In the spring of 1998, Marilyn exhibited again at the CAC, with her exhibition entitled "Seeing it All - Egypt , a land of beauty."
From the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea , from the Western Desert to the Sinai, and along the Nile from Upper Egypt to Lower Egypt , there is a land of incredible diversity and beauty. To capture Egypt 's unique beauty, I try to show every detail, using photography as a tool to enable me to paint things that I couldn't otherwise. Since I take my own photographs of places and scenes for my paintings, I do a lot of editing with the camera. Then in my studio, starting with my selected photographs as models, I eliminate irrelevant details, make lines stronger, change the depth and enhance the color and quality of light.
I believe art can enrich our lives and even affect the way we see the world. I want the viewer to see all of the many beautiful or interesting parts of Egypt . I don't make parts of a painting out of focus, as they could be in a photograph, because it would limit what people are supposed to look at. I want people to look at it all. Everything is in focus.
I usually choose still subjects, because painting is essentially a static art. However, paintings do have life and energy which is unique when combined with the life and energy of the viewer.
As a photo-realist, I paint an equalized surface: background, middle ground and foreground. For example, I treat the sky as carefully as the pattern of a brick, since the sky is just as important a component of the surface. It's about wanting the viewer to see it all.
In the fall of 1998 Marilyn presented her first Canadian exhibition, "Sand in my Shoes - A Canadian's paintings of Egypt " at the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery in September. It was exciting for her to present her Egyptian landscapes to fellow Canadians.
Her catalogue read:
Living in Cairo , overwhelmed by the density, noise and crowding, I began my search for quiet and beautiful places in Egypt . In the last six years I have visited many such sites. I have explored and photographed much of Cairo and its surrounding desert with day excursions to see the great Giza pyramids, the Saqqara step pyramid, and the Dashour pyramids. Longer trips such as a ten-day desert safari included explorations of the western oases: Bahariya, Farafra, Dakhla and Kargha and the variety of desert visages between.
Nile cruises have allowed me to see Upper Egypt from Luxor with its burial grounds of the Pharaohs to Aswan, a beautiful city where the Nile is wide and clean. In Aswan there is no better way to spend the day than sailing on a felucca. North of Cairo is the ancient port city of Alexandria on the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. Mainland Egypt, relatively flat when compared to the Sinai, is not without its share of valleys and rolling dunes. Waadi Riyan is unique with its valley filled with a fresh water lake.
There is also the northwestern oasis, Siwa, with its own distinctive life and one of the main sources of Egypt 's bottled water. The Sinai, actually a large peninsula extending into the Red Sea, is a whole new landscape to investigate.