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I have lived in four countries, seven states, and one province (so far). I fell in love with the Pacific Northwest as a child and eventually made my way to Vancouver, BC as an adult. I enjoy taking long walks in the forest and looking at the great variety of mushrooms and birds that make themselves known to me. The forest is my medicine. There are so many facets within myself, but art has remained important and necessary for the last 20 years. Art allows me to express that which I cannot with words—the tensions I feel within, the beauty of a particular curve, the complexity of multiple colours coming together to blend and breathe together, the surrendering to being a conduit through which images flow.

In my work, each mark is made after I see a form take shape on the empty canvas or page, whether it be a shadow, a paper irregularity, or something seen in my mind’s eye. With each line that reveals itself, a new mark is made in reaction to the one before it, slowly building the story the surface wants to tell. Then, working with the essential nature of my materials, I allow the paint, ink or graphite to live and breathe. Calligraphic lines come together and form organic entities that explore the constraints of a given surface. I enjoy juxtaposing harsh, sharp lines against organic forms that are soft, bulbous, and often pod-like.

In my illustrations I have explored two specific characters, Kumo and Toda, interacting in more recognizable natural settings. Kumo is named after the Japanese word meaning ‘spider’, while Toda is a name born of word play. Oftentimes wistful, sometimes mischievous, each picture tells a quiet story—a moment of interaction between creature and its environment. The creature morphs and changes how it interacts with its backdrop, but the eye remains, ever watchful and aware.

Although art making is a meditative, non-emotional process for me, my work is often illustrative of my emotional state at the time. My art is greatly influenced by Surrealism, forms found in nature, the female form, as well as Japanese culture including manga, the concept of ‘wabi sabi’, and traditional calligraphy. Many folks like to share what they “see” in my work, and I love hearing their descriptions. Like a Rorschach inkblot, my art tends to inspire broad interpretations. I have often heard it described as a two-dimensional version of how dancers experience movement in their body. I have also heard many interpretations referencing animals amongst vast landscapes. Life is about connection for me, and these are the kinds of interactions that make my heart sing. I look forward to connecting with you.

Photo by: Alexander Oleynikov