Q: Tell us a bit about yourself. What’s your story?
A: I grew up in Toronto but moved to London during undergrad. I fell in love with the UK and stayed for another 6 years, until I decided to move back to Toronto in 2006 to pursue an MBA. I worked first in finance and then as a Management Consultant and it wasn’t until recently that I turned my attention to something more creative and took up painting.
Q: Have you always known you wanted to be an artist, or did you stumble upon your passion?
A: While I loved art when I was little and have always enjoyed art, being an artist never really crossed my mind. My career was much more business oriented, but I always wished that my job had more of a creative element to it – I really felt there was something missing. It wasn’t until I was pregnant that I found the time to take a painting course here in Toronto and that really got me hooked. What started as a hobby, soon grew and here I am!
Q: Where do you draw your inspiration from when creating your artwork?
A: Everywhere. I draw very simple objects or landscapes that I come across in my day to day life. Lots of flowers from my garden. Lemons from my fruit bowl. I love the simplicity of the watercolours against a white background. These days I get many commission requests which I love because they ask me to paint things I might not have thought of before.
Q: Who are a few of your favourite artists, Canadian or otherwise?
A: I love the Impressionists, particularly Monet. I visited Monet’s garden at Giverny years ago and it was so moving to see where he painted and the landscapes that inspired his work. Helen Dealtry is a new favorite – she is a watercolour painter and textile designer and her work is so beautiful and has such great movement.
(A Painting by Helen Dealtry)
Q: Where is your favourite place to work?
A: Anywhere that is light and peaceful! Usually I enjoy painting when I have time to myself, but there are times that I also love painting with my girls, Pippa and Emmeline, by my side. It might lead to more mess as they try to help but I love sharing my love of painting with them.
Q: What is the most valuable piece of advice you’ve ever been given, professionally or personally?
A: Have courage and follow your passion. When I reflect back, I think I went through a stage of life where I had a lot of courage – I travelled a lot, moved abroad on my own, but somewhere in my late 20s I think I lost a bit of that. When I started painting I thought I would never have the courage to let anyone see my work. But then I looked at my girls, and realized that I want to show them how to have courage and take chances. So I shared my work, even though it was painfully difficult for me to do so, and then things started to happen. People liked it, commissions started coming in and things have grown from there. Since then I have put a piece of art in an art show, experimented with new subjects and tried many different things – not all of it works out, and I still find it difficult to try some of these things, but I am glad that I do. I am glad that my daughters are seeing me take chances and doing something I love – it has been incredibly rewarding.
Q: If you had to pick one, which would be your favourite piece of Art that you have ever created, and why?
A: I love the yellow tennis shoes I painted b/c they are my daughters shoes, so they remind me of her and her little feet.
Q: What is your all-time favourite piece of Art by another artist?
A: It’s too hard to pick just one!
(Coquelicots [Poppy Field], Claude Monet)
Q: How did you hear about Printed Matter? Tell us briefly about the beautiful designs you created for our recent collaboration.
A: I contacted Printed Matter to have business cards made, they saw my designs and the rest is history as they say! The designs we used for the Printed Matter cards are all floral and ferns that evoke feelings of fall.