Molly Joan Bobak

 Molly Lamb Bobak, née Lamb (b at Vancouver 25 Feb 1922), daughter of Harold Mortimer Lamb and Alice Mary Price. Her father's activities as a collector and apologist for the GROUP OF SEVEN and her mother's love of gardening and predisposition to the beauty of nature predetermined Molly Lamb's career in the visual arts.

A recalcitrant student, Molly Lamb met her lifetime mentor, Jack L. SHADBOLT, while at the Vancouver School of Art (1938-41). Shadbolt's influence remained unabated throughout her career, more by dictum than example.

Molly Lamb joined the CANADIAN WOMEN'S ARMY CORPS in 1942, and her illustrated diaries were published by Dundurn Press in 1992 under the title, Double Duty: Sketches and Diaries of Molly Lamb Bobak, Canadian War Artist. Through the intervention of A.Y. JACKSON and Harry McCurry (Director, National Gallery of Canada) she was appointed an official Canadian war artist in 1945, the only woman to receive such a distinction (see WAR ARTISTS). It was here that she met her husband, Bruno BOBAK, also a Canadian war artist.

Following the war and marriage, Molly Bobak returned to Vancouver where she taught at the Vancouver School of Art and began to work in radio and television for which she exhibited a particular aptitude.

She received a Canada Council Fellowship to study in Europe, Norway in particular. Her overseas study was interrupted by her husband's appointment as Artist-in-Residence at the University of New Brunswick in Autumn 1960, which saw them relocate to Fredericton. Molly Bobak continued to give workshops at UNB and across Canada and resumed her television work offering live art lessons.

The corpus of work she has created divides itself into two categories: her elegantly limpid watercolours of flowers with their oriental spareness, and the expressionist oil paintings, celebratory affirmations of the ordinary events of our lives, in particular the commingling of mankind. Although subject to myriad influences, not the least of which is her husband, Molly Bobak's rootedness in the organic and her gestural application of pigment ally her closely to the British Neo-Romantic school and by extension to the work of such Scottish women artists as Joan Kathleen Harding Eardley (1921-1963) and Anne Redpath (1895-1965).

She was accorded a major travelling retrospective exhibition by the MacKenzie Art Gallery in 1993. She has received honorary degrees from UNB (1983), Mount Allison University (1984) and Saint Thomas University (1994) and is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. In 1995 she was made a member of the ORDER OF CANADA. Molly Bobak has also illustrated children's books including Sheree Fitch's Toes in My Nose.