Updated: Nov 21, 2021
I am a Canadian-born Artist, writer and Art Instructor.
I started creating art as a child by drawing on the walls inside my bedroom closet! However, that mural project did not impress my parents. I learned early that I 'saw' things differently from other people and that the language of colour, symbol and story fuelled a form of communication that I now call Art. Expression, passion, dedication, curiosity, communication and a small dash of rebellion have been at the root of everything in my life.
I trained as a junior and high school Fine Arts teacher and was teaching in community centres and schools by age 21. I've spent almost 40 years teaching children, adults and seniors in classrooms, community centres, in corporate settings, at-risk and Excellence programs, in First Nation, Italian, and Canadian schools and in many beautiful outdoor locations - such as Long Beach on Vancouver Island's rugged west coast, in the streets of Florence, on the sacred territory of the Coast Salish people in Haida Gwaii and in my studio in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. I understand the roots of creativity and the need to create., that longing to explore and the fear to risk failure both walking hand in hand. I have dedicated my life to helping others find this path into, around and through a sense of curiosity, wonder and risk that delineates the land of creativity from ordinary life, and I have been a witness to the healing power of art and the community it can create.
What I know is this - that most of us have never truly been seen or listened to, and it begins by deeply listening to ourselves. These are the journeys Art takes us on - to embody a part of ourselves that we keep hidden, to learn to see, everything new, my dear friend Leonardo Da Vinci spoke about this often. We also, learn to live in the present or art can take us into the waters of memory and meaning. We practice the risk of failing and how to be ok with it, to laugh at ourselves in the process, to keep going even when the result isn't quite what we expected. In making art - we learn to trust the process of exploration, we make friends with mistakes and welcome imperfection; nowhere else in life is this valued - there's a certain magic in that and it always catches people by surprise. 'Va Bene!" I always tell them ( It's ok).
As an instructor, I wait for that moment - when I see that sparkle in their eyes, or laughter comes, or a long exhale after they've been holding their breath ....and always amazement at how two or three hours in the studio felt like fifteen minutes.... this is being in the zone, the arena, in the spirit of creativity.