Visual artist - Public art & painting 🎨
Creative living with nature. Positive conservation activist 🌿 Maman of 3✌️
I feel I’ve lived a thousand lives and have another thousand left to live. I bounce around a variety of media, but what remains unchanged is my search for the beauty in the uncomfortable. Attracted by contradictions and juxtapositions, I play with colour, form and material that creates that sense of discomfort and plays with the viewer about their own reality. I’m particularly interested in understanding our own impacts in this world, whether on our natural or social environments.
Whether working with reflective materials in large-scale public art projects or capturing the essence and complexities of motherhood in selfie portraits in oil and encaustic, my work is layered with meaning, history and textures. Much like an archaeologist, I’ve always been drawn to layers of history, been able to visualize what has been or what could be and conscious that minimal intervention is the prime directive. I see what is often in front of me, questioning my place, my role, thus connecting to others with similar experiences.
I have to admit: I've always been obsessed with museums and nature. From the time I could walk, you could have seen me climb up public art everywhere I went or find me playing in the forest until dusk. Like many artists, my childhood framed my story, made me who I am today. Leaving my home early at sixteen due to a poor family situation, I quickly poured every penny I had into art materials chasing my art school dreams in Montreal. I made art to escape to deepen my life and find meaning, which I continue to this day.
Now, I'm a mother of three young kids living just north of Toronto and recently went through a whole 180 degree life change to focus solely on my art practice after a successful career as a conservation professional with Parks Canada (I was managing a national park but was crushed by bureaucracy!). I needed a change, to refocus on creativity. Really, I never stopped creating, but was caught up in another passion for heritage conservation. Like many artists, I left art school feeling unprepared, trying to find my voice and bring meaning to my work. I travelled the world, learned new languages, discovered new cultures and ways of seeing, found love, all while exhibiting and winning some awards (like the RBC New Painting Competition). I followed my passion for classical studies by living in Italy amongst the ancient ruins to come back to Canada working in built heritage advocacy. I wanted to see our own deep history be appreciated and conserved. This allowed me to extensively travel Canada, discovering small towns to big cities with character, history and a strong sense of community. Becoming a heritage advocate was exciting and brought a new light to my artistic practice - documenting abandoned grain elevators in Saskatchewan to large merchandise container trains travelling through the landscape...
Fast forward a few years, I was invited to rebrand Parks Canada, which was a perfect opportunity to blend my passions for visual design and conservation. Then, in 2017, I was given the opportunity to lead a national park as Park Superintendent and loved the connection to nature, science and coaching staff to be leaders in conservation and heritage presentation. All this was amazing, but something was missing... time and discipline for my art practice. After a few successful public art projects in Midland and Penetanguishene and group exhibits, I had a renewed focus on telling my story through art and balancing being a contemporary mother in a highly mediacized and pressured world. In actuality, when becoming a mother, I pushed aside myself and focused on my children and my job... Shifting and changing, I'm now a professional artist full-time working in my studio in Tiny, Ontario, and I hope you enjoy (and collect!) my work. I'm embracing my multi-faceted life of contemporary motherhood in contemporary art!