I was born in Calgary, Alberta. Although raised in the city, I spent as many of my weekends and holidays as possible with relatives in the ranching areas of south-western Alberta where a deep love for western living and nature developed. Art was a major part of my life then. I took my first photograph with my dadís camera when I was two. I sketched and painted too. As a child, it was rare to see me without a camera or sketchbook.
Photography and drawing or painting has always co-existed. I was painting in watercolour and oils in the early 1980's, and studied photography in the late 1980′s. Then life took me on a different path where I spent 14 years working with textiles. It is this work that ultimately lead me right back to photography, which led me back to painting. My work with textiles taught me a lot about color, texture, and form, which I am now able to use in my artistic practice.
In 2009 I was juried in as a full member of the Alberta Society of Artists, an organization my great great uncle Frederick George Cross was a charter member of. In 2014, I was juried into the Federation of Canadian Artists and the Oil Painters of America. My images are influenced by such artistís as F.G. Cross, Henry Peach Robinson, Frederick George Ashton, John Henry Twachtman, Childe Hassam, Camille Corot, Cornelius Krieghoff, William Turner, and others.
Visual art, for me, is an escape giving me the freedom of discovery, play, learning, and experimentation. Iíve never been able to keep a journal or diary. Words fail, but the visual language sings with the emotions I canít otherwise express. I am not striving to capture reality in my images, I am striving to capture abstract thoughts, ideas, or moods. Whether I am working in paint or pixel, I treat art as a journey; and just like how I travel, every path is an adventure waiting to be discovered.
It is the images and stories of the western landscape, flora, fauna, and people, which inspire my paintings. I have always held a childlike fascination and passion for nature, the land, and stories of life back then, so these are the subjects I am most drawn to in my work. Vast open spaces and big skies, where the weather shapes the land; these landscapes are places where a personís thoughts have room to grow and the self becomes small in comparison to the grandeur of the universe.
Working mostly in oils, I often blur the line between impressionism and expressionism. I donít want to copy nature exactly, but a sense of emotion that will allow the viewers to create their own interpretation. I work with a limited palette, as I feel it helps create a more nostalgic feeling in the images. I favour the softer tones and quiet light, and prefer to paint in a smaller size to create a more intimate conversation between the work and viewer.