Pearl Edwards van Muijen
Since emigrating from the Netherlands to Canada, art creation has always been and continues to be the tool that connects me to new environments, thoughts and emotions.The creative process is integral to my mental well-being. During my teen years, following emigration from the Netherlands, visual expression was essential in dealing with a new culture and language forcing me to express myself visually. Consequently, introspective paintings and drawings reflected particular narratives that were often figurative and symbolic in nature, a style that continued many years.
Composition of design, subject and color manipulation manifest with intent, or take place through the subconscious process. The art piece develops intuitively with an innate awareness.
Evidence of this approach are my mono-prints, executed in expressive line, with varying tools and a limited color palette. The result is more successful and satisfying than if the product was planned from start to finish.
More fluid in the literal and intrinsic sense, are my watercolor paintings which suggest Asian design influences. When painting in acrylics the process can be more labor intensive, where juxtaposition of elements suggest symbolic as well as figurative narrative.
With an open mind for inspiration, I came across a book containing black and white photographs by Karl Blossfeldt (1861-1932). The structured, magnified images, challenged me to translate his plant and flower studies using a full color spectrum in the acrylic paint medium on canvas. This project of twelve paintings is now complete. It is titled “The Blossfeldt Effect”, in acknowledgment to the German photographer who continues to inspire artists like myself.
I work in my home based studio in the South Interlake region of Manitoba in a natural environment. This meditative space is conducive to freeing the mind, allowing me to be a perceptive observer of all that is intriguing, here and abroad.
Education | Influences | Commissions
1976 to 1980
Forum Art Institute classes with instruction from director and artist Nikola Bjelajac. With exhibitions twice a year and an appointment to instruct Adult Water Color Classes and Art classes for children.
-Completed a commission for the Manitoba Forestry Association. 9’x5’ triptych, acrylic on canvas collage paintings that represent the conservation area in Sandy Lands Manitoba managed by the Manitoba Forestry Association. As well – pen and ink drawings for promotional purposes.
-Appointed to Instruct Adult painting classes at Warren Community Center, MB.
1977 to 1979 – 1981 to 1985
Red River Community College 2 year Advertising Art Diploma Program – graphic design -awarded campaign competition winner for clients of Paul Phelan and Perry Advertising Agency.
Contract and advertising design work with Parks Canada and Venus Industries between 1981-85
1986 to 2012
Employed as graphic designer for the Winnipeg Free Press Newspaper. In addition, freelanced for the newspaper illustrating serial Short Story segments written by a Winnipeg author, published in Sunday Editions. Before retiring, wrote two travel stories for publication in the Destinations Section of the WFP.
Exhibits | Exposure
1982 – 1987
Co-founded and member of Indivisuals Art Group
Exhibited at the Assiniboine Park Conservatory, Union Center-NDP Women’s Task Force Conference,
University of Manitoba Teaching Faculty.
Participant Manitoba Society of Artists 51st Juried Exhibition. Medium pencil on paper.
A review by Randall McIIlroy’s’ (Winnipeg Free Press) review of Indivisuals: “Pearl Edwards van Muijen comes on as the most ambitious of the group, moving from strange, leaf-like abstracts rich in decay like autumn debris (It’s Quiet Here, Creek to Lake Talon), to good if slightly gushy watercolor landscapes (Alone in The Dunes), to thick, tangible oils (Window Flowers). “The abstracts are particularly involving, with their little storms of information.”
Tenth Annual CKRC-CKWG Arts in Manitoba Juried Art Exhibition.
The watercolor painting “Tree, Sand and Sun” formerly titled “Alone in the Dunes” selected and purchased joining the permanent CKRC-CKWG Arts Manitoba Collection.
Fourth Annual International Exhibition and sale of Miniature Art, organized by Del Bello Gallery, Toronto, Ontario. 1500 artists from 70 countries.
Winnipeg Union Railway Station – Independent local artists group show.
Winnipeg’s Heaven Art & Book Cafe – solo show featuring watercolor paintings. Themed “Tempo Doeloe” which loosely translates to a time that will never be repeated. In essence, Indonesian influences and interpretations of Eurasian icons during Dutch colonial times with focus on symbolization of family heritage.
Piano Nobile Gallery – Winnipeg Centennial Concert Hall, during the (DuMaurier) New Music Festival – Visual Art Show interpreting the writings of poets. As I wrote poetry at the time the artworks consist of three dimensional installations that reflect and contain two of my poems; essentially “Visual Poetry”.
Panic Cafe Winnipeg – exhibited “Tempo Doeloe” watercolor series plus the “Visual Poetry” pieces as noted in Uptown Magazine titled “Art on the Edge” article by freelance writer Bev Greenberg.
2000 + 2001
Annual Air Canada Juried System Art Show in Montreal – Placed second in the oil category for an oil mono-print on paper.
Annual Air Canada System Art Show. Juried exhibit in Frankfurt (Airport Gallery) .Placed first in watercolor category and first in oil category (oil mono print on paper).
Guest artist with Modern Muse Art Collective at Winnipeg Beach/Studio Helma Rogge Rehders.
Participant in the first Artists’ Studio Tour of the Interlake region of Manitoba that grew into “The Wave”. Presented by the Winnipeg Beach Art and Culture Co-op Inc. Showed with Helma Rogue-Raiders in her Winnipeg Beach studio.
Mermaid’s Kiss Gallery in Gimli, Manitoba. Watercolors as well as oil on recycled wood panels. Whimsical, impressionistic nature scenes.
Gallery Lacosse in Winnipeg – “Unique” oil on recycled wood panels.
Retired from a graphic design career after twenty-five years with the same company; ready to leave the commercial art grind and ready to concentrate on developing my personal artwork.
2013 to present.
Classes at Green Acre Art Centre with plein air artist Graham Clark continue to inspire. Learning from analyzing basic teachings of “Old Masters” while keeping an open mind to while we develop personal styles.
2-day Pop-Up Art Show at the Goldman Room and Dragon Arts Collective studio in the Winnipeg Exchange district. A sister show titled “IndieVisuals” with the artists’ sister, Shirley Edwards van Muijen. A joint show featuring ink drawings, paintings and mono-prints.
Juried Interlake Art Show in Gimli MB. Obtained honorable mention for a watercolor painting titled “Pacific Lean”.
Member of “Bulrushes Gallery”, Winnipeg Beach (November 2015). Exhibited acrylic paintings as well as oil mono-prints on paper.
Inspiration from a book of photographs by Karl Blossfeldt titled “Wunder der Natur”(1942-Berlin) resulted in a series of 15 acrylic paintings. Essentially; envisaged color interpretations of black and white plant specimens. These bold and organic representations, are re-imagined into color without researching the authentic colors of flower and plant specimens, featured in the book.