With non-essential travel limited these days, we figured it was time to get creative with some virtual exploration. It can be a welcome respite to travel far and wide from our laptops or phones, and hopefully in doing so we can plan for some future fun.
As a worldwide Sotheby’s International Realty affiliate, we take great pride in being part of a genuine and unrivaled global network, as well as our proximity to the art world’s renowned auction house. So we decided to celebrate this extraordinary combination by taking a virtual winter getaway to our neighbors in the north, Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, and to have a chat with Canadian landscape artist Meg O’Hara.
Our talk with Meg was inspired by a pre-Covid trip to Quebec, specifically to the French-Canadian jewel of a town, Mont Tremblant. Located just over an hour outside Montreal (and just over a 7-hour drive from the Princeton area), Tremblant has been voted the #1 Ski Resort in Eastern North America by Ski Magazine for the past twenty years, and rates top choice for on-mountain food, dining, lodging, and apres-ski. (And the fondue at La Savoie definitely deserves a spot on the bucket list!)
It was a thrill to have the opportunity to talk about all things skiing and art with Meg, the foremost artist in the ski industry, best known for her work with resorts, heli-lodges and private ski chalets. So pull up a chair, your favorite warm beverage, and let’s dive into a winter wonderland with Meg O’Hara. *And read to the end to tour two listings from our Mont Tremblant Sotheby’s International Realty affiliate!
Bricks & Mortar: When did your interest in art/painting begin?
Meg O’Hara: I started painting at a very young age. My granny was an artist, and every summer when I would visit her we would spend our days painting together. Those childhood art classes eventually led to me pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in College and a career as a professional artist. My granny was also the first person to buy one of my paintings. When I was 16 years old she paid me $100 for a painting I made!
B&M: How did you come to focus on ski landscapes?
MO: My start in the ski industry really came from a commission that I did for Sunshine Village Ski Resort in Banff, Canada. I created a very large painting for the ski resort that is now hanging in the only ski-in-ski-out hotel in Banff. This was a total game changer. I loved the people I was working with and the freedom to have meetings over après and in ski boots showed me that this was an area where I would thrive. I’ve always been an avid skier from a big ski family, so once I found the niche it was a very natural transition. Over the years I’ve been commissioned by multiple ski resorts, hotels and heliskiing lodges. In addition, I’ve increasingly been working one-on-one with private collectors to create paintings for their private ski chalets.
B&M: What is your most adventurous ski painting experience?
MO: My biggest highlight so far was going to Mica Heliskiing Lodge in British Columbia to work on a commission for them. The luxury lodge is helicopter access only and I was lucky to spend almost a week there. It was also my first time ever going heliskiing! The lodge, the views and the skiing was amazing… but the people I met were the highlight.
B&M: Where are some of your paintings on display?
MO: All over! My paintings can be found in private and corporate collections across the States, Canada and Europe, and in private collections and chalets in ski towns across the world: California, Vermont, Connecticut, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Michigan, British Columbia, Alberta, and the list goes on. Some of my corporate clients include: Sunshine Village Ski Resort, HOK International, The Vancouver Golf Club, Castle Mountain Resort, Mica Heliskiing, Snowwater Heli Skiing, Protect our Winters, Hidden Valley, Daniels Corporation etc.
B&M: Have you been to Mont Tremblant?
MO: I have indeed! I grew up in the East, so my family would take ski trips to Mont Tremblant a lot in my childhood. It’s a beautiful ski town with a really uniquely Canadian feel. It’s a beautiful place, and I would recommend anyone who gets the chance to check it out!
B&M: Where is your favorite place to ski in Canada? And outside Canada?
MO: My favourite place to ski in Canada is my home mountain of Whistler Blackcomb.
Outside of Canada I would have to say it’s Mount Hood in Oregon. My favourite skiing memory is probably from when I was a teenager and I went on a ski trip with one of my cousins to the West Coast. Since I grew up in Toronto there aren’t really any mountains nearby… so, when I skied out West for the first time I honestly could NOT believe how much fun it was! The fact that the ski runs took more than two minutes to get down was something I had a hard time wrapping my head around. Still to this day it’s one of the best ski trips I’ve ever had.
B&M: How can someone purchase your paintings?
MO: There are two ways to purchase my paintings. They can either acquire a painting from my inventory, or they can commission a custom piece. I do commissions all the time, and I love it. Being able to create a custom and one-of-a-kind painting directly for a client is a huge joy. When a client reaches out to me we set up a virtual Commission Consultation either by phone or over Zoom. During this Consultation we will discuss the ideas you have for the painting(s) such as size, concept, colour palette, quantity, meaning of the piece, etc. Once we agree on the concept for the painting(s) and I receive a 50% deposit, then I will get started on the studio sketch. A studio sketch is a smaller version of the final painting that will be sent to the client for approval. Once they approve the studio sketch, I will get started on the final painting! The commission process usually takes 4-8 weeks. Once the painting is complete, we can arrange delivery and installation in your home for you to enjoy for years to come! For acquiring from my inventory, or a custom commission, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and my website, www.megoharacreative.com, and on Instagram: @megoharacreative.
B&M: What projects are you currently working on and what’s up next for you?
MO: At the moment I am working on a few private commissions for Christmas 2020. In addition, I’ve been working on a few passion paintings. I recently finished a 36”x60” painting of the Matterhorn which I am in LOVE with. Next up, I really want to do a painting of the Tetons.
Many thanks to Meg O’Hara for sharing her art with us. To see more of her incredible work please visit megoharacreative.com and @megoharacreative. Still have snow and skiing on the mind? Tour these extraordinary properties below thanks to our colleagues in Mont Tremblant:
“Nestled in the Laurentian Mountains, CachéinQuébec is a private 486 acres luxury wilderness retreat situated on beautiful Lac Mitchell just 20 minutes north of Mont-Tremblant village. The facilities include 4 authentic log cabins and a master lodge combing lake front and wilderness serenity with high-end luxuries and comfortable living atmosphere.
CachéinQuebec facilities include: 4 fully equipped log cabins (3 and 4 bedroom). 16 bedrooms in total. Each log cabin is luxuriously equipped with a gourmet kitchen, private dining area and fireplace lounge. Outdoor decks and spa. Garage with direct cabin access. Foot trails connect each log cabin with the Master Log Lodge where guests may relax in a lounge, bar, game room, outdoor pool, spa, sauna and BBQ areas. A private dock allows direct access to Lac Mitchell for swimming, boating, water sports activities and fishing. 485 acres of surrounding private forest land including 2 private lakes offers guests hiking, quad, canoeing and snowmobiling trails for all to enjoy the great Canadian outdoors.
Access: Just 2 hours’ drive north of Montreal by Highway 117 – Exit Labelle. Just 10 minutes from Mont Tremblant / La Macaza airport.”