I was born on a ranch, had a horse and did the ranch thing. Then moved to the city, met my husband, moved to the North, traded the horse for a dog team, and settled down for the next 42 years! The town was new when we got here, with lots of new people coming in, and a lot of them left their art behind. So we started a little art group, bought a kiln, and things took off.
My first love was clay, and then we found stained glass; we brought in a fellow to give a workshop, and I fell in love with the medium, and the way it played with light. Then I discovered watercolours. Driving the dog team, exploring the Mackenzie Delta, I’ve always loved the boreal forests. When you’re doing stained glass, what you’re doing is taking out details. With watercolours, I could be as detailed as I liked. So I painted what I saw on the land when I ran dogs.
Working as part of a community gives you energy and inspiration, and helps you learn new things, but working on your own in an isolated place is different: you have to teach yourself, and grow in your own way. So the Great Northern Arts Festival is essential - it’s the one of the main ways us northerners get some instruction / inspiration! The Festival is a tremendous thing for our community. We’re not great marketers up here, so to have a week where we can work together, show our work to people, and learn new things is priceless