Born and raised in Canada, Maureen’s earliest memories are of the creative play she, her brother and younger sister would get involved in over the summer holidays.  Their Mother provided them with the basics, and they went from there. Once even building a puppet theatre, then the puppets and then putting on a show for the neighbourhood children. Despite this, Mo’s year 7 teacher told her she would never be a creative. Boy was she wrong!

Mo initially studied nursing, becoming a Charge Nurse, before going on to study for her Bachelor of Science at the University of Waterloo in Canada. Throughout this time, she maintained her strong interest in art and teaching art.

Ancient Gum Tree (Watercolour using a handmade stencil)

As an Art Instructor at the Springbank Art Centre in Mississauga, Mo developed courses and workshops for adults and children. She began her own business, Mosart Studio, to further her teaching and artistic practice, taking inspiration from the natural environment around her – trees, rocks, rivers, birds. Mo also developed strong friendships in the creative community, some still in existence today, who encouraged her to think big and follow her dreams. This, and her extensive journey of self-discovery have all fed into her creative soul.

Mo founded the Credit Village Outdoor Art Show, a non-profit juried art show in Mississauga, Canada, that brought art to everyday people in a fun and informal atmosphere. Beginning with 6 artists, the event grew to over 50 during her six-year tenure as Director, volunteer, and participant.

Mo’s creative motivation comes from continually asking the “why” and ”what if …?”questions. She said, “… it comes from finding the magic in the moment, even something as simple as steam settling on tiles in the shower…always being aware of what is around you”. This results in a myriad of ideas coming at all hours of the day and night. Creating the added challenge for Mo of finding enough time and energy to progress the projects they inspire!

Mo married her husband Jim in 1985 and they immigrated to Australia in 2005 to escape the cold Canadian winters, swapping minus 40 degree for plus 40 degree temperatures. Mo returned to nursing before completing her medical degree at UWA in 2010. After graduating, she worked across several of Perth’s major hospitals. Despite her academic achievements and her creative successes, Mo was battling a deep, depressive sadness that eventually would not be ignored and in 2014 Mo left medicine, a very hard decision as she loved it so much.

It took time, but eventually Mo lifted out of her depression (with some help from Jim and a very special feline friend) and has accepted the need to be gentle with herself, and others. She has written about her experience in a short story “I will speak my story”, with the hope that others in a similar situation will find their way out too.

Mo has returned to her creative self and has a great love of inspiring others with their creative journey to help people reconnect with themselves and what is around them. Her interest in helping others, led her to pursue further studies and in 2016 she completed a Graduate Diploma in Counselling at Murdoch University. Mo misses her involvement with science and medicine and would dearly love to combine her art and health knowledge to help educate the next generation of medical practitioners to maintain focus on their own mental health.

In addition to her own art, Mo runs workshops for adults and children through Melville Arts @ Atwell House and the Canning Arts Centre. Her classes are quite varied and include watercolour, (for beginners and more advanced artists), gelli printing and even how to spark your creativity! I was lucky enough to attend Mo’s gelli printing workshop and can certainly recommend her as a teacher.

View the items Mo has gifted to the CAP SHOP (Maureen Lipa) and more of her creative work on her website.