I am an artist. I make things. I’ve been showing my paintings at the Perivale Gallery on Manitoulin for fifteen years. In the early years, I showed watercolours of my four children and nature, because that’s what my life was about. Over time, those simple paintings changed into more involved mixed media pieces and collages. Lately, I’ve been attempting to depict the invisible. Things that are feminine, intelligent, emotional. Sheila McMullan at the Perivale has always encouraged me in my experiments, but pieces that do not sell during the short summer season are given back. It has been good to be pushed to create new work for Sheila every year. All along, I’ve been making quilts. Quilts that seem to be more real somehow than the paintings, they are based on tradition mixed with experimentation. Many are made with hand-dyed fabrics and are covered with embroidery. I think that I have made about a hundred quilts. That’s a lot. Many quilts were made as gifts. Baby quilts, wedding quilts, quilts for friends who were moving, my flown-the-coop children, my parents. (My mother was never without the quilt I made her.) When we first moved to Manitoulin, I was invited to participate in the Festival Boreal, a music festival in Sudbury with an artist’s village. I showed my quilts. People wanted to buy them, but I said they weren’t for sale. I wonder why I felt that? I think it was because they were like personal journals. I just could not believe that others would understand. I now realize that my quilts might be desirable to own. They are authentic. They hold so much spirit. They make the time it took to create them visible and tangible while at the same time, they demand that the viewer slows down and spends time with them. Look. Touch. So much of our culture; books, music, film is “free” today. Reproduced. Not original. Just download it. Open a magazine and see Monet. These original and authentic pieces of art have each been made over lengthy periods and they are honest expressions of what it is to be alive.
Above: Images of six of the ten quilts that are 'for sale' at my studio during the Manitoulin Art Tour this coming weekend.