Biography

I was raised in a small town, but was always fascinated by country life. My childhood memories are shaped by Sunday drives through rural southern Ontario.  In 1977 I moved to Ottawa to study English literature, journalism and public relations. I combined my love of art and writing through a career in magazine production and corporate communications.  In 2001, I left the world of nine to five to focus on studio practice, supplementing my income with freelance writing contracts.

Photo of Rebecca and Toby

Rebecca and Toby

My home and studio are in Cumberland Ontario, a rural village outside Ottawa. I am inspired by the plants, animals and open countryside around me. My primary subjects are dogs, birds, and farm animals. Pigs are an endless source of fascination for me. My work explores the connection I feel with animals – both domestic and wild – and with the natural environment.

Although I was initially self-taught, I attend artist workshops and participate in regular coaching and periodic critiques of my work by respected mentors.

For over 25 years, I worked independently in pastel, coloured pencil, and ink. In 2005, I studied painting and began working with acrylic.  Shortly afterwards, I joined a group of plein air painters, travelling to rural Quebec for spring and fall paint-outs. The challenge of capturing scenes outdoors and the companionship of fellow artists improved my painting skills rapidly.

In 2008, I focused again on drawing, creating works on paper that combined thin glazes of acrylic on paper, adding charcoal, water colour pencil and ink.  I also began using mixed yarns to “draw” and “paint” on cloth in 2010 using a punch needle in the tradition of folk art hooked rugs to produce richly coloured and thickly textured images in wool and other fibres.

In March 2011, I attended the artist residency program at the Vermont Studio Centre for a month of independent studio work. I am currently preparing a body of new work for a solo exhibit.