The montage below displays some of my art work. The subject matter is drawn mostly from pictures of my travels and also from friends who kindly share terrific pictures of scenes in Canada and elsewhere. A friend living close by who has a beautiful and well-kept garden often shares pictures of how his garden is blooming and the various wildlife life visitors that pay visits during the spring and summer. I painted some of his lovely flowering plants as well as a raccoon intruder digging up his garden. While my art focuses mostly on nature scenes (gardens, landscapes and seascapes) due to my love of the outdoors, I also try to capture memories of poignant experiences while growing up in Guyana.

In order to view all the categories of my work you should check the “Gallery” tab. I very much enjoy working with other subjects such as still life, portraits, figures and also contemporary abstract art. Although my preference is for acrylics and water colours I work occasionally with oils, pastels and charcoal.

Feel free to leave a comment on any item that catches your fancy. You are also invited to join my mailing list by registering at the ‘follow’ icon located at the bottom right of the screen. By registering at the ‘follow’ icon you will be notified of my most recent works as soon as they are posted.

Cruising down the Amazon

(Resides in Ontario, Canada) 

​M.P. Cheeks


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Mount Roraima

I finally managed to complete a painting of Mount Roraima. It was a calming experience during this challenging time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mount Roraima is the highest of the Pakaraima chain of tepui plateaus in South America. Roraima, is a massive tepui (table-top mountain), lies on the Guyana Shield and its sandstone cliffs ride straight up from the lush rainforests all around. It is situated on the border of Venezuela, Brazil and Guyana. Most of this mountain falls in Venezuela’s territory.

Some years ago when I visited Guyana to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Independence I made sure to check out the Amazon region and hopefully take pictures of Mount Roraima. However, I only had access to an aerial view from an airplane hence the pictures I took did not capture the elegance and beauty of this wonderful natural landmark. I relied on a range of Mount Roraima images accessible online to create my painting. Capturing an image of this stunning landmark in a painting was finally achieved.

Caribbean Sea Life

Colourful Caribbean Sea Life


Several years ago I enjoyed a tourist submarine trip while on vacation in Barbados. This island is blessed with a diversity of extraordinary sea creatures and coral reefs. Initially I was a bit nervous as I never ever learned to swim and hoped there would be no accident in the sea. It was an incredible experience as I saw a range of marine life and stunning coral reefs. I took several pictures of that undersea trip and promised myself I would capture that experience in my art…..hence the inspiration to create this painting. This painting captures combined images from the pictures I took.

Recently I was notified by my contact in Barbados that tourists taking the submarine trip are disappointed due to the absence of marine life and disappearing coral reefs. Due to climate changes and environment damage to water sources, land biodiversity and marine damage to the marine eco-system there has been a reduction in many species of sea life. Some of the biggest threats to marine life are climate change and plastic pollution. Thankfully I took this trip several years ago so was fortunate to have experienced this beautiful undersea life in Barbados.

Harvest & Gratitude

Indigenous Peoples have celebrated the harvest from the field and forest for millennia. The harvest comes at the end of the growing season and at such time they express their gratitude in various forms of celebration. The tradition of thankfulness is interwoven into the Legend of Three Sisters. That legend tells the story of three sisters who grew crops such as corn, beans, and squash. These three main crops ‘corn, beans, and squash’ were called the “Three Sisters” and were usually grown together. Although the tradition included various crops such as turnips, potatoes and carrots pumpkins, nuts, berries and some game, the “three sisters” legend focusses on three crops — corn, beans and squash. The celebration recognizes the spirits in which they believed acted on their behalf to give them food. It is also a celebration to express their gratitude for surviving winter and the bounteous yield as a result of their hard work.

My paintings below are intended to capture some of the traditions of thankfulness by indigenous peoples for a bountiful harvest:

Legend of the Three Sisters

Three Sisters Legend

Six Nations Harvest
Six Nations Harvest

Corn Harvest
Corn Harvest


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Autumn Equinox

The Autumn Equinox, also known as the September Equinox, marks the end of summer and start of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere. The equinox does not have a fixed date and instead falls on one of four days between September 21 and September 24. On the equinox, night and day are nearly exactly the same length, that is about 12 hours – all over the world. This is the reason it’s called an “equinox,” a word derived from Latin, meaning “equal night.”

At a precise moment each September (on the 21st, 22nd or 23rd), the sun appears directly above the equator, marking the exact time of the autumnal equinox here in the Northern Hemisphere. The summer this year has been one of the warmest on record and will probably last well pass the Equinox.

Although we can say goodbye to our long summer on Saturday, September 22, it is unlikely that cooler temperatures will emerge straightaway.  All around us, trees and plants are beginning to signal the ending of this year’s cycle of growth.  Crisp leaves, apple picking, hayrides, and pumpkin patches are all signs that indicate a change of seasons. The long hot days of summer start to dwindle, as the cooler, crisp air of fall begins to settle in.  So let us go outside when there is sunset or sunrise and enjoy this wonderful gift of nature.

Here is a great quote from Shakespeare capturing this special season:

      Sonnet 73
      That time of year thou mayst in me behold.
      When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang.
      Upon those boughs which shake against the cold
      Bare ruined choirs where late the sweet birds sang.

I hope you enjoy viewing these art works I created to celebrate Autumn Equinox as we welcome first day of Autumn:

Pumpkin Harvest










Autumn River Sunset









Autumn In The Park

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Summer Solstice

These paintings were inspired by the Summer Solstice which occurs annually on June 21. It is a celebration of the ‘first day of summer’ and the longest day of the year.

Solstice comes from the Latin word ‘sol sistere’ meaning ‘Sun standstill’. As the sun reaches its furthest point from the equator the Solstice marks the longest day of the year. The most popular celebrations take place at STONEHENGE which is a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England.  STONEHENGE is believed to have been constructed about 3,000 years ago.

During the Summer Solstice the sun appears to stand still as it reaches its highest point before moving off toward the horizon. The longest day of the year is a cause of celebration for many, whether you feel a spiritual connection to the power of the sun or are simply relieved that summer has finally arrived. The Solstice is also of significance to the Indigenous/First Nations People across Canada who traditionally gather and celebrate that event on June 21. Summer Solstice is officially declared as National Indigenous Peoples Day (NIPD).

Three of my four paintings include images of flowers in sunlight. There is one displaying waterlilies with reflections from the sun.

Sunshine in the Garden

Sunflower Solstice

Tulip Field


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Spotted Rose

Becoming a Spotted Rose

Spotted Rose

Spotted Rose





I was inspired to paint the images roses from a friend’s garden that had undergone a transformation. Initially I wanted to name this painting “A Rose For All Seasons” borrowing the title from that iconic movie “A Man For All Seasons”. That title wouldn’t be entirely accurate since the transformation barely occurs in one season. This painting captures the actual transformation that a rose had undergone last summer. Sometimes this transformation is attributed to roses that are hybrid or, in this case, to fluctuating weather conditions. This rose was affected by weather conditions and subsequently developed ‘water marks’. The ‘water marks’ on the rose were created after rain showers were followed by sunshine on the flower. Some people also attribute this transformation to the overnight dew on the petals that interacts with the sun the next day. I saw this transformation as an optimistic message that something special is about to unfold similar to positive changes that paralleled our own lives. I prefer to be philosophical and describe this transformation as a creation done by nature’s paintbrush.


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Musical Nostalgia

Musical Nostalgia

Musical Nostalgia

While growing up, art and music both played a major role in my life. This painting is an attempt to blend those two experiences… to re-awaken the memories of that creative time in my youth, a time when my mind was uncluttered. I have fond memories of playing the piano but I also recall some frustration while struggling with difficult compositions. Although I was fascinated by the sounds of all the musical instruments, it was the piano that captivated me. As I grew older I allowed myself to become lost in music as I dealt with the challenges of adolescence.

Oddly enough, I recall the absence of nervousness when as kids we took exams administered by an overseas adjudicator from the Royal College of Music and also when we performed at concerts. That courage to perform before a live audience has to be attributed to a dedicated music teacher who taught my sisters and I for years. I have also included in my painting other musical instruments that captivated me but, alas, never had the opportunity to learn. The metronome had to be included as it brought back memories of the imp in me who wanted to take it apart as I did with so many of my toys …I had to find out how it made that ‘tick tock’ sound.

Over the years I attended various performances featuring concerts, musicals, operas and solo performances so that those early experiences would not fade away. Tastes change but my fondness for the piano has remained. Since the piano was my instrument of choice it has been given a fairly prominent place in this painting. The inspiration for a purplish background in this painting came from the wood of the “Purple Heart” tree in Guyana. I felt that the purple background would be an effective contrast to the mostly golden brown colours of the instruments. The wood from the purple heart tree was sometimes used  in furniture construction …I owe a special ‘thank you’ to a friend for the suggestion to use ‘purple heart’ as the background colour rather than my first preference of ‘green heart’. The Victoria Regia water lily is purposely intertwined with the treble clef on the scroll as a link to my early life in Guyana. It brings to mind the pride many Guyanese felt when we boasted about that elegant flower with those mammoth leaves floating in the pond at the Botanical Gardens in Georgetown as well in the interior regions. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria_(plant).  On the scroll I included a few fragments of music composed by some of my favourite composers … Chopin, Mozart, Brahms, and Beethoven. 

For me, this painting represents the lingering nostalgia from a creative period of my youth that I had to set aside in order to focus on academics.  The intent was to capture memories of that particular period in my youth and translate those memories into something tangible to show how emotions can be expressed through the prism of art. Now that I am older it sometimes seems that life is a highly artistic musical dance that quite often becomes complex and challenging. Yet, as times marches on, I would like this dance, however complex or challenging, to last for a very long time!!!

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Yellow Rose of Hope

Yellow Rose of Hope

Yellow Rose of Hope – Acrylic

I was inspired to paint this yellow rose at the dawn of New Year being driven by an overwhelming sense of hope for 2012.  We have had a lot of turbulence in the world whether it was tragic outcomes of political and social unrest, occupy movements, ongoing economic inequalities or devastation wrought by tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods and not to forget various man-made disasters. Of course, it is mostly the economic turmoil that is still a major concern and which has left  many in a state of fear and despair. What the world needs is a ‘movement for hope’ that can be translated into concrete actions and solutions to make the world a better place for all of us.

In times of crisis, chaos and uncertainty it is better to invest in beauty so am doing my small part to push away those events and focus on generating “hope” with my latest painting  …..” Yellow Rose of Hope“.  So I  juxtaposed the yellow rose against a vivid array of mostly dark colours in the background. That background  is intended  to capture the chaos and turbulence occurring in so many parts of the world.  And that yellow rose is the focus of the painting so as to emphasize the need for us to embrace hope as we look to the future.

Life is not perfect but we should try to strike a balance between the good, the bad and, yes, the boring. Despite so many chaotic events around the globe this past year and also personal setbacks let us not cave in to pessimism. Instead, let us contribute to a future that makes it worthwhile to wake up every day with a feeling that it is good to be alive another day. Let this rose be a symbol of  hope and of new beginnings for the New Year.

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