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A rich life through art

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Who: Doris McCarthy

Where: adele-campbell Fine Art Gallery

When: Feb. 15-March 15.

She’s been to the Arctic, China, Europe, but never to Whistler – until now.

At 92 years of age, distinguished painter, Doris McCarthy is finally paying a visit and bringing an incredible portfolio of art, stories and sound advice with her. When a McCarthy exhibit opens anywhere in eastern Canada, upwards of 700 people can turn up, testament to the massive contribution she’s made to painting since the 1920s.

After more then 70 years in the business, McCarthy said it all could have been different.

"Initially I intended to be a writer. But I won a scholarship to an arts college and never looked back."

Writing is still in her blood though – she’s on to her third book detailing her colourful and inspirational life.

The tone of McCarthy’s voice, rich with energy, belies her actual age, but she believes being creative has kept her young.

"An artist is never satisfied. You’re always trying for the unattainable. There’s always more to see, more to do, more to express and that’s what keeps me going, I’ll be here for a long time yet, that’s for sure."

Her passion for travel and the outdoors has made her one of the most popular and revered landscape painters in the country. She’s been to the Arctic, to the deserts in the U.S. and the villages of Italy, among her trips, and she still has more adventures in the works.

Her thirst for knowledge and education made her an art teacher for more than 40 years – an impressive commitment for any profession.

"I love to talk and pass on knowledge but being on a salary all that time allowed me to actually remain an artist. It’s too hard when you’re not working to be an artist these days. You constantly have to watch the market rather than follow your own interpretations," she says.

For her continuing contribution to Canada's artistic community Doris McCarthy has received The Order of Canada; The Order of Ontario; 5 Honorary Doctorates and an Honorary Fellowship from The Ontario College of Art and Design. In November 1999, McCarthy was named the first Artist of Honour at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection.

Come meet, listen and learn from this incredible living treasure at her exhibit opening this Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m.

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