Background and Training
I was probably one of the only students in my elementary school that would spend time in the summer holidays leaving the bustling City of Vancouver every weekend by boat. We had an old cabin cruiser called the Sharon L that enabled my parents, and my three sisters to travel through the waters of the Burrard Inlet over to the coves on Bowen Island. Today, I still like to be out on the water in a canoe, or kayak. Staying close to nature, and being outdoors has definitely shaped my art. My dad was a marine artist, and I spent time observing his technique from a very early age.
A graduate of UBC with a degree in Education, involved a move from Vancouver to Penticton, B.C., to continue my teaching career. Following the birth of my two children, I became very involved in community volunteer work. It was an honour to serve as a City of Penticton alderman for two terms, and then Mayor from 1996-1990.
Returning to teaching in 1990 provided me with an opportunity to take university art courses offered through Uvic, by Dr. Sharon McCoubrey. I found participating in the practical work, and preparing programs specifically designed for students, increased the importance that visual art played in my life. In the last six years, I have had the opportunity to pursue my art full time, and have studied under a number of Signature Artists. Currently, I have active status with the Federation of Canadian Artists.
My Acrylic on canvas paintings celebrate the appreciation and respect that I feel for the natural beauty of the Okanagan Similkameen Valley, and for the First Nation people. My paintings tell a story about the determination of the Okanagan native people, and their relationship to the land. I create paintings that are an extension of a discussion with an elder, or a creative expression of a day spent hiking, exploring, or canoeing outdoors. I keep extensive journal entries. This was the case with the Nk'Mip Series of fifteen paintings, a special series of artwork, which were a creative interpretation of the impressive metal sculptures by Smoker Marchand, in the South Okanagan area. Since that time, I have become involved in completing a number of paintings of the lakes in the Okanagan, as well as a project on a well known, and respected Shuswap Elder, Ernie Philip. The awareness of human relationships and emotions is at the heart of this new series about Ernie's immensely challenging, but fulfilling life. To further my understanding of the First Nation culture and history, my field trips now go beyond the Okanagan Valley and the Shuswap, to the Fraser and Harrison River area.