Artists Statement

I drive lonely sometimes forgotten roads, hike, scramble, bushwhack, get rained on, sometimes burnt and almost always eaten alive by bugs, all while trying to get to the places that call to me. Some of these places are beside a road or trail, others are so far away from signs of people that it is easy to forget that people exist. My paintings are of these special places.

The landscapes I paint primarily range from British Columbia, Alberta, north to Alaska, the Yukon and Northwest Territories. I find the raw beauty of the northwestern wilderness, its personality, moods and the stories it has to share captivating.

Over the years my son’s presence with me on my trips has had a fantastic impact on my work. He has slowed me down and taught me how to remain in the moment, listen and find wonder in all the little things that make our wilderness so special and make up the landscapes that we are so lucky to call home and be a part of.

Because of this, I see my paintings of these locations as visual stories of place. They reflect an intimately candid moment in time, shared between the landscape and ourselves. Not all the moments painted are perfect or pretty, they exist somewhere between fiction and reality, like a memory shared between old friends.

Working primarily in watercolour, my landscapes are based on photographs and plein air pieces I have done on location. Representational with a light minimalist approach, they are full of loose intuitive mark making and simple washes of colour that play with the flowing nature of the medium. I am enamoured with the predictable unpredictability of watercolour and how it forces me to slow down and own my choices, good and bad. In many ways I find it reflective of our interactions and effects on the wilderness I paint, a gentle reminder to be present, tread lightly and leave no trace.

A few fun facts:

• I mix my own blacks, greys, greens… really all my colours and use a basic primary colour selection to do so.

• My worst experience with bugs was in the arctic in early summer. The noise they made on my gortex sounded like hail and the air was thick with them. It was unreal.

• When working in watercolour if there is white in my painting I use the colour of the paper or canvas instead of white paint. 

• I am terrified of bears and cougars… even more so of moose. THEY ARE HUGE and UNPREDICTABLE!!!

• I have had the same watercolour pallet since 1998, I love it.