From grain farms to wine country

Since moving to Kelowna BC. in 2010 or wine country. I have been studying on my own painting and getting the feel of  painting in water, acrylic, and oil mostly one after another each one with a purpose of  building my skill as a painter. Understanding the keys to building a style to my own. I soon realized I had to learn the works of others – to study their composition and the materials they used. This is an ever life long adventure ; because learning is something that never and should never stop to inspire the process of learning. Aristotle wrote “we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit” and as such I have been repeatedly painting landscapes. Painting also has become a subject of some interesting people in my life from the past and from the present. Looking through the eyes of others to find a similar style. I found George Gallo  and his style of the Pennsylvania Group of Painters Edward Redfield, Daniel Garber, and Walter Schofield of Buck’s county . I thought this is how I want to express my work. I had the fever for expression from a young age with the arts.  My Aunts also being proficient drawers and painters but never took it any further than just a hobby. My Mother told me once of Aunt Christina with an opportunity to study in New York, but I believe she was not to accepting of leaving to such a big city for a country gal. Coming from Saskatchewan as grain farmers and living next door to Bill Perehudoff and Dorothy Knowles whom were accomplished artists in the Canada’s history. Our family has a history with these artists which has influenced me in someway. My first thoughts of art came from  “The Grand Tetons” by Robert Wood. I think what caught my eyes was the way he could mimic the light and colors of nature, and the mountains I loved so much.  I wanted to learn the colors and understand light the way he did. Painting landscapes that are meaningful to me especially untouched natural environments. One thing for sure is I love the out doors. One day I came to the need to expressing myself and it had to be painting landscapes because that is what brings peace to my mind and soul. The time and circumstances is right in my life and I just made that connection a reality between me and my brush. I grabbed my paints and was off to expressing what is important to me. My life was starting over and what not better time than to connect with a life long dream and make it happen. There was bitter moments while trying to make that connection in 2004. From Montreal to Victoria I struggled. I lost friends and made new ones. I lost my home and made another. Material valuables also gone but now I have new ones. I have made new friends and built new hope for as I am one with nature.

Working on paintings and then having to abandon them because I had no way to take them with me. My first experience selling my work was in Victoria down at the harbour front where I met up with Kathleen Lynch (a water color artist) taking me under her wing because someone tried to chase me away from selling my work there. I had no idea they had to pay a great deal of money to sell your art down there. Later that day I left with my spirit still up and my ambition to pick up the brush and start again. Before making my way here in Kelowna I had lived in Victoria for some time and became more of a learning experience in its own.I just wish things had worked out because the coast lies strong memories of the coast from living in Santa Clara. Well I am here now and has worked out for me starting a new branch with new leaves.  With good sincere people along side; I am able to make a fresh start by just doing and sticking to it. Living here in the Okanagan valley for four years now; I have built up a collection of work that I have gathered from the vast landscapes of the Okanagan valley. From the lakes and parks around me to the creeks and mountains above. These are the treasures that I wish to capture and continue so. The Okanagan landscape bring me back to my younger years in Santa Clara, California where we had orchards and creeks that us kids would go for the day and play. Now I have created that play ground here in the valley with all the colors from the sunrise to the sunset to dip my brushes into. I have a purpose in my art and that is to grow, learn and share the work with you.  If I can show it through my work and express it in an artistic way that makes a change in someones moment better; that makes me happy. I feel I have accomplished something. Showing our lands from the grain farms to the wine country is my theme my work has seem to taken. If we want something bad enough we have to make it happen. I have to tell myself this so as not to give up. we just have to tell ourselves that we are not alone and that there are others out there that can help us make those dreams happen. I tell myself this often; I thank the Lord for guiding me and the ability to put one foot forward. That I have a home now and food on the table as so many other have not. From my work one of the programs I am supporting this year is the The Orphan Grape by selling prints. I am grateful for this for it is something positive my art can do. New things are going to happen this year as of last year. There is places here in the Okanagan that are new to me and to discover. Paintings of sunrises and sunsets like in ” Sunset On Mission”Sunset On Mission is what I am trying to accomplish more of right now and with the fall coming beautiful colors begin to paint the landscape. As I paint the landscape I learn a little bit more of the history here in the Okanagan Valley.  These are things I have on my mind right now. To capture or not to capture with oil medium or something different. It is interesting to experiment with different material and applying with your hand or your tool and letting it do what it can do. This is like therapy for me to be able to learn to simplify the process creating my subject and saying it with expression. ” To move, or to be moved, is to live… The finest art, like all else is founded on love. The presence or absence and the amount and quality of the love embodied in any work of art is the sure guide to its value and permanence”. William L. Lathrop ( 1859- 1938 )

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