Rebecca Cowan was born in Ottawa in the mid-fifties, the third of four children. She spent her early childhood in the suburbs of Toronto, and her teen years in Montreal. She showed an early interest in art; one of her first collages was exhibited at the Canadian National Exhibition in 1961.
She began studying life drawing in her teens, and that interest in the figure remains one of the most important elements of Rebecca’s work. After studying theatre design at Ryerson University and English Literature at York University, Rebecca enrolled in the diploma program at Toronto School of Art in 1983. There she fell in love with printmaking, which continues to be her primary medium.
Rebecca Cowan considers herself to be a storyteller. All of her work, whether it is etching, drawing, painting or mixed media, has a narrative quality. She seeks to reach into people’s hearts and heads with images that are personal, universal, mysterious and familiar.