she creates her larger canvases based on work she has documented in the field. Her award winning paintings are represented in private collections across the globe. Linda is a member of Artists for Conservation. She lives in the Madawaska Valley and close to nature. www.lindasorensen.com

from “The Pattern the Light is making”

Painting outdoors can be overwhelming. There is an immense amount of detail in nature and the way the light interacts with every object, as well as the fact that it is constantly changing. It is very helpful to have a personal and systematic approach to interpreting each scene, and also to develop a personal technique and unique painting style. That, in my experience, can only arrive after observing, studying, experimenting and evolving…in other words, after lots of painting. And then, perhaps most important of all, after all that learning and structure is in place and has become innate and natural, comes the letting go of structure: following the brush in a blissful oneness with nature and the universe. That is painting! That is when pure inspiration is transformed into art. It is as transcendent as it is elusive and is something that all artists long and strive for. It doesn’t happen every time, it doesn’t appear on demand, but it happens often enough that it drives my creative process and is the source of my passion for painting.

For me, the most important aspect is the pattern the light is making, and the way I portray that pattern is with strong values, greatly simplified at first to what is light and what is dark. Composition can also be simplified to placing the darkest dark next to the lightest light and leading the viewer’s eye to this area of contrast with a curving pathway of a slightly, or sometimes dramatically, different colour or value. I am creating a statement, a story, an impression of what I saw that day, in that place at that moment, and it expresses why I was moved and excited to paint that scene.

1 review for Wild Women: Painters of the Wilderness

  1. InannaWebmaster

    “Wild Women is an extraordinary collection of brilliant work that captures a uniquely Canadian wilderness. Burkholder, Haycock and Sorensen are talented artists, original and dedicated. One could spend many an enchanted hour turning the pages of this beautiful book. Wild Women may well become a collector’s edition. Bravo on this publication!”
    — Sandra Gulland, international best-selling author of the Josephine B. Trilogy and other works

    “It is refreshing to see the work of a group of women stimulated by the drama of the wilderness in Ontario. Such colour! Such dramatic brush strokes!” Observing nature is always important and these women have represented her majesty brilliantly.”
    — Birgit Freybe Bateman, photographer

    “An art book that goes far beyond art — the personal story of three remarkable painters whose lives are intertwined with the natural world. Their stunning portrayals of Ontario’s magnificent wilderness areas become an eloquent and timely plea for landscape preservation.”
    — Janet Foster, nature photographer and filmmaker

    “This book brings Algonquin’s wild land- scape vividly to life. A compelling and thought-provoking collection that makes a powerful plea for the conservation and protection of the gifts of nature.”
    — Louise Maffett, former Executive Director, The Royal Canadian Geographical Society

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