When I speak at exhibition openings, in front of a classroom, workshop, or in my studio, a question often asked of me is, “when did you become an artist”. Although my artistic expression has evolved and matured over my lifetime, what I have long held to be true, is that you don’t wake up one morning and say, “I want to be an artist.”
My name is Margruite Krahn, and I happen to be a visual artist, a painter actually. When I go back to the coloured pencil drawings of my childhood, I have always been comfortable expressing myself visually. We are all a creative people, the problem, and it is a problem, is that we narrowly define how creativity manifests itself.
I am drawn to story. There are so many layers to a story, and maybe that is why I tell story in heavy layers of paint and texture. To some degree the subject matter of my painting’s changes, depending on how I want to interpret the story. What does remain in my work are the deeply rooted influences of landscape, music, people, and how I see God manifested in all three.
In 1998 we packed up our three young girls and moved out of Winnipeg to Neubergthal, MB., a Mennonite street village and National Historic Site. We had a crazy dream to turn a barn into our home, studio, and later concert venue.
My husband and I did the majority of the work, including design. But in the walls of the Krahn barn and village Herdsman house are the creative works of other family members, local artists, and ancestors who hand painted floors, build furniture, and windows and doors that are “imperfect”.
This brings me back to story, what motivates me to paint, and the way I can contribute to keeping a story alive. (Written by Margruite Krahn)