Welcome to my life.
I'm so blessed. I'm never quite sure how I got here, but the journey has been amazing. Not always happy, not always easy. But everything adds up to where I am right now - a retired advertising art director/designer living my dream in the country. Everything visual still invigorates me.
I've always wanted to paint. I had no idea how to start. I'm trained to solve problems, and without a problem, I couldn't seem to put brush to board and create. My great friend, Diana Hillman, who is a wonderful artist, cheered me on. Without success. Until one day, she handed me a cut out wooden horse and asked me to paint it. Her art collective was having a show which featured a silent auction of painted horses for a fund raiser. The horses were being painted by various artists, celebrities, interior designers. And apparently me.
I love animal folk art. And animals. I looked at the wooden horse and said don't worry, I'll cut out my own. I hit on my house contractor, Alan Brick, to teach me how to use a saw. He set up his jigsaw and I was off to the races. I loved it. I was able to cut out my own wooden horse. I just powered through it. Diana offered up some space in her studio so I could paint. I was in heaven. Total bliss.
My first horse was a dappled gray. I added real horsehair for its mane and tail. And then I sent it off with my friend, Jennifer Rogers, to Auchen, Germany where the Canadian Equestrian Team was competing. She had it signed by Ian Miller, Eric Lamaze, Tiffany Foster, Jann Candele and Mark Laskin. And that horse was going into the silent auction.
I loved making these horses. I immediately did three more for the silent auction. They were well received and posted some of the highest bids. And I was on my way to a new hobby.
Suddenly people were asking me to do commissions of their favourite horses. Some were memorials to their best friends. Others were just celebrating their favourite horses in a folk art form. Each always had the horse's own mane attached to their likeness. It was very personal.
I have enlisted my saintly husband now. Lawrence is now involved in all the complex aspects of mounting them. I would be remiss not to thank my friend, Ian Sinclair, who offered up his workshop and showed me how to safely use other equipment. And Rick Thompson, who is the ultimate horseman, pulls manes for me so that I always have a supply of horsehair. There are also so many friends who have been so encouraging. Seriously, a big thanks to Poet, Suzanne and Jennifer who think I can do no wrong. I love you all.
And this passion has grown. I started doing other animals. Trying to be a little unique with each one. And like I said, I am so blessed. I love going into my studio and just immersing myself with each one of these critters. I hope you enjoy them as well.