Welcome to Marilyn (Em) Walker’s site! You’ll find images of my past and current work in painting and print-making, as well as classes and workshops I offer in Nature Printing; Mandalas, Medicine Wheels & Labyrinths; and, Making Medicine.

I’m a retired university Professor, now Professor Emeritus, with a PhD in anthropology. I have taught visual arts, art education, art therapy, as well as medical anthropology, ethnobotany, and outdoor education to a wide range of age and interest groups. I’ve taught in public and private schools, universities, and in non-conventional settings such as museums, parks, and community centres to several thousand students in class sizes from 1-200.

My academic career focused on Indigenous ways of knowing and being, especially those with shamanic traditions, in many parts of the world – Southeast Asia, India, Siberia, Mongolia, northern North America, and with the Tibetan Bon tradition. These life-changing experiences continue to inform my art and teaching.

For my academic research and publications, please go to:

Shamanism Publications by Marilyn Walker, PhD

Artist’s Statement

Deepening my connection to the spirit of a place is the foundation of my art, with colour as a primary interest. Most of my work is abstract, sometimes with reference to a particular tree or plant in my forest garden, in whatever media – acrylics, cold wax and oils, printmaking – suit the subject. I also draw inspiration from my inner world and from something – an emotion, feeling or experience – that seems to want to be expressed through me.

Major influences are the Indigenous cultures – in Siberia, Mongolia, India, Southeast Asia, northern North America – in which I’ve lived and worked as an anthropologist and ethnobotanist. Here, life and art are one and the same. Especially important is the subtle connection to the natural world and the spirit realm.

Read Ways of Knowing by Marilyn Walker

With students, I teach the art of ‘not looking’ to find a subject of study, to take them to places beyond thought and into the heart. They interweave their subject with their own experience of it and so connect with the spirit of a place, plant, event or person at a deeper level than the everyday.

Title: Arbutus, Acrylics, 2’ X 4’

Ways of Knowing by Marilyn Walker

Visual Arts

As an artist (part-time and now full-time),  I have explored various media in painting and print-making – acrylics, inks, cold wax & oils / encaustic, and pastels. Please have a look at my PAINTINGS (Non-representational Abstract, Florals & Fruits); and PRINT MAKING (Lithographs and Monoprints). Thank you for visiting and do check back for updates and new work!


Nature Printing: Artists In The Class Programme

This fall, I’m offering Nature Printing to Grades 3&4 at Salt Spring Elementary once a week over 8 weeks thanks to the Artists In The Class Programme of the Salt Spring Arts Council. We’ve had amazing weather for collecting our materials outdoors! I’m so impressed with the level of awareness about the environment amongst these young students -they give me …