Michael Dobson: From Pen to Paint

September 1 to September 18, 2021 

Michael Dobson, From Pen to Paint in the Molson Community Gallery. Photo: Paige Bingham

Michael Dobson 
From Pen to Paint 
September 1 to September 18, 2021 
Molson Community Gallery 

The MacLaren Art Centre is excited to present a new body of work by Sturgeon Falls-based artist Michael Dobson. Relying on pen and ink sketches to serve as starting points for his process, Dobson has amassed a tremendous number of drawings of Ontario’s iconic wilderness. Windswept pines on remote islands, limestone cliffs and mineral-rich waterways fill his sketchbook pages, all of which may sit for days or years before being reimagined as paintings. This exhibition traces the artist’s journey from loose drawings to detailed and emotive paintings, from pen to paint. 

Reflecting on his collection of drawings and paintings, made from the mid-1990s to now, Dobson addressed the impact that time, emotion and memory can have on the creative process: “A sketch sparks my memory of a place and provides a rough, barebones composition. Working from sketches engages my imagination and my emotions: a drawing done on a stormy spring day-trip may develop into a blast of autumn colour, or a nocturnal moonlit landscape.”  

Michael Dobson has been making images that reflect the Ontario landscape for five decades and has had solo exhibitions throughout Canada and abroad. His work can be found in the collection of the Banff Centre, Alberta; the National Library of Canada, Ottawa; and the MacLaren Art Centre, Barrie, among other institutions, corporations, and private collections. Throughout his career, Dobson has served on art councils, boards and juries. In 1980 he became the Director/Curator of the Grimsby Public Art Gallery and in 1985 he co-founded the Lincoln Regional Arts Council. In 1987, he was elected to the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour. Dobson also served on the fundraising committee for the MacLaren’s building on Mulcaster Street, which is celebrating its twentieth anniversary in this year.