Wyn Kalagian, a retired public health nurse from St Catharines, Canada, and a hardy traveler/painter, has participated in several painting workshops and tours in Guatemala and has fallen in love with the Maya, their culture and their character. Wyn has now traveled 7 times to Guatemala and Ecuador. On one particular trip, she discovered she had a passion for painting and capturing the spirit of Maya women. This soon developed into a further passion – putting eco friendly stoves into the homes of the Maya women. Combining the two passions, she began donating a stove for every painting of a Maya woman she did. To date she has put 95 stoves into the homes of these Maya women. Her passion keeps her traveling to Guatemala, and now Ecuador as well.
Wyn began to really develop her painting skills in earnest when she retired from a lengthy nursing career in 2000. Her painting education has taken her to Vermont, North Carolina, Florida, New Mexico and Guatemala. She has studied from well-known artists such as Jeanne Carbonnetti, Jean Grastore, Jan Hart, Robert Burridge, Lila Lewis Irving and Tom Lynch. Her paintings are full of bright color and magical qualities. Wyn has participated in the Pumphouse Studio Tour, her own Art in the Garage show, and Willowbank Art Shows. A reflection of Wyn Kalagian’s painting style: “The essence of a scene on canvas enables the viewers to use their imaginations to finish the scenes for themselves. The hope is that an impression of things half-real and half-remembered will speak to the viewer in a special way. An adventure is created between the painting and the viewer.”
Wyn’s inpiration…“the beautiful, hard working women of Guatemala are my inspiration. I have been impressed with how hard these women work in order to keep their families functioning. In spite of the harsh realities of their daily routines, they continue to create vibrant and artful designs in their clothing, a tradition that has been carried on for hundreds of years. One of the main tasks of these women is to prepare food for their families. For most, cooking takes place over open fires, which cause their homes to fill with toxic smoke. This smoke is not only an annoyance, but the cause of lung, eye and burn problems. Stoves vented to the outside are needed to prevent these health problems”. Click here to view Wyn Kalagian’s Website.