Growing up at a lighthouse on a small island on the east coast of Newfoundland played a huge role in defining Trish McIsaac as an artist with an interest in ecology. Surrounded by wildflowers, rocky cliffs and the moods of the Atlantic Ocean, her sense of place and love of the environment developed from the rhythm and balance of her natural surroundings.

Enjoying the bounty of the sea and picking seasonal wild berries and flowers was a deep-rooted part of that cycle of nature that stayed with her long after moving away to teach in Fort McMurray.

“Every spring dad would give each of us kids a paper bag and knife to dig dandelions to cook with our Sunday dinner. In the summer we’d pick wild strawberries and raspberries and in the fall we’d gather blueberries and partridge berries.”

“In the summertime we learned to watch the rhythm of the tides in order to get to our favourite beach. We learned to watch for the full moon and a low tide, that’s when we were able to gather the best muscles and snails.”

Being a life long learner, Trish decided to spend her retirement years traveling with her husband and going back to school to do what she longed to do: the Visual Arts Program at the University of Alberta. Trish’s works of art are found in private collections across Canada as well as in Bermuda, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates.

As a grandmother, a retired educator and now as an emerging artist, Trish is interested in issues concerning the ecology of the earth. Feeling a certain responsibility to educate those around her through her art, she also practices what she preaches by maintaining green practices in her studio. Her message is a message of hope with a little lesson thrown in for good measure. Blog posts with recipes using wildflowers are found on her website trishmcisaac.com.

Thank you to the University of Alberta Faculty of Extension for providing the valuable Visual Arts Certificate Program.

Students like Trish, who wish to pursue a “second act” career in visual arts prove
“It is never too late to become what you might have been.” George Eliot