There are pieces of music that to this day make me smell linseed oil – really – connections in my brain that have lasted these many decades.”

My first art teacher was John Gnagy, a television artist with a pointy beard who taught the drawing of shape and form using shading. I remember using only charcoal back then. The interest he sparked made me keenly aware of postcards when the family travelled and I painted bears from Banff and old barns from the prairies – all on the very rough side of cheap Masonite since the smooth side had grooves.

I discovered Mark Carder and was impressed by his interpretation of realism inspired by John Singer Sargent and others – it seemed I’d found my niche. I began looking at everything as a portrait, whether a landscape, a flower, the human form or a still life. My launch into realism had begun.

I began paying attention to the moods of nature and the colours radiating from a late evening sun, a full moon or early morning mists. Flowers and the beauty of individual elements of nature caught my attention and called out to be rendered in all their natural splendour. The human face beckoned me to paint it; to faithfully capture its full expression. All portraits; each with unique beauty.

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