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An Interlude…A Bit About Me

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~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.

On Being a Bower Bird June 2016~

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As usual I could not let this glitter flutter by.  I held it in my hands not sure what I would do with it but all that glitters intrigues me.  Though it is meant for some form of nail sculpting I fantasized the sparkling shapes and colors running through my hands, being applied to clay, paper and seashells.  Further decorating my current bower.

My first bower was an old nut tree.  A tree cave whose center branches reached upwards to the distant blue sky.  The outer branches heavy with prickly nuts swooped down to the ground in a graceful arch.  It was my secret place.

This is where baby ugly lived.  My baby ugly, a naked and dirty doll with holes punched into her lips and crotch.  So she could eat and then defecate wild choke cherries, their purple blood forever stained her chest where it dripped in sticky rivets.

Sometimes I’d wrap her in leaves or a toilet paper dress while I swept the bare ground, it’s gnarly roots poking out far enough to trip the not-so nimble.  A broom made out of branches that blew the dry summer dust all around inside the bower.  What I would have given to have glitter back then.  I had popping green seed pods and sickly sweet cotton tree fluff instead…….

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