The environment and its magic have been part of my life since forever. I treasure memories of birdwatching as a family when I was a child, the joy and beauty of these memories triggered my lifelong love of our natural environment.
I’ve always been involved in creative activities, playing with mom’s sewing machine before I was four (I managed to put the needle through my finger 😊) and exploring a multitude of art and crafts with my mom at home. I took art in school and considered a career in interior design but lacked the confidence to pursue a creative path immediately following graduation.
I started a general arts degree studying political science until I discovered courses in textiles and design in the Home Economics faculty. While a textiles major wasn’t available, I transferred faculties and took all the textile design courses available. One of my lecturers was a practicing textile artist which inspired me to continue my studies at art school after completing my degree.
.....a long distance love story
My time at art school was cut short because I fell in love six weeks before the program started. I completed the first-year, 2700 km away from my future husband, but struggled with the challenges of a long-distance romance. Unable to find a job that summer upon my return and without the funds or the desire to return to art school, I enrolled in a one-year teacher training course at university.
For the next 30 years I taught high school art, textile design, foods and nutrition, raised a family of four and followed my husband wherever his career took him, including moving from my native Canada to Australia. After planning lessons and actively parenting, I had limited remaining creative energies which were focused on garden design, decorative painting, patchwork and quilting.
Coming full circle
With an empty nest, I’ve been able to devote myself full-time to making including creating art quilts and mixed media fibre art. Despite the intervening years, I never lost my creative dreams and I set out to develop my art practice from a hobby to a full-time professional artist.
The world around me has always been a place of beauty and wonder. As a child, I learned to identify plants, animals, insects, and birds. Sitting hidden within the circle of a weeping willow beside a small pond in my grandparent’s back garden is one of my fondest early memories. It was a quiet meditative spot. As a four-year-old, I was devastated when the willow was blown down by a typhoon. Despite the many moves, I’ve kept that image in my mind, digging a pond and planting a weeping tree wherever we’ve lived, to recreate that secret spot.