As a little kid, art class was always my favourite time at school. When I started high school and told Mom that I wanted to go into an art program, she informed me that I’d be taking business classes, so that I’d always have a job. Mom was very practical.
In my early twenties, I went to community college and finished a three-year fine art program. Most of the curriculum was studio time, where I majored in painting and learned a lot about abstract expressionism. After that, I managed to squeeze in a few university art courses here and there and continued to dabble in painting and print-making, always maintaining a big interest in fine art.
After graduation, I discovered pottery, which really struck a chord with me. The thing I loved most about it was the combination of art and functionality, and all of the ensuing possibilities. My own artistic nature and the practical training instilled in me came together in pottery – it’s art you can use! These days, I focus mostly on making ocarinas, bowls and other functional pieces. My favourite part of the process is decorating my work and finishing each piece with attention to detail.
Over the years, I’ve held contract positions as a hospital art instructor and a production pottery technician, as well as time spent doing office work that helped to pay the mortgage (thanks Mom). When I retired I packed up my life in Toronto, where I’d been living for the previous ten years, and moved into a little house that is two miles north of Lake Erie. I like it here and I’m thrilled to be doing my own thing – making pottery, painting, gardening and going to the beach now and then.
A couple of years ago, I finished a painting that I titled ‘Life-Cycle’ and showed it to a friend of mine. He thought it would look good on a t-shirt, which really resonated with me because it combined my artwork with the practical and affordable t-shirt. Also, this was a perfect way to display my paintings, as I tend to keep them – they’re like my children! I’ve had a few of my paintings printed on t-shirts and I’ll continue adding to the collection over time.
I’m a member of FUSION: The Ontario Clay and Glass Association and the Tillsonburg Station Arts Pottery Guild.