Amber MacGregor - Artist

I Just started up a new craft collective called the Golden Goose Collective. I have always wondered what it would be like to climb that bean stalk just like Jack and find the goose that lays the golden eggs. This collective is my attempt to find out. "Golden" is such a multifaceted word, we use it to connote wealth, and light and extreme talent. So, "golden" in every possible positive meaning of the word. 


I wanted to start something that other people could be a part of. It's all very well to create in a vacuum but it's really nice to have a community of self minded individuals around you too. I found that out in art school and later relived it in part working at Opus Art Supplies and Framing. Having artsy people around is inspiring. 


Basically the craft collective is a sales venue right now so it doesn't mean anyone has to commit to being at meetings or joining something that will take up too much time out of their regular schedule.


So for now there's an Etsy shop for the collective at 

It still only has a few things in it as it is Just Sharilyn from Plain Jane Designs and myself right now, but I am hoping to fill it with things as the days go by. I am also hoping to organize getting items to some craft fairs in the coming year (2014) in Victoria BC.


If you are interested in selling any crafty stuff that you've been making or know someone who might be interested please email me at, I can also be contacted via the contact page on this website or through the Golden Goose Collective Facebook page I will give you the scoop on the collective as it stands so far, Etsy fees (which are small) and how you can get paid when you sell things!


I'm looking forward to a crafty year! Oh and getting back into the studio for some painting time as well.


All the best to everyone!

Striving to remain optimistic?


Art is a great source of comfort in uncertain times. The reason for this is because it helps to open our minds to other ways of viewing the World around us. This allows for all sorts of ideas to come into our heads, ideas that may help to make massive positive changes in the World a reality.  


Even if you don't engage in any so called artistic pursuit you can benefit from the creativity within yourself and that of those around you. Make a batch of gingerbread cookies, learn to knit, go to an art gallery, read a book, consider some poetry, go to the theatre, take yoga, listen to music, engage in higher mathematice, take a course in physics, play with your kids, build a play structure, wander in your neighbourhood or go somewhere new...has my stream of consciousness rambling got you thinking towards any creative avenues yet? Just be here now, unplug and be.


Get creative, we can always change the World for the better. 

I've been struggling with what to say here. I keep starting and then rethinking and changing what I've written. Who knew that Halloween, that fabled time of year when the veil between the worlds becomes nebulous, was such a huge issue for me? It's a shame that it's been turned into such a consumerist madhouse, but then hasn't every little thing? I think the thing I don't appreciate about what Halloween has become is the infusion of horror. Why do we need to be bombarded with horror at Halloween? I think it's kind of sick that we take our children out at night to brave unknown manufactured horrors for candy. What does that teach a child? We are desensitizing our children to horror by following it with positive reinforcement. I know you can tell me I'm "blowing it out of proportion", or that I need to "lighten up", but I really don't think this is a good societal advancement.


Instead, I consider Halloween as a time to reflect on all things otherworldly. Spectres, ghosts, mysterious creatures of all stripes and the outer reaches of the imagination. I think it is a time to think about death, but by remembering those we have known and loved that have died, to imagine them somehow closer to us on that one day of the year.


I don't want to be desensitized to horror, I've been there and it isn't a good place to travel to. I don't want it for my child either or anyone else's for that matter. We have dark places in our psyches , I say let that be enough.


In that vein I wish you well. I hope you verge toward the light, as I hope always to do.

Remembering how I used to paint has been a challenge. I find that because I have been away from it for such a long time with only limited returns, there is a lot of things I can no longer recall. Muscle memory plays a big part in finding my way back to painting. I find myself simply painting in a certain way, without thinking too much. However, when I want to recreate a style or a colour or remember a certain avenue I know I've taken before, I have to rely on new methods or old rememberances of places I've found information or links to that information. That often means digging up old books, or articles or songs.

It can be both fascinating and frustrating doing this kind of research. If I was a more patient person I'm sure things would be different. I would probably, as I used to, verge off track from time to time and explore other avenues. Now I want to race to find that method so I can employ it right now.


The painting above I did in 2001 from a tiny photo booth photograph that I purchased in the Princess St. Goodwill in Winnipeg. I know I had been studying Velasquez, well studying his technique as well as one can from a book so far from the origins of such things. So I was painting in a very different way than he ever wouldl have done but trying to find some of his immediacy. It is a very different painting for it I think. That's what I'm looking for right now. Will I find it again?


I'm hoping for the best. Here I go back to Velasquez for a refresher course in immediacy. Wish me luck.

The first chill days of Autumn are upon us. I say Autumn because my daugher told me that Autumn comes first. Fall is when the leaves really start turning and falling off the trees, when there are only a few left clinging on the branches looking moldy and discontented.


It got me wondering if other people imagine other seasons that are inbetween the ones we are taught exist. I asked my daugher "If there were other seasons, what would they be called?" She shrugged her shoulders. Certainly as artists we often notice the slight changes in the weather from day to day and week to week, don't we? Or are we too caught up in what we are doing to notice?

I for one have decided to notice. A season can last a moment or a week or a month or more. It can be what you decide. A season of fragrant rain. A season of strong willed winds. A season of abundant blossoms or torrential crying or misty sleeps...

May you all be blessed with seasons, to learn from and ponder upon. To fill your dreams with awe.

I've been thinking a lot about what I want to be when I grow up. Problem is I've been "grown up" for a long time now. I'm one of those people who just seems to continually come up against a wall. You know the type, some of us seem too sensitive, too opinionated or too entitled for our own good. It's so easy to label isn't it? We label even ourselves. By my own standards I was "too shy" and then "recalcitrant" and them just plain "irritable". I never stopped to consider that perhaps I just wasn't giving myself a break. We just "are" and that's all.


I don't think it matters so much anymore whether or not I burn some bridges. Some bridges are never meant to be crossed back over again. And that spitting, crazed fire might ignite some new inspiration that will set me off in a whole new and uncharted direction, unlabeled and unmapped.

So for all those bridges I will never recross, I toss you up to the flames of redirection. I hope you burn fiercely with multicoloured flames and light my way with profound intensity.


For all of you, I hope you shine your light out there into the universe in whatever way you will allow and let it guide you to new and astonishing sights.

"On April 26th, 1986, an explosion in Reactor 4 of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, released large quantities of radioactive contamination into the air over Ukraine, Belarus and huge portions of Europe."  -Time Magazine 2011


After the accident, perhaps not quickly enough the surrounding towns and countryside in a 31 km circle around the plant were evacuated. People called "Liquidators" were sent in to clean up the contaminated area many of them being subjected to a lifetime of radiation in seconds. Some of these Liquidators died soon after their exposure but a surprising number of them survived their exposure and the consequent radiation poisoning.


The long term effects of the disaster have been dire, resulting in vastly increased rates of cancerous disease, and mutations in both human and animal life. The land once relatively well populated is now largely barren of people and being slowly taken over by plants and animals once near extinction, such as wolves and wild boar. The area in Belarus, once called the "Breadbasket of Europe" is now a wasteland of toxic soil and contaminated water that will not be fit for human habitation within out lifetime.


I was fourteen years old when this tragedy occurred. Growing up in Canada what felt like a world away from Ukraine, I still remember the terror that gripped the World within those first weeks after it became common knowledge. What I don't remember is any one nation deciding it was time to end their reliance on nuclear power. It was only recently that I found out Italy, in light of the Chernobyl disaster had decided agianst the use of nuclear power and had dismantled it's nuclear power program and the plants that were a product of it.


In 2000, I found an image of Liquidators sent into the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant shortly after the disaster. They were dressed in Tyvek suits with respirator masks. I remember thinking the outfits looked woefully inadequate to the task they had to undertake. I made a small painting from this photograph that can be found under "Portraits" from my home page, titled "Good Enough For Chernobyl...". I have been creating kaleidoscopic portraits from this painting. They are rather astonishing in their beauty, yet somehow retain fragments of the fear and horror I feel in relation to my own understanding and overactive imaginings of nuclear disaster and it's consequences.


In light of the Fukishima Nuclear disaster of 2011, and all of the Countries, mine included that perpetuate the use of nuclear power as a clean source of electricity. I hope we see the light soon and change our ways. I hope no one else ever has to go into a nuclear plant to clean up after a disaster like Chernobyl or Fukishima wearing a Tyvek suit and a respirator. I hope no one else ever has to evacuate from their town or watch their child develop cancer and waste away before their eyes, or live with the constant fear of physical repurcussions because some bigwig somewhere decided it was easier or cheaper to just keep that old reactor running.


Excuse the extreme ramble. That's what has been on my mind. I hope you all find the light in every day, seek it out it is always there somewhere. Love for all you are worth.

Thanks for reading.  xoxo

I have been working on what has turned out, to me at least, to be a rather thrilling new series of kaleidoscopic images. It's always fascinating to employ a kaleidoscopic view to just about any image but using it on my paintings has created a whole new world of visual options. This process brings forth unexpected images and unlocks former ideas, dreams and nightmares. Just in time for Halloween!


Thanks for reading my little ramble. Here's hoping everyone is safe and snug in their beds on this cold and blowy night.


my . artist run website