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I had the privilege of studying with one of Canada's great colourists, Ted Godwin, at the University of Regina. Ted said, "Whether an artist chooses to pursue landscape, still life, the figure, or whatever else, these are all just vehicles that serve to carry the real subject matter: paint." In reference to my work, no matter what my subject matter, my prime inspiration has always been colour.
As a student, the New York abstract expressionist scene had a potent influence on my instructors (Ted Godwin, Art McKay, Doug Morton, Frank Nulf), which subsequently filtered down to the art students. My basic training was in abstract art. When I left Saskatchewan and formal educational training, I concentrated on photo realistic art subjects to improve my technique. These many years later, I celebrate a return to the foundations of my training. I delight in the spontaneity of laying down colour, of playing with light and texture, of arriving at a composition that works on a gut level.
My medium is mixed. Qualities of the encaustic medium (hot wax and oil paint) that appeal to me are its sensuality, unpredictability and its earthiness-- visceral in texture and smell. Digital photography is combined with encaustic paint, and mosaic becomes integral to the encaustic panel. Recently because of art residencies in Newfoundland I have been incorporating textile in the form of rug hooking into my work. I have produced and directed two videos, which have been incorporated into installations of paintings and rug hooking.
I bring craft into the fine art arena: papier mache, fabric, clay. I carry no judgment in medium and find inspiration from all creativity.
I tend to approach my subject matter on a sub-conscious level letting my intellect decipher meaning often after the work is produced. I don't start with a question; I go on a journey. Abstract elements of colour and texture are the hooks which first draw me into a subject.
I have often attempted to bring fabric into my art because of the needlepoint and doilies of my Doukhobor grandmother, Ann Hoodekoff. Ann also inspired her daughters (my mother) in doing needlepoint. Though I didn’t “connect” with that medium, I love rug hooking in the primitive fashion, especially with recycled material. Through the hooking and stitching of fabric I feel a line connecting me to the art of my grandmother, mother and aunts, and I relish bringing the medium forward to make a statement for my generation.
My Artist Statement: Run With Me
I do not require you
to walk through the
twists and corners of
in order to enjoy my work.
Let’s play catch.
I throw, you catch
Run with me
that is all.