"The focus of my work has become storytelling - honouring the lives + stories of women through portraiture."
BOOKS LEFT: 'The Grandmothers' exhibit booklet includes the stories and photographs of each of the women (preview here).
RIGHT: 'The pocketbook includes the paintings and stories (here). ______ EXHIBITS: Leighton Centre, Feb 5-Apr 2, 2022 Heritage Park, Apr 26, 2022 Trico Living Well, Aug, 2022
As I sifted through old family photos, I felt compelled to find a way to pay homage to the women who came before us. I was particularly drawn to the idea of recognizing the often-overlooked contributions of our grandmothers and great-grandmothers. So, beginning in January of 2020, I embarked on a year-long project to create weekly portrait paintings based on photographs and stories of these remarkable women.
As the world was rocked by the Covid-19 pandemic, I found that the project took on an even deeper significance. Many of these women had already endured so much in their lifetimes, from wars and poverty to illness and violence. And yet, they had found ways to persevere and support their families through it all.
In my studio, I surrounded myself with the faces and stories of these incredible women. Through painting their portraits and sharing of their memories and struggles, I hoped to honor their strength, resilience, and unwavering love. They give me hope, even during the darkest of times.
Working on The Grandmothers project also prompted memories of my own father, who was born in South America and began working at the age of 11. Despite the many challenges he faced, he always believed in the value of education and hard work. He instilled in me a deep sense of pride in my country and a commitment to learning and striving for excellence.
Through my art and my reflections on the lives of those who came before us, I hope to inspire others to honor the sacrifices and contributions of those who have paved the way, and to work toward a brighter, more equitable future for all.
**There are two books now available to preview and order online here or at the Leighton Art Centre. The paintings are each painted on 8x10 gallery depth canvas and were exhibited at the Leighton Art Centre February 5 - April 2, 2022 and Trico LivingWell in 2023.
Featured in WHAT WOMEN CREATE magazine June 2021 issue