I am the granddaughter of homesteaders on the prairies, living in the community they worked to establish nearly a century ago. Attachment to this land is an integral part of what defines my life and, in my prairies/coulees work, I hope to honour the blood, sweat, tears and courage that my family invested in the opportunity they were given in the Canadian west. I also want to draw attention to this facet of God’s creation and to raise awareness of the beauty and rhythm inherent in this “forgotten landscape”. The Prairies are often too easily dismissed as flat, monotonous and monolithic and frequently portrayed with minimal, broad brushstrokes and very limited palette, but this “empty land” is full of visual rewards and surprises for those willing to invest time and patience.
Rather than a realistic rendering, my watercolours reflect the subtle, gracious beauty of the grasslands, coulees, fields and skies that comprise the western Canadian prairie landscape. I prefer to mix colour on the paper, using glazing and wet-into-wet techniques, as well as dry-brush and occasionally scraping to add texture, detail and highlights.
Holidays and residencies give me the opportunity to visit and experience landscapes in other parts of the world. These present difference challenges and there is always more to learn.