I was born and raised in Ottawa and am self-taught as an artist. Having had only minimal formal fine arts instruction has been a real advantage for me because it has forced me to develop my own style in order to create images that I find beautiful.
I am deeply thankful to my parents because when I was a child, my mother, also an artist, provided me with the supplies and example I needed and my father was very encouraging. They made me understand that I was free to draw, paint, assemble or build whatever I wanted to with whatever ordinary things were around me. I am grateful to my family today for being such constant fans of my work and for encouraging me to grow as an artist and I love to see my own children developing their creative skills in different and incredible ways.
While a High School student in the 1980’s, I was fortunate to receive many portrait and some landscape commissions in the medium of watercolors. During my teen years, I hadn’t arrived at a personal style yet but I derived great confidence from these commissions and I began to work on using a more daring style when I used acrylic paints. Through my experience designing and painting sets over a nine year period for an annual end-of-year show for “Extravadance”, a local dance school, I realized how much I loved to paint on a large scale and this helped me to become more confident in my use of colour.
In 1995 I graduated from Carleton University with undergraduate degrees in Art History and English and a Master’s Degree in Art History. Travels through Europe and the West Coast of the United States and Canada between 1989 and 1995 inspired me to draw upon my love of architecture, wrought iron structures, and of my Czech heritage for the first of a series of large-scale acrylic paintings depicting architectural scenes of Prague. Between 1995 and 1998 I exhibited and sold my work in restaurants in Ottawa, including at Sante, Clair de Lune and Memories Café and in exhibitions through Art East and The Nepean Fine Arts League. In 1996 I was awarded a $1000.00 bursary by the “Zonta Association” as the most promising emerging female artist of the year. My paintings can be found in private collections in Canada, the United States, Australia, Denmark and The Vatican.
Between 1999 and 2010, I took time away from full-time painting to raise my children and since 2010, with the advantage of a home studio, I have been painting on a regular basis again. As a member of the Orleans Art Studio Tour for four years, I exhibited my work in my home during the annual tour on the second weekend of June and in June, 2013, the Wall Space Gallery in Orleans invited me to join them and they have represented me as an artist ever since. Over the last few years, I have shown and sold my work at the AOE Gallery and at the "Selections" show at the Shenkman Arts Centre, and at a number of restaurants and locations in the city. In May and June of 2016, I'll be displaying a selection of paintings at Il Primo restaurant on Preston Street here in Ottawa so come and take a look!
I am passionate about sharing my love of art with others and helping and encouraging others to create beautiful things so five years ago I began to host art camps for children in my home. My camps have garnered great results and reviews from the students and from their parents. I now teach drawing and painting to children and adults through the year as well and have four weeks of art camps coming up in the summer of 2016. Contact me for more information.
It is such a blessing to be an artist. Life is just such an incredible adventure and making art that gives people joy is a gift that I'm really grateful to have.