To teach elementary school was my life’s calling, and, for thirty years, I enjoyed successes in various classrooms and schools.  My two beautiful daughters helped to fill my life with excitement and busyness and, now that they are mothers, themselves, my life contains the wonderful enjoyment that only “grandmotherhood” can offer.

My teaching career ended when I retired at the age of fifty-three, so I decided to satisfy a childhood interest in art by enrolling as a part-time student in Barrie’s Georgian College Fine Arts program.  Focussing on painting and drawing, much of my work captured the faces of my children and grandchildren, who became avid supportive recipients of my work.  Their accolades led me to bravely exhibit my work at local art and craft shows.  Small successes in these venues, juxtaposed with my husband’s supportive promotions of my abilities to his business colleagues, opened a new door:  commission work.

The rewards of pleased parents and grandparents, who received graphite portraits of their children and grandchildren, boosted my self confidence tremendously.  I began to “throw mud at the wall”, and decided to enter juried shows in the area.  To my surprise and pleasure, my work was accepted.

Now a member of the Barrie Art Club, the Orillia Fine Arts Association, and the BaySide Artists of Barrie, Ontario, I have opportunities to exhibit my work in a variety of venues all year round.

I believe that variety is the spice of life, so my creations are created with different mediums:  graphite, acrylic, oil, chalk pastel, oil pigment stick, and watercolour pencils.  Preferring to describe myself as an aspiring artist, I am on a constant learning curve.  God has blessed me with a special gift and I intend to continue to develop it as fully as I can.  I developed a series of works titled "Moving Waters", which gave me the opportunity to learn how to create and capture movement on a flat two-dimensinal surface.

As with any artist, though, emotion is the most compelling force behind any successful renderings of landscapes, portraits, or still life.  Sometimes a photo reference or the grain in a birch wood panel “speaks” to me.  And when I realize that a commissioned creation is offering a client some happiness and pleasure, my heart sings and my emotions soar.

Adjacent to my signature on each piece of fine art I render is a stylized swan.  When my husband and I first met, he drew two swans on a paper napkin as we sat drinking coffee.  He said, “Swans mate forever, and that’s what we’ll do, too.”.  After more than thirty-five years of marriage, I guess he was right.  The swan is my way of thanking him for his love and his unrelenting support.


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