I’m a painter, working primarily with acrylics and oils. My inspiration comes from northern wildlife motifs, such as caribou, moose, and bears, and birds such as ravens and magpies. Even though my work is mostly realistic, I often use saturated colour and contrast to make the unique qualities of each animal truly shine.
What I find the most inspiring about the North is the understated beauty. When I first moved to the Northwest Territories years ago from the Maritimes, I knew little about my new home. So, when I first stood overlooking Great Slave Lake, the dynamic colours of the rocks, the water and the seemingly endless sky took my breath away. There is elegance and ruggedness here that continues to fuel my inspiration. With the permission of photographer friends, I often use photographs of northern sceneries as the backbone for my artwork.
I have always been a painter but it was a quiet personal activity until recently. I started sharing my work on social media, and the positive feedback inspired me to take art classes with wonderful mentors. I am a public school teacher, and at the request of the parent community, my school asked me to create a Fine Arts program. Their trust allowed me to do more by supporting a group of young teenagers who all have incredible artistic voices. I am so grateful to have helped them have a space to create and share their work.
What I love the most about making art is inspiring others, especially the youth. The fact that I have been practicing art as a hobby for many years seems to be encouraging to others. My own two daughters have been holding paintbrushes since they could stand. Now, they often join me in creating their own art when I sit down to paint. It shows them that taking risks and investing time in creative expression is a valuable way to spend their time.
I live a very busy life as a teacher, a mother, and a volunteer with two non-profit organizations. Painting is a time in which world softens and goes quiet. I disappear into a space where everything slows down and feels much simpler. I make my art in the hopes that I can help other people slow down enough to notice the small details of life too, such as the contrast of green lichen on granite, or the different shades of blue, purple and teal in the feathers of a raven. When we stop to observe these fine details, we can really see what is around us.