I’ve always sensed that my place of peace was in nature. As a little girl growing up in the Okanagan; birds, animals, flowers, gardens, trees, rocks, crystals, lakes, rivers, mountains, snow and mud-puddles have always inspired my creativity. In the spring of 2013, I was teaching private art lessons with a talented young Gr.4 student. Her sense of colour, compositions and design were unhindered, whimsical and fun. In June, we moved the lessons out of the studio and into nature. Partnering with Aaron Deans from the Allan Brooks Nature Centre, we created “Jr Nature Sketch Club.” Every two weeks from June to September, we ventured out into a different eco-system with sketchbooks in hand learning about native flora and fauna in our region. In a few short months our group grew from 5 kids to 20, all brought together by the common bond of art and nature.
Nature and children were two major influences in my work. Taking three months from July to September, I imparted out to a small cabin on a river with my easel and paints. I lived without internet or cell service and proceeded to let the brush flow. There is an element of ‘whimsy’ that has appeared in my work that was never there before. The influence of children and nature surely played their part in this acrylic on canvas series of lotus flowers and lily pads. This is when I realized that they were teaching me and nature was our common conduit.