Pat Guinn


To teach elementary school was my life’s calling, and, for thirty years, I enjoyed successes in various classrooms and schools.  My two beautiful daughters helped to fill my life with excitement and busyness and, now that they are mothers, themselves, my life contains the wonderful enjoyment that only “grandmotherhood”, and, more recently, “great-grandmotherhood”, can offer.

When I chose to end my teaching career, I decided to satisfy a childhood interest in art.  As a part-time student in Barrie’s Georgian College Fine Arts programme, I focused on painting and drawing.  My journey began by filling walls of my family, but has grown to now include walls of local galleries, including this one in the Barrie Art Club.  As a member of the Barrie Art Club, the Orillia Fine Arts Association, and the BaySide Artists, I have opportunities to exhibit my work in a number of different venues all year round.  One of these opportunities includes participating in the annual Barrie Spring Art Tour, now experiencing its tenth year. 

I believe that variety is the spice of life, so my working mediums vary … graphite, acrylic, oil, oil pigment stick, chalk pastel, and, on occasion, watercolour pencil.  I often try to capture images in a truly representational way, but have discovered the freedom that comes with creating abstractions.  Yes, it is “play” in a sense, but composition, colour sense, and knowledge of mediums and their qualities also come into “play” before a successful abstraction can be realized. 

On a personal note, you may have noticed a stylized swan, which is painted adjacent to my signature on each piece of art I create.  When my husband and I first met, almost 35 years ago, he drew two swans on a paper napkin as we sat drinking coffee.  He said, “Swans mate forever, and that’s what we’ll do, too.”.  After more than thirty-six years of marriage, I guess he was right.  The swan is my way of thanking him for his love and his unrelenting support.