I was born and raised in the small community of Fleur de lys, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Growing up I was surrounded by the ocean, a lot of humour and a simple way of life. My upbringing guides me, and I think it provides the lens I have applied to my art. My identity, as well as my art has been greatly influenced by growing up in a community dependent on the fishery and also rich in history, culture and family tradition. Through my work I am able to tell stories of ‘my’ Newfoundland, evoking the past and depicting a way of life that is slowly disappearing. I draw on childhood memories and, through my art; I feel I am in a small way preserving my heritage – my other passion in life!
I am primarily a self-taught artist. At a very young age, creativity was a big part of my life, from writing poetry and stories to singing and any other artsy/crafty activity that took my fancy. I was really drawn to artistic people and I was intrigued by anyone who could draw or paint. I never really had an opportunity to explore painting until I was in my early twenties. At that time I attended a few painting classes offered by Western Newfoundland artist Clarence Osmond. I was an eager student and quickly learned the basics – how to mix colours, how to make trees, rocks and grass etc. Unfortunately, I was challenged to come up with the money to pay for a lot of classes, but I was inspired by Clarence to go on to learn on my own from books, Bob Ross TV shows, videos and through lots of practice. I was always learning and I loved to paint and did so every opportunity I could. Sadly, the physical challenge of a carpel tunnel diagnosis presented itself in 2001 and I had to put down my brushes. This past year, after a long 17 year break, I discovered that I could paint again without pain and quickly renewed my passion. I now spend every moment possible putting a brush to the canvas and rebuilding my skills as an artist. Every painting is a new learning experience and to be honest, every time I finish a painting I am in awe that I did it! Whenever I create a painting, I receive great pleasure from sharing it but it is the actual painting process that I love the most!
I hesitate to classify my art in any particular style. I would say I lean towards realism with a hint of impressionism and sometimes throw in a bit of whimsy. Although I paint best using photo references, I am more interested in capturing the essence of a place, object or person, than making a perfect photographic rendition. Often my lines are not straight and I’m OK with that. My ‘subjects’ are almost exclusively of landscapes, however, of late I have been interested in painting figures and portraiture. I find painting people to be quite challenging! To become better I have and am currently taking classes with Matt Philleo at his Realistic Acrylic Portrait School. I work with acrylic using traditional painting techniques, however, I find I am always experimenting and growing and the ‘tools in my art box’ keep increasing. Lately, I have adopted some of the old-style oil painting techniques of the old masters. These include underpainting and glazing to slowly build a painting layer by layer. Aside from artist Clarence Osmond, I would say my work has been influenced by Newfoundland artists like David Blackwood, Mary Pratt and Lloyd Pretty. I am also very grateful for the tutelage of Matt Phillio who is an amazing realistic portrait artist and instructor.
By nature, I am a person who is drawn to helping others and I’ve spent the majority of my adult life, after completing a diploma and degree in Community Studies, working in a helping profession. For the past 25 years I have worked in various (paid and voluntary) roles in this field. I have worked with a number of community groups, on boards and committees in the services of families, youth, women, and other groups. For the past 13 years, as the Executive Director of a provincial charity, my focus has been on helping individuals increase their literacy skills. My passion for helping and my love for people carry over to my art and I direct the same focus and energy into my painting.
I have been married to my wonderful husband for the past 26 years, and we have two great adult sons. I’m a grandma to a 6 year old little guy who is loved beyond measure. He makes me laugh and brings me the greatest joy, above all other things in life. When I’m not taking care of my family, working, or painting, I may be doing research or writing for my book which is a local history of my hometown called “Spirit of Fleur de lys”. Otherwise, I can be found exploring the west coast of Newfoundland, and occasionally different parts of the Island and Labrador. I love outdoor adventures, ocean and forest hikes, and soaking in the history and the beauty of the places I visit. Often, this leads to a full memory card of beautiful subjects, that one day will become material for my paintings.
Thanks for checking out my website, and I truly hope you will return often. While you are here, check out my blog and take a look at my gallery section to see my work. Much of what you see is available as an art print, but there are some originals on canvas. I like to paint whatever inspires me but I do accept some commission work. Some of my pieces have found their way to homes in Newfoundland, Canada and the USA. My work is on display and available for purchase at the Picture it in a Frame Gallery in Corner Brook.
If you have any questions or comments feel free to contact me. I am always ready for a chat!
Subscribe to be notified of news, updates, offers, contests and giveaways via email.
If you do not receive confirmation emails, please check your spam folder.