I am a mixed media, encaustic artist who uses the physicality of layers of wax, paint and ephemera to examine and exorcise my mental states. The surface of my work and the process of making it is where I find solace and healing, a mindful meditation. While the emotional landscape I travel through includes anxiety, depression, PTSD and bipolar disorder, I am drawn to creating beauty, encouraging myself and others to see the positive.
I was raised in Owen Sound, Ontario and went to Wilfrid Laurier University, studying Near Eastern Archaeology and Canadian History. I participated in multiple digs during my schooling, including a six-week excavation at Bamburg Castle in northern England. I also completed a post-graduate certificate at Fleming College in Museum Management and Curatorship and was honoured to be hired as an Assistant Archivist at the Grey Roots Museum.
However, I was involved in a life-changing car accident in the winter of 2009 and was placed on disability. My whole life had always tied to being “something”; be it a woman, a student, a wife, a triathlete, an archivist. I did not recognize myself as “disabled” and it critically impacted my mental health, requiring psychiatric hospitalization. I became trapped in myself and in 2012, my support team insisted that I needed to do “something”. By luck and by fate, I enrolled in a course at the Southampton Art School, simply because it suited my husband’s work schedule, and discovered my love for encaustic and the healing immersion of creative flow.
My passion for encaustic and commitment to learning has led to many opportunities to study with many notable encaustic/mixed media artists including Paula Roland, Jeffery Hirst, Shawna Moore, Ellen Koment, and Leah McDonald. Ottawa based artist Christina Lovisa opened a door for me in my perception of what was possible with encaustic but my biggest influence has been Ontario encaustic artist, Andrea Bird. Andrea was my first encaustic instructor and remains a role model for me in how to translate what I need to communicate in my art with the materials that resonate with me.
My experience with the generosity of learning and inspiration found through impactful teachers was the catalyst for hoping to provide that experience for others on their artistic path. I facilitate an online community called Waxing Wisdom, where we examine topics related to creativity and the creative community, and I also teach encaustic and mixed media courses.
I participate on the Elora-Fergus Studio Tour, Shoreline Artist Studio Tour (Saugeen Shores), and Bruce Peninsula Studio Tour as well as in various group exhibitions and events across Ontario. My work is available year round at the Southampton Arts gallery, through my website, or my Etsy shop.