A bit about me
I was born and raised in Canada. I grew up in Ontario, and lived many years on the east coast as well. I've lived in a car for a while to travel the United States, and I've lived in France, New Mexico, and now Texas.
I participated in a program called "Land Arts of the American West," that had us living well off the beaten path all across the Southwest for several months – only the thin fabric of our tents separating us from the land and the elements.
I've had the great fortune of experiencing these drastically different climates and landscapes. I create as a way to process this intense experience, to honor and celebrate the human condition and the deeply impressionalbe experiences of landscape.
My beginnings as an artist
Some of my most impressionable years were spent working as a natural history interpreter in parks across Canada. I led hikes on the flora and fauna, created informative signage, murals, and mini guidebooks for the visitors. My spare time was spent on long hikes, painting or sketching my surroundings.
My earliest artistic influence was the Group of Seven, a group of Canadian landscape painters in the twenties who believed that a distinctly Canadian art could be developed through direct contact with nature.
I paint the experience of a place, rather than the image of a place. My paintings tell the story of an experience of landscape AND of the creation of a painting. Instead of only showing the final piece, they acknowledge the process of creation. The paintings hold visual anchors in realism, and simultaneously reveal many of the abstracted marks of their creation.
I am continuously inspired by moving through and studying the natural world, animal life, fiction and non-fiction, yoga, and Zen Buddhism.
Why paint? There is a decadence to paint, and a richness of the pigment and tactility. The way it moves and is susceptible to so much manipulation from gesture is what draws me again and again to this medium. And COLOR acts on the body. Color has agency, vitality, PULSE. I want to keep that alive. I want the viewer to see every color I lay down, consciously or not. This lends the work a certain energy, as previous layers glow through, and mimics a watercolor technique which is the medium I use often in the field. A brush stroke, like a voyage, is an act of curiosity, of exploration and of discovery. As is the landscape, in painting there will always be terra incongnita. But it is this mystery, magic, and the unknown, pregnant with potential, that excites me and propels me forwards in my investigations.