I have always found comfort, joy and wonder by partaking in and observing nature. Throughout much of the pandemic, Toronto has been in a lockdown and this time gave me the opportunity to explore nature, right here in the city. My daily walks with my dogs and friends took me to parks and ravines that I had never seen. These places quickly quieted the anxiety I felt about Covid-19 and the future and provided the inspiration for this new series.
It was mid March 2020 when the whole world was in shock about the rapid invasion of Covid-19. Lockdown was our new normal and so was spending too much time on devices. I soon discovered a game called WordScapes which combines the best of word searching and
crosswords. Not only did I become addicted to the game but to the beautiful backdrops of nature that changes with each game. It is from these destinations behind the game that inspired these paintings – hence the title for the series.
My most current series is about encouraging myself (and others) to embrace vulnerability and imperfection – to live wholeheartedly and engage courageously in our lives. I called this series, Daring Greatly because of the influence of Dr. Brene Brown who has inspired me
on my creative process. Creating something new demands an element of risk and uncertainty. This series is about putting myself (paintings) out there in the arena in front of an audience and speak (paint) with confidence even if I am unsure what comes next.
In Beauty Marks, my second series, I explore the flow and physics of fluids (paints, polymers, inks and water). I used gravity, pressure and various viscosities of paint to make the paint meander through the crevices
pathways created from previous layers. Along the way, the paint picks up neighboring pigment or even loses its original color entirely. I continue to explore the reactive abstract portrayal of the lifelong influence that
nature plays in my life. Experiencing nature and its elements is a fantastic and humbling journey. It gives me the opportunity to explore and to work through the uncertainties of not knowing what the end result will look like.
In the summer of 2014, I attended the 60 year b.b.camp reunion on Towne Island in Lake of the Woods, Ontario. During that time I had a revelation - I needed to go on a canoe trip. Seven new and old friends, all originally from Winnipeg, spent the next year, 2015,
planning for our trip to the Bowron Lakes in the interior of British Columbia. To my absolute delight I still felt at home in the woods. The Bowron Lakes were absolutely spectacular and are the inspiration for the series, With Intention. For me, going on this canoe trip was about living with courage, purpose and connection. It was about finding happiness in the moment; by showing up, paying attention and being grateful. The paintings in this series are the expression of these memories, thoughts and feelings.
My first series is a ‘reactive abstract’ portrayal of the lifelong influence that nature plays in my life. The places in the paintings are snapshots of memories in my mind which form the line drawing of the picture. The feelings associated with those memories are represented by
the physical application of pouring, spraying, splashing, dripping and layering of acrylic paints, inks, enamels, polymers and water onto the canvas. “Reactive abstract,” is the technique where each step is a reaction to a previous application of materials placed on the canvas. The overlapping of these materials in this technique is essential to my art. The journey of my paintings is, like in life, that everything is interconnected, and that who we are is the colorful layering of these experiences.