~I’ll always paint…even when I inevitably become completely blind~
I was born an artist, one of those children fascinated with patterns and colors….the preschooler me admired glittering plastic sea-shell beads strung as a necklace endlessly for their shape and texture. I got in trouble for art, would attempt to make “frescos” out of pillaged plaster powder, crushed watercolors and Styrofoam meat trays. It didn’t stick very well but the colors were soft and pastel.
My first exhibited piece, a pen and ink drawing of roses, was displayed in the Vancouver Art Gallery when I was in grade nine. Aside from that I was a secret artist. In my twenties I left my job to paint for a year and my television companion was Bob Ross from the PBS painting series. I watched and listened absorbing all of his knowledge. For a time I too used his “magic white” oil paint.
I discovered acrylics, so clean and versatile, and my mentorship with Bob ended. I began to enter competitions, selected three years in a row for the North West Coast Regional Art Show, the beginning of many exhibitions. I also became the Art Instructor for the City of Prince Rupert and taught a wide range of programming for all age levels.
I now work freelance from my home studio near Greektown in Toronto Canada. Over the years I didn’t really establish a “set” method of creating visual art. I’m an experimenter. Mostly painting in Acrylic but I also work with Encaustic, Lino, Graphite, Ink, Paper, Fibre, Clay and Resin.
Most people don’t know that I have vision in just one eye. I think it has confused art critics at times…I’ve had them say that my paintings are “astute” and “have a lot of depth despite not being three dimensional”. I am a visually impaired Artist. A hidden disability that I have learned to live with. I think it helps me actually…the world looks two dimensional to me anyways and translating that into a flat image comes easy. I’ve always relied on color theory and spatial contrast to get depth.
I research and watch a lot of documentaries on artists, past and present. One of the things I have noticed is that it is often commented upon how the artist’s style changes over time. It occurred to me recently “maybe it’s just age…their eyesight just isn’t as clear as it once was”.
That is happening to me. Age, medications, and radiation treatment for Cancer are all effecting my “good” eye. I’ve decided to relax my “style” and method of painting. I have awesome color awareness so that will still be a focus of my craft. But the days of extremely detailed and hyper-realistic work is over. People that have known me for a long time are noticing this change…and they like it! I’m leaning towards Abstraction, and Abstract Landscape. It’s always been “fun” but now it is a matter of function and energy level.
However, I’ll always paint…even when I inevitably become completely blind.