I grew up on a small farm with lots of animals, gardens and trees. We had citrus groves all around us. When I was very young I fell in love with horses. They were some of my first drawings. I then started drawing and painting more animals, then trees and eventually florals. Later when I lived in Europe I enjoyed painting the quaint little buildings, farmlands and villages in the Alps where I spent most of my time.
The first really significant paintings I remember were when I was around 10 – small florals that I had painted on blocks of wood from the pasture, sawed from boards into squares. I sanded them to have smooth edges and I let the woodgrain be the background. Then I varnished them and affixed decorative hooks. My girlfriend’s mother loved them so much she wanted to buy them, I realized that people really liked my art! This experience ignited my passion to paint.
In my beginnings I used water-colour with pen and ink, pastels and acrylics. I began painting larger acrylic landscapes in my early teens. One of the first was a sunset of our pasture with the neighbours windmill in it. I have always loved reds and oranges, and with the acrylic paint I could use vibrant colours. It wasn’t until I moved to Canada after seeing work of the Group of Seven that I began painting in oils.
Canada seemed so wild and beautiful, with gorgeous seasons, mountains, farmland and vineyards.
The skies and mountains light and colour that are forever changing. I had drawn so many detailed pen and ink drawings, I had to let loose and just smear on the paint. I then developed my own unique technique. My paintings still have details and are still somewhat realistic from a distance. If you look closely, you’ll see they are still just daubs of paint.
I will always continue to develop my technique. Striving to become a better artist. In many of us there is a strong urge to express ourselves in meaningful ways, but to explore this takes emotional risk…facing your fears.
It’s about feeling vulnerable that is what allows a passionate creation of a serious piece to be long lasting art. Being creative is addictive, exhilarating and scary.
Every painting is different – a challenge, exploration, learning, and launching into new things. Every daub or stroke are placed with thought, constantly assessing the painting near and far.
The process never ends. Even when I am not painting, I am thinking about the next stage of a painting or a new one, when I am outside, I am studying how the atmosphere and light is effecting the colours around me and how to capture it in my own unique way.
Creativity it is not just about my paintings. It is also everyday things that I love doing… shooting photos, setting a table, cooking a meal, arranging flowers, organizing the colours and textures of the gardens, designing and making jewellery, sewing, refinishing furniture and decorative items, and decorating in general. Making a home warm and inviting brings great comfort to everyone around you.
I believe that all of us posses creative talent. When people tell me they would like to create something or that they “used to” I always tell them explore, do it again! After you get over the fear of being judged, there is such a feeling of joy, freedom and accomplishment.