HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN AT TAP?
WHAT IS YOUR PREFERED MEDIUM?
Acrylic Paint (and sometimes clay).
I take into account the environmental impact of all products I use in my work. I’ve found that acrylic paints have a lower impact, a versatility in use, and no sacrifice in colour performance when compared to other paint mediums.
IS THERE ANOTHER MEDIUM THAT YOU'VE
ALWAYS WANTED TO TRY?
I’ve always wanted to work in glass
WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING A STUDIO/
CREATION IN YOUR LIFE?
I think ideas have to get out. Taking the time to get an idea out of your head and into a space allows for it to be shared and reflected on by yourself and others. Making art has been an integral part of of the best moments of my life, but has also helped me live with grief and loss.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF YOUR STUDIO?
I leave the stresses of my life at the door when I walk in and pick them up as I leave.
ARE THERE ANY FUN STUDIO HABITS THAT YOU HAVE DEVELOPED?
DO YOU HAVE A GO-TO PAINT THAT YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT?
WHAT TECHNIQUE TOOK YOU A WHILE TO WRAP YOUR HEAD AROUND?
I like to mix colours by layering very thin layers of paint on the canvas or board. Your eye sees through the top layers to colours underneath and experiences them as one colour. Balancing the vibrancy of the colours with their opacity remains challenging.... but fun.
LOOKING AT YOUR WORK, YOU CAN SEE THAT A LOT OF EFFORT WENT INTO BUILDING YOUR SKILLS. HOW LONG WERE YOU PAINTING BEFORE IT REACHED A PROFESSIONAL LEVEL? WHAT MOTIVATED YOU PUSH YOURSELF INTO BEING THE ARTIST YOU ARE TODAY?
I started painting 24 years ago when I took a class in university on set painting for the theatre. When I left school I became a Scenic Artist, painting sets and backdrops. I’ve painted sets for theatres for 20 years now. Working full time painting for two decades has given me the experience of getting to know what paint can do.
In the theatre, you are almost always painting some else’s design. I began to paint my own work 8 years ago when I realized that I had developed a craft, but not a voice of my own. I continue to learn something new with every painting and I still very much feel like a beginner. I am self taught in a sense, but I have also have had the privilege of painting along side some of Canada’s best Scenic Artists and I’ve learned a lot from each one of them.
YOU'VE ALSO BEEN WORKING IN CLAY. CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROCESS AND ANYTHING YOU'VE LEARNED?
A lot of people don’t realize this, but there is a huge pottery boom here in London Ontario. My first two shows were just down the street from TAP at the Jonathon Bancroft Snell gallery. I was lucky to meet many incredible ceramic artists there. They were all great career artists and very open with their knowledge on clay. London also has wonderful teaching facilities for clay including the London Clay Art Centre, Hutton House, and Cottage Pottery Studio.
There is an inspiring sense of community that comes from potters and ceramic artist. Although I’m very much a rookie with clay I feel very welcome amongst them. Clay more than any other medium I’ve played with is about time and patience. It’s about the feel of the clay and being willing to make a hundred mistakes and just keep going. I’m building skills with clay but I have yet to find a voice in it.