I was born in Toronto in 1950 and, at an early age, I discovered that art was my soul mate. I sold my first painting for 13.00 when I was 11 years old. For the first time, I felt the joy of a stranger liking my work enough to pay for it.
After high school, I attended Central Technical School and studied under the talented artists there. I am proud to say that Doris McCarthy, one of our great painters, was one of my mentors. Although I studied commercial art, I found fine arts more appealing.
My parents owned a cottage in the Haliburton Highlands and every weekend was spent either on the water or in the woods painting. The seclusion there allowed me to withdraw to a beautiful world around me. Peaceful and safe. In this world, each mushroom, rock and tree was a part of my soul. During my early teens, while visiting relatives in the Maritimes, I was abused by a male relative. This affected me greatly and I found that only withdrawing to my studio and painting offered me the relief that I needed. It was a lifeline.
When I was married and had a daughter, I would take her along to the Arts in the Parks. This event was sponsored by the City of Toronto and every weekend, the city would allow budding artists to exhibit in the parks in Toronto. This eventually led to the City Hall, Markham Fair and Carling art shows where my work was accepted. I began to sell regularly to collectors. During this time, two art dealers approached me to represent my work. As a result, many of my paintings can be found in corporate collections such as the Royal Bank of Canada, Exxon Canada and Sunnybrooke and Women’s College Hospital. At this time, my work was also being sold at several galleries around the city.
After my health had suffered a setback, I was forced to severely reduce my painting. Having three daughters and a home, my ability to keep up the demands of the art was too much. As time moved on, I was drawn back to the art I loved. Having always admired Andrew and Jamie Wyeth watercolours, I was inspired to take up and study the medium in addition to my oils. Previous clients who followed my work encouraged me to sell again.
Even though abstraction was the predominant art showing and selling at the time, my realism was still in demand and it had a strong following. This encouraged me to fulfil my vision.
When I study and paint the wonders of the landscapes before me, there is this connection or beauty that moves my being and gives me great peace. I try to capture a feeling or emotion of the moment that makes you feel as though you had stepped from one world into another. When painting water, I am addicted to trying to capture the moment in time of the dynamic environment of wind and
As my work began to sell and I began to win awards for my visions, I began to get asked to donate to important charity auctions such as the Varley Art Gallery and the Art Gallery of Mississauga. As well, I began to show at the McMichael Gallery art show and sale.
I am a member of Beaux Arts Brampton which is an artist’s cooperative and gallery and, as such, I am able to exhibit my work from my base of operations in my Brampton studio where I have a disciplined vision. Every pebble and every detail in my paintings must be correct within its context. I call this “environmental realism” and painting in this style gives me great joy.
As a member of the Colour and Form Society and the Ontario Society of Artists, I am able to exhibit with some of Canada’s finest artists. The OSA is the oldest art society in Canada and its past membership is a prestigious list, including members of the Group of Seven.
Recently, I have signed with the Art Gallery of Ontario rentals programme. I am exhibiting with the Artists Project Toronto. Through one of my galleries, my work is now making its way to the Maritimes. Many of my larger canvases have been purchased by corporations through galleries that I am associated with. I have been approached many times to make prints but I have never and will never do so. I want to protect the investment of those who purchased my work in the past.
Between galleries and shows, I spend time with groups of other artists painting from portrait and figure models. During the good weather, you can find me painting plien aire or hiking the trails in search of earth’s wonders. This forms the basis of the research for my work.
I am married with three daughters and five grandchildren as well as having many art friends who support me in my journey.