These watercolour portraits are part of an ongoing project to depict the women of Alberta. The three pictured here were some of the women who arrived here many years ago and their stories were shared by their family members. As they settled the prairies of western Canada, I often wonder how these women felt. It was hard work and difficult to be so far away from family, sometimes from another continent, typically under compulsion.
My own story was similar in some ways. We moved to Alberta out of necessity, twice. As a teenager in senior high school, my father, as an immigrant, took advantage of an opportunity to provide well for his family by taking a senior role at a coal mine. It was a difficult transition as I loved my life in northern Manitoba. After meeting my husband several years later, I relocated to southern Manitoba but, once again, had to move back to Alberta for a job opportunity. It was not easy being so far from my family who had again returned to Manitoba. But this place has been good to us. My daughters thrived in their education, as have I; as a family we have explored the entire province; friends and relatives have travelled from as far as South America and Europe to visit and take advantage of the beauty of this pristine and rugged landscape.
Each portrait is created using handmade watercolour made in Canada by a women owned company on 6x8 inch cradled and prepared hardwood panels, finishing with wax medium in order to display these softer images in a contemporary way.
City of Calgary Mini Galleries, Rundle Community Centre, CADA