Being brought up on the shores of the mighty Lake Superior had a profound influence on me. I also love colour and some of my landscapes were showing up in unexpected other worldly shapes. The results developed into a series I called The Cosmic Landscape. Creating brightly coloured and richly textured shapes that evoke the universe that gives us what we need, THE COSMIC LANDSCAPE communicates my gratitude for that generosity.
In the summer of 2015, I was reminded of the power of the forest fire by Emily Carr's paintings at the AGO and by witnessing the devastation around Kelowna and in Glacier National Park, where 1000's of acres were destroyed.
But I also have witnessed the rejuvenation of the land after the fires. New life will not be held back. I call this series 'Ghosts' in homage to Carr's 'Screamers' and as a reminder that the regrowth is fed from the previous generations.
My grandmother inspired me to develop this iconic image of feminine strength and resilience.She came to Canada from Finland in the 1920's and suffered hardship and despair as she carved out a life for herself and her two daughters.
This is how I felt as I walked behind her down the camp road in Northern Ontario. It symbolizes our unsung feminine heroes who continue to guide us.
Sleeping Giant Series
The Sleeping Giant, or Nanabijou as it is known in the Ojibway legend, has been a constant in my life.
This iconic Canadian landmark is one of the seven wonders of Canada and is close to the centre of this great country, east to west.
The Giant guards the harbour of Thunder Bay on Lake Superior, one of the deepest lakes in the world and the largest of the five Great Lakes.
Every day the view is different but the same. This image is one of early spring when the ice has just broken up.
This group of paintings is loosely gathered. They mostly just appear to me as I work
on a canvas. Sometimes there is some planning but on the whole, I tend to let the paint
tell me who wants to show up. Are these visitors from my subconscious or from the ethers of another galaxy?
If you go down to The Woods today, your'e sure of a big surprise"
The saying is true, you can take the girl out of the North, but you can't take the North out of the girl. No matter how I start a painting, it often ends up in the woods.
I sometimes try to deny it, but the landscape just keeps creeping onto my canvas.
Should I just surrender?
Cars in Bears
How could I not name this series of wacky bears after the Seinfeld show? I hope he won’t sue me! People ask me how I come up with these ideas and if I could figure it out, I’d tell you. They seem to have a very positive response from people who share my sense of humour and children who have a sense of awe.
Whenever I go to the canvas or paper, I am often surprised by what appears. Sometimes I work up a series based on those surprises and sometimes they stand alone.
Thin Red Line Series
Who doesn't like a party? Whether a party of one, two or more! A party where the rules are thrown out the window?! This series started as a result of a process painting workshop.It means that you have a communication with the painting and try to let it tell you what needs to happen next.In all of these, I did not start with a composition in mind, but rather tried to let the images appear as I added layers of painting and collage.They are always a surprise.
Here are some photos of some of my paintings in homes, offices and restaurants.