To accompany my cousin and maker-extraordinaire, Maureen Peets, of MP Design Company (website) today on a small part of her art journey was both an inspiration and an eye-opener. When I asked her what her preparation for this weekend’s show looked like I learned about her workhorse mentality and ethic to: design; making creations one by one; preparing booth design and display while simultaneously working on new designs right up until the very last minute. “Allowing paint to dry overnight before rising at 7:30 a.m. to load up my car is about standard for each show.” says Maureen. An artist’s life is not all glamour I can assure you! As I helped her set up her display the nervous energy combined with excitement about sharing her work began to ease as we finished set up in about 2 hours and on time for a 3:00 p.m. start. Nothing stops Maureen from getting out there and sharing her work with the world - not even the biting, chilling temperatures of a Toronto, Southern Ontario, winter weather.
It is Maureen’s skill in furniture design that she brings to her unique iconic Christmas ornament collection. Using found and reclaimed wood Maureen handcrafts all of her creations with a whimsy like no other. At the moment, her best seller is her hand-painted reindeer ornament showcasing an oversized wooden door knob for Rudolph’s nose! She describes her work as “purist” and admits that not everyone ‘gets her style’ but that doesn’t stop her from sharing her creations with the world. She is an inspiration to all artists and creators to just get out there and reveal your inner artist whenever you can; including today’s show at Shops at Don Mills Holiday Market, continuing all weekend long.
To know a family member for who they are during a casual gathering is common and something taken for granted but to know them as artist is to know so much more about their personality. When you meet and discover the artist behind the cousin/person there is a richness just under the surface that you weren’t aware of prior to seeing the”maker” side of their personality. Thanks Maureen for sharing your maker side with me. It is starting to feel a lot like Christmas, all of a sudden.