Maureen Ault

Maureen Ault is a mixed media: Oshibana artist living in Guelph, Ontario. Oshibana is an ancient Japanese artform dating back to the 1600s. This artform is created by using pressed botanicals to create a whole picture. Often, each piece of artwork consists of many different colours, shades and types of botanicals. Maureen uses real pressed flower petals, leaves, ferns, grasses, and even bark to create her artwork. Her current body of work focuses on landscape and wildlife art.

Each piece of botanical material is layered onto archival paper using a tiny drop of glue. The challenge for Maureen as an artist is realizing her vision for each piece using a limited palette that restricts the development of shadows and highlights. Furthermore, the brilliance of nature is often not seen in the final pressed petal or leaf, as colour changes and a reduction in the colour intensity occurs with pressing. She uses a variety of pressed botanical materials in her artwork to create texture, detail and to capture the colours in nature. While focusing on the natural material, Maureen has begun to experiment with commercially dyed or colour enhanced petals, stem dyeing flowers and applying acrylics to petals and leaves. These are always identified in the description accompanying her artwork.

The use of pressed botanical materials ensures that each piece creates a permanent image to be enjoyed by your for years to come. Pressing is a natural preservative which is further enhanced by Maureen’s use of archival papers and glues in addition to framing under museum glass and vacuum sealing each piece against conservation anti-glare plexiglass. However, some botanical materials remain susceptible to UV despite these measure. Your new artwork should be hung away from direct sunlight, moisture, chemicals, and sources of heat as you would with any piece of fine art.

Maureen is a member of the World Wide Pressed Flower Guild and a contributor to their newsletter. Maureen is also a member, instructor and artist with the Brain Injury Association of Waterloo/Wellington.

Maureen was the recipient of a grant from the Ontario Arts Council, 2021-23. Hiking Through Killarney was a finalist in the 2023 Ontario Society of Artists Juried Exhibition For Emerging Artists. Maureen has also exhibited in art shows, galleries and online exhibits in Toronto and the GTA.

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