What are the major themes you pursue in your work?
Recurring themes in my work are most definitely colors and forms, as well as our place in nature. I love the infinite uniqueness and peace of the natural world and how the color palettes change with and define seasons.
I also explore humanity—our place in the world and our shared, common values. People are so much more alike than our comfort zones let us realize; cultural differences and similarities fascinate me.
Our own, individual world of the body, soul and spirit are important to me as well, and I express themes such as personal growth, breakthroughs, perseverance, trust, hope and faith in my work.
What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
With loving force, my husband shoved me out of the studio to go talk to people face to face about my work. That has been the most effective and efficient means of achieving success for me so far. It is very important for me to develop as an entrepreneur and business owner as well as artist to ensure that I can keep creating with intensity for a long time to come.
Creatively, I would say the best advice has been to be free and not put too much pressure on the outcome—otherwise the joy of creating gets lost.
Do you work in silence or with music?
Definitely music! I have huge, eclectic playlists that I shuffle play for days, with everything from BB King, Janis and CCR to Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bon Iver, Ben Howard, United Pursuit, Josh Garrels, and Jason Upton… .then there’s an instrumental playlist, a bouncin’ old-school hip hop and rap playlist, a mix of electrica with a flowing, sometimes meditative feel…the Christmas season is devoted to jazzy Christmas tunes. The neighbours have been known to report rather loud singing coming from the direction of my studio, but I am sure I know nothing about that!
If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
I do so love Monet and share his sentiment that “color is my daylong obsession, joy and torment.” The colors and brushwork in his piece “The Waterlily Pond” that is part of the Batliner Collection is absolutely sensational live….
Who are your favorite writers?
My Bible is my handbook for life. I can read a passage for the 1000th time and suddenly learn something entirely new. I love CS Lewis’ incredible gift of logic as well.
Otherwise, my bookshelf is as eclectic as my music playlists. I love to be transported to personal stories set in different cultures and eras. As a girl, I always read what my sister brought home because I tend to get overwhelmed by all the many options. Now, a group of fellow English speaking ladies and I meet regularly to eat well and discuss our book of the month, and we have read some real treasures! A few outstanding favourites though, would be the incredible visual writing of Gary Shteyngart in Super Sad True Love Story and E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars. I mean, who could not love the description “my heart rolled out of my rib cage down into flower bed [and] spasmed among the peonies like a trout”? Seriously. I can just see and feel it!