I paint realistically working in transparent watercolours. For me, no other medium gives the same glow that comes from within a watercolour painting. Stretching outside my comfort zone, I constantly push the medium and myself to see what we both can do. I feel I am successful in my art if I am able to tell a story, evoke an emotion in the viewer or capture someone’s personality.
Vast landscapes seem impersonal to me, no matter how beautiful. I prefer a more intimate view of the world. My landscapes often include figures, animals, or signs that they have been there. Portraits done by the old masters are what inspired me to try painting and I am drawn to the effects of light on people and everyday objects. I am fascinated with reflections and shadows and strong darks are the first thing I notice and often where I start my paintings.
Living my whole life in a small city in Northern Ontario has greatly affected how I see the world and life in general. Living within walking distance of untamed wilderness gives one an intimate closeness with nature and provides the ability to see it in all variations of light and changes in weather. However, the other side of isolation means that access to education in art and even exposure to art galleries has been limited. The internet has provided a link to these resources while enabling me to continue to live where I feel I belong.
As I raised a family and worked in a nursing career, time for any kind of art was short, so I used a camera to capture my world with the intention of one day turning these photos into paintings. When I did manage to make some time for painting, I tried using oils but wasn’t happy with my paintings and abandoned my dream for 20 years. In Feb of 2004 a friend dragged me to a beginner’s watercolour class because they needed a minimum number of students. I was hooked from the first moment I applied transparent watercolour to paper. It allowed me to paint the way I viewed the world – in washes of overlapping colour. The first place I looked for reference photos were my photo albums and I was able to turn many of those photos into paintings at last. I have painted or studied some aspect of art almost every day since. I had to learn not only watercolour technique and materials, but also the language of art, rules for competitions and shows, and matting and framing techniques. Because of the number of requests for commissions, I also had to learn how to start a small business, business taxes and accounting. It has been a busy few years! I feel I am just beginning on this learning curve and there never seems to be enough time in the day for my art. I continue to work part-time as a nurse but look forward to a time I can retire and devote all my time to my painting.
I have painted dozens of commissions and my work is in private collections in the U.S., England, France. and across Ontario. My paintings have been donated for many charities including Ducks Unlimited Canada, the Cystic Fibrosis association, fund raisers to support our local library, Humane society and Arthritis society, museum and hospital, and to aid the Tsunami Relief fund.