I am a visual artist and a vocalist. I was trained as a classical film animation artist at Sheridan College, Canada and have worked for Disney, Warner Brothers and Century Fox, as well as some commercial houses in Toronto. I returned to college when computers hit the scene and obtained a certificate in Multi Media, Digital Production which included some 3D animation.
My artistic journey has now directed me to portraiture. Given my animation background, I was taught that drawing is drawing, so I have affinity to all subjects whether animal or human – I simply enjoy painting portraits and welcome the challenge of capturing a soul on canvas. I work in different medias depending on the client’s preference for oil, acrylic etc.
Aristo Trafalgar was a racehorse that was owned by an US citizen that used him as an investment only. He raced him then stabled him. Aristo became self abusive and neurotic from neglect. The owner was going to shoot him when he became violent at the US border crossing into Canada. The present owner happened to be there at the time and was witness to this. She offered to buy this 50 thousand dollar horse for the border fees rather than have him shot. The owner agreed. It took 3 years of tender love but Aristo came around and won the Canadian Regional. He is still alive (2017) retired and happy. The original painting is 5’by 5′ acrylic. The owner wishes to remain anonymous.
Dr. Yaw Adu Poku saved my life. Because of him, we are now blessed with our beautiful , talented daughter. I took this picture 5 hours after our daughter, Roanna, was born from my hospital bedside. I later painted it, giving the original to Yaw as a gift of thanks. How do you thank someone for a life?
Garrick Tyas, the Fiddle Man, first and foremost friend, secondary, musician extraordinaire, fiddle, mandolin, but most of all … he had soul. My friend, Heinz took this shot of Garrick at one of our jams that my husband and I were hosting in Bloomfield, Ontario. The photo was blurry but captured a moment – enough to do this painting. Garrick always got gone in his music – I can relate to that…We miss him…
Dear Sweet Uncle Don – used to call him, “The Grand Poobah”. He was the Mayor of Picton Ontario for many years and a darn good one, but to me, he was my Uncle. My Uncle that played the sax at all our Christmas gatherings, church functions and local fund raising events. Uncle Don always gave back. He was a man of honour, honesty, and music – every pore of his body exuded music. I don’t think I will ever stop missing him.
Chase – hmmmm, what to say about Chase – he is one smart little guy with a great Dad that loves him and doggy grandparents that love him as well. He is one little puppy that has angels wings wrapped around him.
Ah, Leo’s wife, I don’t even know her name. All I know is that Leo loved her with all his heart. I’ve refused commissions of people who are deceased but Leo brought this lady alive with his undying love for her. They are both gone now. I like to think of them together in the afterlife. I am forever the romantic.
The “Two Babies” was the very first oil painting that I’ve ever done. I guess this is my on line public confession. My client at the time wanted an oil rendering and I was desperate for money so I said – “no problem”. Once into the commission I found I was loving painting in oil. It just seemed so natural. Cortisio was my inspiration for flesh tones – can’t deny the classics.
Roanna and Kurt – my two favourite subjects. Every once in a while I indulge in an artistic break to just have a little fun. Roanna, our daughter, refers to our dog, Kurt, as the favoured child. No sweetheart – but you are both truly loved.
This was a very tough commission. The owner , as I discovered, wanted her horse to look like a much younger champion. The horse has such wonderful personality; however, the owner was not happy with what she saw…it was a very difficult moment – so – I kept the horses face and made his body younger – don’t like doing that, and I don’t think I’ll ever do it again; however, the owner was happy. Did I do right??
Don Roberts – amazing vocalist and super guy!! Loves his dog Celsie – they both made it so easy for me – thank you!!
Dale has a magic when it comes to Birds – they simply love him. His sister, Darlene, (one of my very best friends) asked me to paint his birds for his birthday. The photography session was interesting – especially since it was a surprise. The Pigeon is a rescue and I guess the African Grey is as well – his owner became terminally ill and sought out a new owner for his bird – he is so lucky to have found Dale… Happy Birthday Dale…xoxox
Beth and her sweet spring baby, Kheta – just simply a fun, feel good, commission.
This life drawing holds a special meaning for me. I was very young when I painted this – it was a 10 minute gesture drawing when I was attending Sheridan in Oakville, Canada. My professor at the time, Suzanna Wald, after critiquing my work, said… “You are no longer a Maiden to the arts”. I’ll never forget those words of encouragement. We, as artisans, always crave and need them, even if we don’t admit it….Thank you Suzanne.
Kurt – what to say about Kurt – he was a gift. Our daughter refers to him as “The Favoured Child” – don’t think so – we love them both. Kurt, most of all, loves our daughter, Roanna. Kurt is indeed Roanna’s younger brother; only in the furry mode during this life.
One of my husband’s co-workers asked me to sketch her two grandsons. This commission practically did itself. How can you go wrong with such precious subject matter?
Roanna – I did a quick sketch of Roanna while holidaying with my Mom and step father up at Craigleith in Collingwood – such a wonderful memory!! Roanna was watching me sketch her. Many years later while leafing through an old sketch book, looking for some paint palettes, I found this sketch and decided to play with it in Photoshop – this is the result. If you offered me a million dollars, I don’t think I could do it again.
This shot was actually taken at the end of our dock – I was practically in the water – wish I could find the original picture – alas – I’m a painter – not an organizer – Nathan and Naomi are both amazingly talented young adults with promising futures. Both of them have super supportive parents. We’ve had the pleasure of working with them on several productions
My Cousin Donna and our Daughter , Roanna – the Meeting of the Minds. Simple crayon sketch. Cousin Donna – an amazing woman that has made a huge ripple in this world during her time in it – in a good way – thank you, Donna
Michael Goodwin, musician extraordinaire, fabulous director, currently the Musical Director at St. Mary Magdalene church as well as The Prince Edward County Ecumenical Choir. Michael has a very rare gift in that he can bring the best out of his choirs. He can make you want to give more. It must be difficult for him to be so diplomatic as he has perfect pitch – yet he chooses to be kind and gracious while still using a firm hand. Quite a guy! His beautiful and talented wife, Josie, commissioned me to paint her husband which had its challenges as the portrait was a surprise. It’s currently hanging in their music room in their home.
Every once in a while you just gotta have a little fun with art. This is a cartoon sketch of James and Chewie, keyboard player and bass player in our band years ago – love these guys. James was a wonderful chef as well as musician. He is no longer earth bound – many fond memories.
Painting on wood, rock, fungi, leather, birch bark, fabric – virtually anything that would stand on its own and not require a frame, has always appealed to me. As an artist there have been times when I couldn’t afford the frame yet alone a canvas to put in one. Painting on fabric kept the wolf from our door during some difficult years. These are samples of but a few fabric paintings and one on fungus. I used to buy jeans and jean jackets at second time round shops, and rip and paint them, then stand on a street corner and sell them in order to pay for the hotel for us to stay in while doing a gig in the city. It seems like a dream now, but it happened.
At first I had a lot of difficulty painting this portrait of “Two Ponies”. The composition was not what I would have chosen, but, I must admit, what Doreen wanted worked…I would have gone for the close-up portrait, but this has movement and the feel of freedom and survival. Sometimes – very rarely mind you – but sometimes we have to relinquish our first instincts and give in to the clients wants and desires. In this case – she was right…
“You do excellent work as a portrait artist. I really love how you capture movement as well. Love it love it, love it……love the motion …..just delightful.” Doreen St. John
Damen – wow – photography session from Hell, but we captured the moment…
Zeke, an incredible fiddle player. I took this picture at a show we did together in Prince Edward County years ago. It sat in my “future projects” file for a few years until one night I decided to paint him – It’s the first painting I’ve ever started and finished in one sitting – on a role I guess – I found out about 3 months later that that was the night he passed away.
Ralph played his Mandolin every morning. His music was pure and true, just like him.