Wildlife in Nature has been my greatest passion since I've been able to remember. Our family’s love of nature shows, in particular, Walt Disney’s early films, imprinted values that have lasted a lifetime…
Born in Zambia, I have only faint memories of my first safari, which I have refreshed with three safaris beginning in 2004: including one with Simon Combes and another with John Banovich; each of these with a team of other artists. These experiences exceeded my wildest dreams. I am never happier than when out amidst Nature's offerings and an African safari is the ultimate experience. In between these Kenya trips, I also went to see the Serengeti and Ngoro Ngoro Crater in Tanzania. Passing by the gravesite of Elsa, the lion, stirred deep emotions, remembering “Born Free” as the first film I was allowed to see at the theatre without my parents.
I have always loved expressing this passion for Nature through art. My artistic hope is that this passion can be communicated to others as a way to reaffirm the importance of this Earth to all people. My fervent hope is that it is not too late, for me to achieve this, or for Nature to flourish.
I love colour and like to push hues and play with complementary colours; striving for the creation of a painting, not a photograph. I am comfortable with water-colours, for on location sketching; and water-mixable oils, and acrylics for studio paintings. As I move forward, all mediums could be used in the field. “Pleine air” painting is the preferred choice for many nature artists.
I have been lucky enough to learn from Roger Witmar, Waterloo artist, in the 1980s and benefit from workshops with artists who are wildlife art icons, including: John Banovich, Simon Combes, Paco Young, John and Suzie Seerey-Lester and Terry Isaac. These people have become friends as well as teachers and it is so sad that Simon and Paco are lost to us already. I am honoured to have known them. In the photo, I am the one on the right with John Banovich and Kat Combes in Kenya.
Painting wildlife requires research at wildlife reserves, zoos and in the field. Africa is a wildlife treasure, being the only place to see such a glorious variety of animals and birds in their rightful home. This wonder risks being lost forever if we don’t act soon enough. In North America, wildlife is more elusive and has had to adapt to hunting as well as exponential urban & suburban growth. A portion of the proceeds from my artwork will always go to conservation efforts. Being a Signature Member of Artists for Conservation is consistent with my core values.
All original artwork will donate a percentage of the sale proceeds to specific conservation organizations related to the subject matter. Some will make a contribuiton of 100% of the sale price. Limited edition prints have also been donated to raise funds for conservation. The World Wildlife Fund is supported by monthly contributions, as well as proceeds from art. Other causes, include the Cheetah Conservation Fund, Soysambu Conservancy and other wildlife-oriented agencies.
From 2000 to 2006, as a Governor on the Board for the Real Estate Foundation of BC, contributions from real estate trust accounts helped provide university endowments for programs connected to conservation & sustainable land use. The Board also authorizes funds for works around the province that demonstrate conservation or sustainable and innovative land use practices.(www.realestatefoundation.com)
A career history as a planner has included work on climate action to reduce greenhouse gas; identification and preservation of environmentally sensitive areas; policy for wildlife habitat protection and restoration; floodplain lands; water quality of rural beaches; and in every case; sustainable growth of urban areas; so as to create the least possible impact on the natural environment.