Although I come from a family of artists, I am self-taught. My mother and my sister were both artists, but I didn’t discover my interest in painting until 1993, when I moved to South Korea. I found that living in any of the Korean cities isolated me from the natural world, and I began to draw and paint with gouache. I painted mostly birds and natural scenes since I lived in cities in concrete buildings with pocket parks tucked away between the apartment complexes. I relaxed when I painted, and I discovered that I truly enjoyed the process.
My first paintings were what I call “natural montages,” with images placed together that lead from one to the other, such as the head of a Buddhist statue, a sleeping otter drifting on the water, alongside a flower in full bloom. To me the ideas of the three connected metaphorically. I called it “Dreaming the Collective Unconscious” (image displayed on the website).
I soon moved on to acrylic paints, and from there to water soluble oils (see “The Sparrow”). I participated in two art shows in Korea (Tree Hymns in Gwang Art Gallery, followed by a folk art festival in Chungmuro-dong at the folk village). I continued painting until I left Korea in 2014. As soon as I settled in Riondel, I took an active part in the Riondel Arts Club, with their local art shows, originally at Bob’s Bar and Grill, and now at the Riondel Community Centre, as well as the Nelson & District Credit Union.
Last year I began painting with coloured pencils, learning from books. I love the intensity of the pencils’ colours, and their translucency. They seem to animate whatever subject I use in a painting, which goes well with animals and nature. The swift foxes form the shape of the symbol for infinity, my hope that they will not dwindle further from our world.
Art for me has a strong spiritual content. I find that in nature and wildlife particularly. My intent is to show that spirit, focus on it, and make it apparent to anyone who looks at my paintings.