Sailor and artist

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Naval Reserve News / March 29, 2016

By Acting Sub-Lieutenant Danny Young

Although naval reservists come from all walks of life, HMCS Scotian’s Leading Seaman Margareta Boivin, is somewhat unique. As well as being a Naval Combat Information Operator (NCIOP), she is also an accomplished local painter and a member of the Contemporary Art Society of Nova Scotia. Along with other artists from the society, her paintings were on display last year at Halifax City Hall from October 21-23 and at Credit Union Atlantic in Dartmouth, N.S., on December 23.

LS Boivin first started painting in high school when she was introduced to oil painting. "I fell in love with it," she says. However, when it came time to go to university, her parents felt she should study something else besides art. "I felt divided," she says, so she studied computer science first before going on to complete a degree in visual arts, art history and visual culture at the University of Windsor in Ontario.

While that background may not lend itself naturally to a life in the Naval Reserve, LS Boivin gave credit to her two older sisters for showing her an opportunity. “When I was 13 years old both of my elder sisters were in the Army Reserve and when they came back from Borden (Ont.) for training, they painted a good picture of the Reserves for me,” she says. “I decided to join as well because I believe that being part of the military is good for the character; it teaches people to work hard and to work together under stressful circumstances.”

Upon completion of university, LS Boivin initially joined HMCS Hunter in Windsor, but then transferred to HMCS Scotian in Halifax

Some of LS Boivin's paintings are naval themed, while some are scenes from places she's travelled in Canada with the Royal Canadian Navy. "Just life," she says, when asked about her inspirations.

One collection of paintings features scenes from her time in the maritime coastal defence vessel HMCS Goose Bay. She explains that as a NCIOP, she would spend periods of time in the Operations Room and occasionally go up to the bridge to see what was going on. Each time she went up to the bridge, she would see a completely different scene outside. "Sometimes I would see fishing boats, other times I would see mountains, or a city," she explains.

Sometimes she would paint one of those scenes. In one series of paintings, she would incorporate different scenes into one painting, thus creating a new scene that didn't exist before. She likes to use a combination of styles including folklore, realism and a bit of everything. "I have a style of my own because I like to use a lot of bright colours."

LS Boivin is currently working on a new collection of paintings that she will display during the summer of 2016. When asked what the best thing about painting was, she replied, "I love how I can make people feel with my art."