I have been living and painting in the Yukon, in Northern Canada, since 2000. I’m inspired by the light, the extremes of nature and the connection between the people and the land. Before that I was painting in British Columbia, where I spent most of my early years, and went to college and university in the Vancouver area. I was actually born in Toronto and spent a few of my childhood years in Alberta, but my roots are mainly in B.C. where my father was born and most of my extended family now lives. My mother is francophone Metis from
St. Louis Saskatchewan, where I think at least half of the town is related to us.
Growing up in the 70′s and 80′s, we were exposed to very little of Metis culture and history, except what came naturally inspite of the pressures of society. I learned to see the connections between all things and people. I was always fascinated with nature, whether climbing trees or watching a spider weave a web in the back yard. On my father’s side, my grandparents were immigrants. My grandmother, born in a Romansch speaking village of Switzerland, was a talented artist who painted and created brightly coloured floral embroidery. She taught me to look deeply past the surface of things.
I have two years of formal training in applied arts, having earned a Studio Arts diploma at Capilano College. After that, I stubbornly decided I didn’t need a degree to be an artist. Later I went to Simon Fraser University where I majored in psychology and took courses in arts in context and directed studies in art therapy. Meanwhile I always continued to paint and draw. When I could, I spent long hours at the Museaum of Anthropology at U.B.C. sketching West Coast Native carvings. The power of the curvilinear forms left a permanent imprint on me. I strive to get away from the rectilinear lines imposed by industrial Western culture.
I feel I was born to paint. Gradually painting has taken over other career directions in my life. I have found the Yukon to be a supportive place for this. I have also learned to do beadwork and experimented with other media, while paintings of nature and landscapes in acrylics are my main focus.
From the Yukon I have travelled to other parts of the world that also inspire me, such as Peru and Belize. In 2009 I first travelled to the Catalonian region of Spain, where I was moved by the organic forms of the architecture of Antoni Gaudi, and his philosophy of learning from nature. This influence has not changed the direction of my art, but deepened it. Recently in the fall of 2010, I spent a wonderful month in the Catalonian Pyrenees, as a resident artist at the Centre de Art y Natura, in the tiny mountain village of Farrera.