I am a self taught artist, beginning as a child watching my mother sketch portraits at the dinner table. I’ve worked in charcoal, oil pastels, watercolor, acrylic and more recently iPad art applications. In 2014, I opened my own studio in Alameda, California. My work has been shown in Nova Scotia, Canada and several galleries in the California East Bay including solo shows, the most recent at Alameda City Hall. I have lived in the UK, Canada and the US.
For as long as I can remember I have sketched, painted and explored different mediums in visual art. I work mostly in watercolor and acrylic these days finding expression in that middle space between realism and expressionism. I find inspiration everywhere and really appreciate learning from other artists. I feel privileged to be a co-founder of ArtPush, a non-profit East Bay art association. We published our first book EAST BAY ARTISTS 2020, launched in November to celebration the contributions artists have made during the Covid 19 Pandemic.
I also love writing, especially about personal journeys of courage and determination which I’ve been fortunate enough to witness time and again in my work as a social worker. Hugs All Around: How Nicolas McCullough Came Home, which I co-authored, is the story of a severely disabled child of three, also made into the documentary, Nicolas, by the Canadian National Film Board. As a professional working with children challenged by disabilities, a child protection mediator and a foster parent of fifteen children, I have a profound understanding of the devastating effects that prejudice and fear can have on kids.
My debut novel, Morgwyth charts the courage it takes to confront what can seem like overwhelming barriers to inclusion. The social class barriers Morgwyth faces as a child come in part, from my own experience growing up and as a single mother of three. With only a seventh grade education, I graduated at the top of my class with a MSW from Dalhousie University completing both undergraduate and graduate work in less than three years while working full time. The women who helped me get there are stories waiting to be written.
Morgwyth is a nine year old girl who experiences very directly the magic of the natural world; she sees and hears what birds and animals think and has dreams and visions of prehistoric events. The story begins with Morgwyth at her new school looking at her classmates playing during break while she clutches a note from her best friend from her last school. In another world two shape-shifting creatures scheme to prevent Morgwyth from discovering her unusual gift. The story is set in a seaside town in the south of England where I grew up.