About the Book
As the Covid-19 pandemic hit worldwide during this process, I found 'The Grandmothers' project to be even more important. So many women survived world wars, droughts, poverty, violence and illness. They were uprooted from their families and still found a way to support and encourage their children and grandchildren.
Each day I entered my studio, I was encouraged by the faces and stories of these women. With this project I wanted to share the beautiful, strong, encouraging women who have made a difference in the lives of their families, through their portraits and through sharing the stories and memories of their sacrifices and how they overcame their own challenges. They give me hope.
Beginning The Grandmothers project also had me reminiscing about my father. He was born in South America and began working at 11 years of age. Their large family imported items from Brazil to Paraguay using an old, unreliable truck which often stalled in the treacherous mountain passes. This required throwing wood blocks under the tires to keep the truck from plummeting down the mountain. It was also when he started smoking. At 19 he drove my mother to the city of Asuncion to apply for passports in order to emigrate to Canada for a better political situation and for opportunity. He had a voracious appetite for education and an admirable work ethic and was able to work his way from being a miner to a senior manager. He was always grateful to live in a country
I grew up in the most beautiful place in northern Manitoba, surrounded by the Churchill River and boreal forests. Though we didn't have formal art education, I did learn traditional arts and crafts from my neighborhood Cree grandmothers, like weaving, beading, moccasin making, and birch bark biting. I learned how to draw by copying the Archie comics that were prevalent in my home as my mother was from South America and these comics helped her to learn English. My father told me the comics also inspired my name. I like that. When I started out on this creative journey it was difficult to find information and support as an artist. I read a lot, talked to many professional Artists and gallery Directors, tried many different things, and I think I've finally found my artistic 'sweet spot' both in my paintings and in my creative career. This is the information I wish that I would have had access to in the beginning. I hope it helps you, too.