Earliest memories of myself sketching…the back of people’s heads in church…later as a teenager sketching during a long rehabilitation after paralysis caused by transverse myelitis.
Serious interest began when I attended night classes in Life Drawing at the Ontario College of Art. I was hooked and enrolled full time. Upon graduation in 1965 I was excited to be hired by the Royal Ontario Museum as a model maker and diorama artist. I soon learned that sitting at a work station in a museum was not for me. I left the R.O.M. travelling on my own to study the Mexican muralists.
In 1969 I and my husband jointly bought 66 off grid riverside acres in the Blaeberry Valley outside of Golden, BC. This has been home base ever since. Surrounded by awesome beauty landscape became a focus.
Over the years I have been able to combine my passion for both landscape and figurative work. My early perception of seeing a figure in the mountain opposite my studio was later developed through many paintings into a statement of our earth as a vulnerable friend to be valued, respected, loved …and to be protected.
The old timer from whom we purchased, told us as a child he had found David Thompson’s initials carved into a tree on the property. We never found; whether an interesting story or the tree was a casualty of an infamous Blaeberry Blow?? Whatever…it ignited imagination of Thompson’s trips over Howe’s Pass/down the Blaeberry/Columbia (accompanied by his wife and children at times) and beyond. ‘Thompson Meets Zorro’ (on my website) is further musing on this.
Ideally, time and circumstances permitting, I like to paint spontaneously on location. This is not always possible so I have accumulated a pile of sketchbooks which record my impressions to be translated later.
In 2000 I began, at my husband’s suggestion annual Open Studio Shows in the month of August. I thought he was crazy given our off-grid remoteness but these openings proved surprisingly successful attracting people from around the globe. We met adventurous, intrepid travellers set to experience Canadian wilderness and curious to see whether a wilderness studio gallery was a joke or for real; and local people who enjoyed the outing and brought their summer visitors. Wonderful people many of whom returned home with my work.
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