Situated in Southern Ontario, Canada, I am a practising artist, community arts educator and amateur naturalist. I am a painter as well as practising printmaker, collage artist and muralist. While I keep a daily written journal with the odd sketches in it, it's been a while since I filled a sketchbook purely with drawings. In observing my surroundings on an ongoing basis I had wanted to stop to take the time to simply sit down to sketch again, en plein air. This opportunity allowed me to go into the field to photograph and work en plein air, observing and documenting firsthand in a sketchbook. Whereas the barns and farms were places I sought out, the birds were subject matters which came to me simply by being in the outdoors, while sitting and waiting and drawing. It brought back many memories of painting and sketching outdoors,something I had enjoyed immensely in years past based on my childhood upbringing. There is something so inviting and fulfilling tin being in the moment. While I still spend a lot of time outdoors on trails and in provincial parks, my studio work takes place indoors, working from memory. This offered me a chance to reconnect to sketching in the outdoors and also work in a more literal manner as my paintings are abstract in style. I had forgotten how pleasurable and meaningful this process is. I am motivated to capture the feelings and the deep underlying layering of our natural environment in my paintings. In Southern Ontario, we experience the change of seasons and the colours connected to these natural changes and they can't help but find their way into my paintings on some sort of subconscious level. I found that sketching in a literal (non-abstract) manner, allowed me to utilize both right and left brain approaches to painting and drawing. I also have an interest in children's illustration and took the approach of producing this sketchbook in an illustrated and storytelling manner. Possibly, a children's book will one day come of this. If not, I have definitely reconnected to keeping a visual sketchbook on a regular basis and I encourage others to do so as well.
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