Originally from London, Ont., I was fortunate to be born into a household of music. Both parents loved music and art but my mother’s passion was the piano. I was to be the musician and my brother Michael (named after Michelangelo) was to be the artist.
I loved music and was totally dedicated to playing the piano. At age 17, I studied with Jude Mantz – an accomplished pianist who had just fallen in love with art. The two of us became close friends and decided to drive the Yukon highway up to Alaska. On the way, we stopped and I watched as she made sketches. There was one day while I was waiting, I noticed a twisted wire fence, old fence posts and the broad prairie expanse with rolling clouds behind. This became my first painting.
I’ve always loved Emily Carr and the free movement in her art and the billowing clouds reminded me of her work. I’m sure that the movement in my textures was originally inspired by Emily Carr.
We visited the art gallery in Anchorage Alaska and I was taken by a small bird sculpture created by an artist from Baffin Is. I instantly knew how I would have done it and out of it emerged my first small sculpture. I was hooked! I took sculpture at London’s Fanshaw College and evening drawing classes at a local high school.
A year later, I was accepted into the Ont. College of Art. I loved my time in Toronto. I was studying art and still taking piano lessons at the Royal Conservatory of Music. With multiple visits to the Art Gallery of Ont., it was the best of both worlds. At this time, I started experimenting with thickly textured abstracts. I love color and the textures satisfied my sculptural desires. The sculpture has once again come into my life in my mixed media pieces which start in clay and are cast into hydrocal cement.
Music continued to be a part of my life. I played many concerts of the piano music of Robert Daigneault and worked and performed with flautist Susan Lapp. Music also provided me with financial stability – as a piano teacher and a church musician.
I feel very blessed that I am still having a life filled with sound, colors and textures.