I currently work primarily with acrylics, pastels, charcoal, and inks. I really enjoy using lots of colour, experimenting with patterns and textures, and mixing a little bit of abstraction into a little bit of realism. With my acrylic paintings, my intention is for emotion and personality to be emphasized. These facets of art are more important to me than an exact shape or likeness to the subject matter when creating an acrylic portrait. I can usually be found rocking out to a pretty diverse and eclectic mix of music as I paint and often the extra markings and textures are influenced by whatever was on the playlist at that time!
My drawing practice is still exactly that-practice. I create portraits as a finished work but I prefer drawing to be the start of my process. It's the planning, preparation, and study of a bigger, or more in depth project. As a young artist I identified with being a "good" artist because I could draw. I have always been quite active and tactile with any drawing implement if it landed in my hands. I have old notebooks, textbooks, and even work related documents that are covered in doodles. I forget about the finished artwork and reduce my subject matter to shapes, values, and textures. I find it very difficult to put down the pencil and declare a piece When using charcoal pencil or graphite I always get end up in the head space of realism, trying to get every little mark just right.
Pastels, and more specifically, my mural works allow me to combine the best of both worlds I find in acrylic paintings and drawings. I pursue many different styles, and enjoy trying out new things- all to erase it and do it over with something new! My pastel work is diverse, stylized, and inspired by many various artists and movements.
My Story: I studied Fine Art at The University of Alberta and Grant McEwan College in Edmonton way back in the late 90's. I loved my courses, I always have loved being in the studio in a group setting. Learning from others, experimenting with different styles and techniques, the smells of old paint, discussions about the latest installation at the local gallery, all of these things stayed with me. It was almost 14 years until I could pick that life up off of the shelf again and dust it off. I was fortunate to stumble into a teaching position almost immediately after moving to Kelowna in 2013. It was at the school teaching Kindergarten-grade Twelve Visual Art where I learned much of what I took for granted when it comes to creating art. Teaching the process, asking about the intent, choice of mediums, composition, and breaking down the techniques for my students taught me to put all of that back into my own art. All of a sudden I was painting again-a lot! I was creating sets for theatre, painting costumes for dance projects, working on murals and sidewalk art, and most importantly I was back taking every workshop I could squeeze into my schedule! Now, I am mostly self-taught...discovering new techniques and mediums through workshops and internet videos. Over the past five years this has given me more confidence to try new things and less self doubt that things won't go as planned-I've learned that's the fun part of the process! Most art projects just don't go as planned-ever. This past the year the pandemic has provided me with something I gradually lost over the last few decades...time. I have taken this extra time in life to devote more focused energy toward my art practice.