I'm always 'lurking' the artists I like to see what they look like, how old they are, where they live, how they live, what their studios are like, what the trajectory of their career has been, and if they exhibit. Maybe I'm looking for clues for what makes them so good. I believe there's a connection between their life and their art. I don't think I'm telling you anything you don't know here, right?
So, I grew up in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) in several neighbourhoods - Rexdale, Clarkson and Oakville. Now I"m in Burlington. I am a retired schoolteacher. I taught secondary school English and Visual Art - mostly English, because everyone has to take it, so there's more work teaching English than teaching Art. My parents are Dutch and I speak Dutch. It's a part of my art story because we used to go visit my grandparents quite often and my grandfather toted us to all the art museums in Amsterdam, which I adored. Huge influence
I don't have that all too common story artists tell of obstacles to studying art. My parents were supportive in whatever I chose to do so I got to paint and read my way through school, which was pretty rich. Grateful for that! I am passionate about Humanities degrees. I still think everyone should do one - yup. I don't mean that in an elitist way; I mean it in a public education way - to have the opportunity to study literature, philosophy, arts, history and some math. What a wonderful world that would be.
I always dreamt of being an artist. My art teachers weren't ever particularly encouraging about my desire to be an artist and for some reason I took that to mean I wasn't that good. As an art teacher myself, I also worked with art teachers over the years who took marks off students' work for imperfect cross hatching, a situation that was always difficult to negotiate, because I didn't see things that way. But I also worked with some stellar, progressive educators who were passionate about Arts Education, were amazing artists and inspired their colleagues and their students immeasurably.
Throughout my career I taught thousands of students - yup, about 3000 if you add it up - many of whom were talented and innovative artists and they inspired me tremendously. We made yearbooks and painted murals and had art shows and just had a lot of fun making art, goofing around with paint, clay and other materials, talking laughing, commiserating. There is nothing like being a teacher. I'm sure that turned out way better for me than being an artist ever would have, so in the end I feel I've been fortunate.
My husband's work is in healthcare. We have three 'kids' who are now adults.
One daughter has an M. A. in Art Research that she took in Amsterdam. She's interested in, and makes, performance and protest art and teaches. One daughter is an elementary school teacher who also makes wickedly detailed prints and collages and is really good at lettering and drawing. My son is a lawyer who makes spectacular smart phone photos.
Now that I am retired from teaching secondary school, I teach at The Oakville Art Society occasionally and for MindForward. I am mostly interested in expressive art; art that allows people to connect with themselves and with others in community; in experimenting with materials and having fun. Most of the art I do myself is related to teaching art for well being; to helping adults get back to play.
My studio is a vacated bedroom in my house and I am still working up to actively exhibiting my art.