'I see my creation as a puzzle with many pieces
to choose from, like colour, texture,
pattern and line and each comes together
differently depending on my choices.'
Q. Please tell us abit about yourself. Anything you’d like to share, perhaps where you live, where you were born, your family.
I was born in Beaverlodge and raised in Dawson Creek. Although my husband and I spent nine years in the Northwest Territories, we returned to the Peace region and lived in Fort St. John with our two children. In 2018 we moved to Vernon BC. I now have 3 granddaughters and am expecting another grandchild in August.
Working as a Registered Nurse for over 30 years, mostly in maternity, I found my passion for assisting with the healing process was expanding. For 15 years I studied and taught various topics which included Yoga and Healing Touch. I found that sounds like music, voice and those from nature could heal. I created a CD to promote relaxation during childbirth, Childbirth a Guided Visualization.
I enjoy a range of outdoor activities from kayaking to hiking.
Q. Can you tell us when you first realized that you enjoyed creating art and wished to become an artist. Is there a particular person who supported your decision to pursue your goals? If so, in what way did you feel supported? If so, how did you feel?
Growing up in Dawson Creek I was a member of the local 4-H group and created many sewing and leatherwork projects. I enjoyed knitting and other hand crafts. I never considered being an artist, until I had my palm read. The lady reading my palm, looked up from my palm and said to me, “You are an artist”. She could tell by the look on my face that she had made a big mistake and quickly said, “If you are not, you should be.”
About that time my teenage daughter brought home a painting she had created at school and I was totally amazed by her work. I thought maybe artistic talent ran in our family. About a week later I picked up a book, flipped through it and was truly captivated. The book was "The Tao of Watercolor" by Jeanne Carbonetti. The desire to paint with watercolours was born after realizing how the vivid colours and their flow evoked positive feelings within me. My daughter encouraged me to buy the book.
Painting began with watercolour lessons from a friend. I then traveled to take watercolour workshops in the USA and met other artists in Fort St John. I was one of the founding members of The Flying Colours Association. This group supported me in many ways: learning techniques, positive feedback, comrades, fun and laughter and lots of encouragement. This was quickly followed by being asked to be a member of Inspiration 6. These women supported me by including me in my first experience of being in a show. They taught me many things about having a show.
I was also a founding member of the Peace River Chapter Federation of Canadian Artists. I was again, supported by having the opportunity to be in two juried shows a year, I grew as an artist. I became confident and sure footed.
I also have to thank Mary P. and Mary M. who introduced me to printmaking. I was on my way to my first printmaking class with the “two Marys”. Driving there was a straight piece of road with one set of tire marks down the middle of the snowy road. I slowed down and began to make “s” shapes as I wove down the snowy road, my very first print.
A close friend opened a spa business and I saw a lot of blank wall space. Not missing a great opportunity, I suggested those walls become a gallery for my paintings. What a great idea!! Serenity Spa hosted many of my beautiful watercolours and offered them for sale. My paintings created an atmosphere of serenity, peace, calm and upliftment.
There are many other family members and friends that have supported me in ways too numerous to mention.
Q. What is your motivation for creating art?
It started with the thought of helping others to feel better and I think that is linked to all those years of nursing. Now, it is because it feels so good to create. I love watching the paint move on the paper and the colours mixing. With printmaking its the surprise of seeing a new print just off the press. The other portion of it is the social aspect of visiting with others and being in a group.
Q. Do you have a favourite medium and if so, why?
Yes, two. I love watercolour because of the flow and mixing of the water and paint on the paper and printmaking because of the excitement of not knowing what you have created until it comes off the press. With both, there is the curiosity of wondering, “What if I tried it this way, added this or combined more than one print technique?”
Q. Can you tell us a bit about some of your artworks and what they mean to you?
My work consists of watercolours and the use of many printmaking techniques such as collagraph, dry point, cyanotype, linocut, and mono-prints. Viewers describe my watercolours as peaceful meditative and serene. My collagraphs are seen as delicate, organic and natural. In contrast, people find my mono prints and linocuts to be bold and vibrant. All of my work is either abstract or non-representational. My creations are a place to settle and be meditative and find the sweet spot in life.
Satisfied - Watercolour Two Step - Watercolor
Extreme - Embossed Mono-print Contemplation - Tinfoil Collagraph
Maple Dance - Mono-print
Q. When you create art do you listen to calming music, are you thinking of anything in particular or have any emotions at all?
Yes, I have a few CDs that I gravitate to that put me in a meditative mood, feeling calm and relaxed. I love the feeling of being “in the zone” when I create and the surprise that comes with both printmaking and watercolour.
Q. In our busy world, time can be an issue. Do you have any tips or tricks to find time for your art?
First having a tidy work space is important as it is more appealing for me to go in and paint or print-make in a non-cluttered environment. Second, being in a group especially helps with motivation and encouragement to take the time to create. I also find deadlines make my art the priority.
Q. Is creating art your main profession?
No, creating art is not my profession, but it is my main creative outlet to be whole and healthy.
Q. Can you tell us about any awards or exhibitions that have made an impact on your life?
I have placed in many FCA and other juried shows, but the one I will always remember is winning first place at the Peace Liard Regional Juried Art Exhibit for my tinfoil collagraph “Delectable”. I was on vacation in Mexico at the time and a friend texted and notified me that I had won. I didn’t believe him at first but he was very persistent.
Participating in shows has seasoned me to have faith in my work and myself.
Q. Do you have any major goals for your art career?
My major goals are: to have fun creating, to learn new techniques (eco prints), mentor other artists, have my work displayed in shows, hone my drawing skills and branch out into figurative work.
Q. What inspires you to be the best artist that you can be?
The fun of creating is what inspires me the most. Next is the problem solving. I see my creation as puzzle with many pieces to choose from, like colour, texture, pattern and line and each comes together differently depending on my choices. Lastly, I think my curiosity about what or how I could create a composition or what if I tried this or that gives me inspiration.
Q. Is there anything else you’d like to share about your art journey or inspiration so far to inspire others?
- You can learn to do anything you want to; you just need to try.
- Enjoy the process of creating and let go of the outcome.
- Learn from your mistakes, be brave and make them.
- Notice what rings your bell, what makes you excited and happy and follow that path.
- Concentrate on pleasing yourself with your creation, not those around you.
I also suggest reading “Big Magic” a book, by Elizabeth Gilbert.
Thank you Judith for sharing your art journey with us!