I started drawing when I was a child, living with my grandparents and brother. My father was seldom home as he worked out of town frequently. My grandmother became our primary care giver. She was an artist in her own right, often sitting me down at the dining room table to draw portraits of me. As I grew older, she began to teach me the basics of sketching. My grandmother passed away at the start of my teen years.
As I continued through school, I enjoyed sketching, mostly portraits of people and pets in my spare time. In high school I focused on a more academic education, never thinking that there could be a future for me in art. In grade 12 I opted to take an art class as an elective where I discovered painting in oil on canvas. After graduation from high school, I worked at various jobs until I got married and started a family. I no longer had much time for art. It would be several years before I picked up a pencil again to draw.
Once my two children were in school, I decided it was time to go back to school myself. I wanted an education in a field that would enable me to find a job paying a reasonable amount. The direction I went led me to College and a certificate in Architectural and Structural Drafting. Eventually, I was hired as a manual draftsperson where I did Civil drafting. I finally was working at a career where I drew and coloured every day. After approximately 10 years, there were layoffs and I was lucky enough to end up working outside. I then got a licence to drive a truck and worked for various construction crews.
This was my turning point. I had a conversation with a co-worker who asked if I liked to draw since I used to work drafting. He suggested that I had plenty of down time sitting in the truck and that I could pass the time sketching. I sketched mostly women, children and pets, just like from my childhood. Another co-worker, seeing what I was drawing, brought me in a wildlife magazine, thinking I should try something else as a subject. I should have seen it sooner since I’ve always loved animals and especially wildlife. I’ve drawn wildlife since then.
I felt I was lacking in many areas to do with my art and decided to take some art and photography classes and join an art club. I purchased a DSLR camera to be able to take my own reference photos. I started taking my camera to various locations, many of them zoos.
I’m now retired and have all the time to explore new techniques in both art and photography. I work mostly in coloured pencil. I do still paint in acrylic occasionally.
I recently entered a wildlife coloured pencil drawing in a juried art show. To my surprise and delight, it was accepted for the show.