Fernwoodian artist, Margaret Hantiuk, has lived in Fernwood for the past 27 years.

>> Jillian Player

Margaret Hantiuk has lived in the same house in Fernwood for twenty-seven years. Originally from Alberta, she studied art at the Alberta College of Art then moved west. She settled on the Island in the 1980s, where she completed her BFA at UVic with a focus in abstract painting. Since then, she has been a postal worker and mother, keeping her hand in art through drawing, photography, and gardening. Margaret has been a constant student of art, and she learns new skills and different mediums by taking courses at Vancouver Island School of Art.

Since retiring five years ago, she has been concentrating on landscape painting. During this time, she went on a road trip to New Mexico and was powerfully inspired by the colours, textures, and shapes of the desert. She realized that her long love of old western movies was for the landscapes (and not the cowboys!). The empty, haunting space of the desert, so different from the prairies where she grew up, related to her abstract aesthetic. Her palette of earth tones transfer to wide, spatially divided blocks on large and small canvasses. The work reflects abstraction, but the shapes are pulled into recognizable forms of sage green plants, ochre rocks, and burnt sienna mesas. The paint is highly blended into a soft, cotton-like quality. Her work is comforting yet compelling. The paintings, especially the large ones, invite you to walk into a landscape that is at odds with our green and grey west coast environment.

Margaret is very busy with a gardening business and volunteering in Fernwood. She is one of the founding members of the Fernwood Art Stroll and is a contributor to the Fernwood Mapping Project. She has also been a contributor to The Village Vibe’s “Garden Gleanings” column. Margaret is a member of the 1580 Artist Run Gallery on Cook Street and has a studio there. Make an appointment to see her studio work or check out her website margarethantiuk.com. Also, be sure to visit her beautiful garden full of her paintings at the Fernwood Art Stroll every summer.