In 2018, MacFarlane was the recipient of the Canada Arts Council Explore and Create Grant. With this grant, she traveled to three locations across North America, intentionally selected for their foreign and diverse landscapes; Sedona, Arizona, New Orleans, Louisiana and Gros Morne, Newfoundland. During her travels, MacFarlane recorded her impressions of the places she encountered including their distinctive qualities of light, dramatic weather and native vegetation.
MacFarlane's upcoming exhibition, Bayou, Sea and Canyon, opening in September 2021, presents new colourful and dynamic paintings based on her explorations of these epic landscapes.
The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC. The Athenaeum.
In Pierre Bonnard's window paintings, he cleverly uses architecture to reframe his composition of the exterior landscape. MacFarlane's interest in this visual device can be seen in some of her recent paintings.
When she returns to her studio, MacFarlane creates maquettes made out of cut paper to diffuse her observational memories and focus on a specific feeling generated by a place. Like set design, her elements are pared down and simplified, but those that are included are intense and dramatic.