• By: Shannon Ing

Get to Know the Worldview Studio Artists

Photo: Janet K. MacKay (credit: Mitchell Webster)

Together, MacKay and Webster are a dynamic duo specializing in sculpting and painting. Both are accomplished artists with a passion to share their views of the world with others. Their artistry have brought them together to build Worldview Studio nestled in the city of Ottawa. The talented Ottawa artists, Janet K. MacKay and Mitchell Webster, recount their journeys to becoming artists and the inspiration behind their work. 

MacKay’s love for art began as a child and continued into her post-secondary education, where she trained and received a degree in Fine Arts. MacKay recalls spending her weekends as a child at the art gallery, where she spent the majority of her time in the Group of Seven room. 

“They are a huge influence on my paintings and you can see that,” says MacKay.

This inspiration is notable in MacKay’s paintings alongside her own unique style and flair. MacKay’s oil paintings focus primarily on the beauty of the world we live in. They are optimistic and bright with vivid landscapes of our nation. The inspiration behind MacKay’s sculptures derives from the human form and their spirits.

Photo: Mitchell Webster (credit: Mitchell Webster)

“I absolutely love doing sculptures because it comes from within. My sculptures talk about human relationships and the strength of the human being,” says MacKay.

Fellow artist and partner Mitchell Webster acknowledges MacKay as a master in anticipated motion. “What I love most about Janet’s sculptures is that they are like real dancers. They are effortless,” says Webster.

MacKay’s sculptures defy the hard and heavy bronze material with movement that appears light and fluid. “She is really good at capturing that emotion. Half the time I expect the sculptures to do a pirouette,” says Webster. MacKay’s heart and mind are best heard through the language of art. It's her way of connecting with the world. MacKay’s artwork is half of the conversation awaiting to be completed by viewers.

Mitchell Webster’s passion for the arts was also found at a young age, however Webster’s path into art came later in life. After an unfulfilling career, he re-evaluated his life and asked himself, “What do I want to do for the rest of my life?”. He began to reflect on his days as a child. Fond memories of crayons on the walls and doodles in school books came to mind. The path became clear. 

“I decided I wanted to be an artist. I started right then and there. I started painting then I quickly began sculpting,” says Webster.

During his transition into art, an influential artist for Webster was Auguste Rodin. “I specifically love the romantic side of Rodin,” says Webster. When asked about what inspires his sculptures, Webster responds, “I love the mystery of Dali, and the surrealism movement."

These influences are more noticable in Webster’s abstract, romantic, and sensual sculptures. “The sculptures often have two people and to me they are about relationships,” states artist and partner MacKay. Winter is a common theme in Webster’s paintings. His oil-paintings are serene with long panarmonic winter landscapes.

“I love the anatomy of naked trees in the winter, and I like looking into the distance because it makes me feel peaceful. I enjoy capturing that moment of peace and tranquility found in winter,” explains Webster. When using acrylic paints, he will gravitate to warm colours and the use of texture, to fully engage an audience at every angle. Webster’s artwork is surreal and expresses a child-like joy met with a deeper exploration of life.