Paintings at Tantallon Library

Tantallon Library

These paintings are on display at the Tantallon Library, a branch of the Halifax Public Libraries in Nova Scotia.  The library gives local artists space to hang some of their work, with each artist hanging for a month at a time.  The wall space is well lit, with good sight lines, and it’s a pleasure to be able to use it – many thanks for the opportunity to Elaine Murray and her staff.

The Paintings

Margaret Mair, Between Earth and Sky, Original art

Margaret Mair, Between Earth and Sky, 20" x 16", $650

There are places where the lava has flowed into the sea, and the sea has eaten away at the rock creating smooth step-like surfaces.  Places to sit and contemplate…

M. Mair, Earth Flows, Original Art

Margaret Mair, Earth Flows, Acrylic on canvas, 20" x 16", $650

Anchored below the places where lava has spilled into the sea, you can see the liquid forms in the rock – you can see the way the earth has flowed.

M. Mair, Sea Steps, Original Art

M. Mair, Sea Steps, Acrylic on Canvas, 11" x 14", $325

There are places where the sea has worn through softer layers to the harder rock beneath, where it creates a series of shallow tidal pools.  They look like worn steps leading out to the horizon…

M. Mair, At the Beach, Spark 9 Entry, Original Art

M. Mair, At the Beach (Spark 9 Entry), Acrylic on Canvas, 10" x 8", $160

At, writers and artists exchange ‘inspiration pieces’ at the beginning of a ten day period then work on responses to the pieces they receive.  At the end of those ten days they share what they have created with their partner, and post the inspiration piece and response on the site.  You can see both by clicking here.

M. Mair, Bowls of Life, Original Art

M. Mair, Bowls of Life, Acrylic on Canvas, 16" x 20", $650

As a cruising sailor I have to think about water – where to get it, what kind of quality it will be, how much might be available – when we are living and traveling on our boat.  It reminds me how crucial it is, the basis of life.

M. Mair, Empty Vessel/Gauguin's Travels, Original Art

M. Mair, Empty Vessel/Gauguin's Travels (Spark 11 Response), Acrylic on Canvas, 14" x 11", $325

Empty Vessel is a response piece to an interesting snippet of writing about Gauguin, his wife, and his Tahitian lover.  I had been reading Gauguin’s own account of his time in Tahiti, so no doubt some of the response is to his own description of his time there as well!  You can see the inspiration with my response (slightly different from the final image) at, by clicking here.

M. Mair, Let the Light In, Original Art

M. Mair, Let the Light In, Acrylic on Canvas, 20" x 16", $325

All a tree needs to grow, wherever it is, is soil, light, and water.  Sometimes you will find one growing in unexpected places.

M. Mair, Curious (Horse), Original Art

M. Mair, Curious (Horse), Acrylic on Canvas, 8" x 10", $160

Getting back to painting horses means taking the time to look, think, sketch and work on a small scale.

M. Mair, Dreams of Horses, 1, Original Art

M. Mair, Dreams of Horses, 1, Acrylic on Canvas, 14" x 11", $325

And now I’m beginning a series, which I’m calling “Dreams of Horses”.  I’m not sure exactly where this will go, but so far it involves horses and a little girl in a yellow dress who loves them.

M. Mair, Dreams of Horses, 2, Original Art

M. Mair, Dreams of Horses, 2, Acrylic on Canvas, 14" x 11", $325

You can see that the mood is quieter in this dream.

The Artist (Me!)

I arrived in Nova Scotia in 2007, after a couple of years of cruising around the Atlantic islands with my husband. We lived in Ontario for many years, and left from Toronto to go cruising in 2005. We spent a few months on Lake Ontario before we took our boat down through the canal system and locks of New York state to the Hudson and New York City. Our travels since have taken us down and up the East coast, across to the Bahamas, to Bermuda, the Azores, Porto Santo, the Canaries, and some of the Caribbean islands. When we needed to refit our boat and replenish our coffers we decided to come to Nova Scotia, and see what there was to see and do here.  It was a lucky decision – we found a place we enjoyed being (except during big storms),  a good place to work, live and use as a base for our explorations in the future.

Art has been part of my life’s journey. I began learning to draw from books in 1992. Later I took lessons with Isabel van Zant and D.D. Gadjanski. A lot of less formal learning took place at demos, and I also learned from looking at other artists’ work and talking to fellow explorers. Encouragement was provided by various kind souls, in galleries and among friends.

I was a member of SOYRA (Society of York Region Artists) from 1992 to 2005.


  • Working with pastels (portraits), Isabel van Zant, 1992
  • Working with fluid acrylics, D.D. Gadjanski, 1997
  • SOYRA demos and workshops in drawing, watercolour, oils and acrylics.

Past Shows:

  • Art Aurora (juried), 1999 and 2000
  • SOYRA (Society of York Region Artists) Annual Fall Show, 1997-2004
  • The Mansion, Carrying Place Golf and Country Club, 2000
  • Varley Gallery (Courtyard), 2001
  • Aurora Fair, 2001
  • Skylight Gallery, Aurora Town Hall, 2001
  • Artlinks School and Community Show, Aurora, 2001 and 2002
  • The Corner Gallery, Newmarket, 2000, 2001, 2002
  • Corner Coffee House, Newmarket, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005
  • Aurora Library Art Show, 2003, 2004    
  • Aurora Town Hall, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004
  • East Gwillimbury Town Hall, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2005
  • Barristers’ Lounge, Newmarket Court House, 2005
  • Newmarket Town Hall, 2002
  • Libra Lounge, Toronto, 2009

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