Category: Paint

The Poppies Blow

Oil on canvas (2012)

Many Canadians have relatives who have served in major wars around the world, but I would argue that Remembrance Day has special significance to those related to current members of the Canadian Forces. Imagining friends or loved ones being deployed overseas, as was often encouraged during public school Remembrance Day ceremonies, required nothing more than to simply open my eyes and look around. As an army brat, every day is Remembrance Day.

Lt. Col. John McCrae’s legendary poem captured the imagination of an entire nation. The poppies blowing among the crosses are friends of our fallen soldiers, standing guard of the bodies as the dead move on. These flowers have always seemed so surreal, so much so that it didn’t even occur to me that poppies could exist outside of a wartorn countryside. Imagine, then, my surprise at seeing a poppy at a track in France during a training camp…and then again trackside at a competition in Italy, and then again in Holland. It has been comforting to encounter such familiar artifacts while far away from home!

Lest we forget.

Poppies in Holland


Oil on canvas (2011)

Upon getting the itch to paint shortly after lending my collection of acrylic paints to a friend, I pursued the opportunity to expand into oil paints…and what an opportunity it has been! This first piece illustrates wonderfully what I have found to be oil paint’s greatest qualities. The vibrancy of the colours, as well as the capacity to layer them simply cannot be matched by acrylics. I chose to stray from my usual model of the wolf to another majestic and elusive hunter, the jaguar. I like that the animal appears alert and curious, yet relaxed, perhaps not aware of it’s silent observer.


Acrylic on canvas (2011)

“Accept the challenge so that you may feel the exhilaration of the victory.”

This piece was inspired by a motivational plaque I’ve adored since my childhood. Like my self portrait, it is a product of the dark; the rough brush strokes and colour conglomeration alludes to the vigorous and instinctual act of it’s creation. I recall sitting in the dark room at night, hunched over the canvas, furiously highlighting where a setting sun glistens on fur and rocks, deepening shadows, and emboldening the unique markings on each individual animal. Along with vitality, I appreciate the depicted sense of camaraderie among the three wolves, perhaps reflecting that between my sisters and I.




Self portrait in the dark

Acrylic on canvas (2010)

Recognizing early in my art career that I can easily obsess over fine details, I decided to paint in the dark to silence my inner perfectionist. A lamp was arranged to light a side of my face while obscuring the surface of the canvas. I worked to replicate the light and dark tones that I saw in a mirror, realizing upon completion that I developed a bold contrast while staying within a fiery spectrum. Though I have been told the resemblance to my appearance is lacking, I am quite haunted by this silenced looking glass version of myself, a girl with a story to tell.