Cynthia Metcalfe

The Art


  • Watercolour 

Approach / Inspiration

I have been interested in botanical works of art for many years.  With the founding of our botanical society in 2016, I finally took up this an exciting challenge.  The works and encouragement of Margaret Walsh Best, Dianne Sutherland and Shevaun Doherty have been inspirations.  I am especially interested in the colours and textures of bark, berries and dying leaves.


I was born and grew up on an island, exploring the woods, marshes and meadows that surrounded my home. As a child, I learned an appreciation of garden and wild flowers and the joy of houseplants from my mother. From my father I learned about planting, weeding and harvesting potatoes as I tagged along with him behind the horse and plough. As an adult, I have spent three decades painting wildflowers, landscapes and seascapes in watercolour and acrylics.  Over the years, I have taken courses and workshops from local artists such as Gerry Squires and Ed Roche and visiting artists such as Edwin Mathews and Henry Vyfvinkel. All those experiences combined with much self-study have led me to pursue my interest in botanical art.As a founding member of our botanical art society in 2016, I have been able to educate myself in this art through my collection of botanical art books and participation in workshops locally with Margaret Walsh Best, online courses with Anna Mason and Billy Showell (UK), Kathleen McKeehan, USA and workshops with guest instructors Shevaun Doherty (Ireland), Dianne Sutherland (UK) and Canadian artist Kerri Weller.

Exhibitions / Awards 

In my many years painting, my work has appeared in numerous group exhibitions and fundraising auctions. Selected exhibitions include the following:

  • MUN Botanical Garden, Garden and Nature Exhibition, 2000, 2005, 2017, 2018, 2019.
  • BASNL Exhibition “Rooted in Art: Native Plants of Newfoundland and Labrador”, May, 2018.
  • Murray’s Garden Centre Exhibition, 2018, 2019.
  • Bell Island Mining Centennial Art Exhibit, 1995.   
  • Donated image on album cover Bell Island Submarine Miners CD.
  • Juried exhibition at ACC St. John’s for Vancouver show, 1996.
  • Art Association of NL & Lab, numerous exhibitions during the years from 1998 to present.
  • Period Gallery, Omaha, Nebraska, Juried Exhibition, 2000.
  • Ed Roche Student Exhibitions, 1990 – 96, awarded Best Artist, 1992 and 1994, Best Painting 1995.
  • Visual Artists of Newfoundland & Labrador (VANL)  fundraisers, 2000, 2001, 2003.
  • My paintings are in private collections here and abroad and in corporate and Newfoundland and Labrador  government collections.


  • Art Association of Newfoundland & Labrador 1998 to present.
  • AANL Board Member for six years.
  • Botanical Art Society of Newfoundland and Labrador (BASNL) – 2016 to present
  • BASNL founding member and director, 2016 to present.