Artist Kathy Haycock has spent her life dedicated to her passions; nature and art. She comes by these passions quite honestly through the noble influence of her father, well known Canadian Arctic painter Maurice Haycock. She was also greatly exposed to the work of her fathers close painting partner A.Y. Jackson of Canada’s Group of Seven. She lives near Lake Clear in the Eganville area of Ontario.
Her influences introduced her to the bounty of Algonquin Park, to the vast Canadian Arctic and even further on to Greenland. Kathy continues to travel to these beautiful and extraordinary places to carry on the work of capturing nature at its best. Her dedication to on-site painting all-year-round in these remote locations can only be considered uncompromising.
Kathy is truly inspired by nature itself as she continues to immerse herself in the outdoors. Her passion has her sitting out in the wilderness, quietly becoming part of it, as she paints her experience of being there. The appeal, she says, “is the sense of respect and belonging one gets from being immersed in the wilderness landscape. This message of caring for the natural world and the enrichment it offers is what I interpret in my paintings.” Of Algonquin Park she says “there is such a wonderful variety of accessible lakes and back country painting places.” She often paints alone, or with fellow artists Linda Sorensen and Joyce Burkholder; a trio known as the Wild Women, Painters of the Wilderness. They go on sketching trips to Algonquin a few times a year and have co-authored a book together. Their work will be on display for the month of August at the Visitor Centre in the Park.
Kathy first travelled to the Canadian Arctic in 1976 with her father to camp on the historic Beechey Island. This is the location where the ‘ill-fated Franklin Expedition overwintered in 1845-1846.’ She was “hooked by the sweeping, vast, powerful landscapes.” She has authored a book about her father and his work titled On Site with Maurice Haycock,Artist of the Arctic, Paintings and Drawings of Historical Sites in the Canadian Arctic. Kathy now travels every couple of years to either the Eastern Arctic or Greenland for 2 or 3 weeks. She also travels to the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Alaska for extended stays by camper trailer. “It is beautiful country with rugged coastlines and colourful, picturesque Inuit communities.”
On one such adventure to the Arctic in 2002, Kathy, who was travelling with her sister Karole, met Canadian artist Doris McCarthy. Kathy notes in her biography that the acclaimed artist became an important mentor, inspiration and warm friend. McCarthy emphasized to Kathy that every painting should tell a story.
So, what is the story for the cover art of this issue of The Link? “These are rental canoes. They could be on any lake at any park. They're resting in the early morning waiting to be chosen. Each is "dressed up" in bright colours perhaps competing for the attention of the canoeists who will take them out on new adventures.”
Mainly self-taught, Kathy’s work has been described as lively, with fluid woven images and a graceful sweeping rhythm. Along with the art show in Bancroft, Kathy had a solo show in May in Ottawa with another upcoming in September At the Art Gallery of Bancroft.