Educated in Montreal at Concordia, where I studied creative writing, film, literature, and art, I left when I was barely 20 to Morocco to meet up with a friend, who didn’t show up for several weeks. I was fascinated by the desert, by the Moroccan culture, by the rhythms of Arabic and Berber, and by Berber music. After some time there, I traveled through Europe looking to begin. Begin what? I didn’t know.
Eventually, I chose England, where I studied art, engaged in children’s theatre, and tried my hand at a variety of things from giving wine tastings to making chess pieces.
Through observation and personal research, I also studied the way many churches gave a form to town centers and created a community that wasn’t necessarily religious. I wondered whether art could do the same, even if most of the people didn’t particularly get it. I also studied Sufi arabesques, Taoist landscapes, and Byzantine mosaics.
In Vancouver, the material reality of existence led to more-than-full-time teaching: over 25 years at Emily Carr University of Art & Design and Langara College. I engaged in writing, art, performance. In 1994 I received a Rockefeller Foundation Flowfund award for art and research on healing art, particularly with water. In 2000, a Carfac grant to go to Regina and meet with artists there. I was also a co-author (1997) of a book on art: One Source: sacred Journeys. (Markowitz Publishing.)
Among artistic influences, I can only list some of the painters I love: the Dutch Old Masters (especially Breughel), Goya, Delacroix, Gustave Dore, Turner, Max Ernst, and Paul Klee. There are many contemporary artists I admire as well, often those unconnected with painting.
Daughter Daphne-and associate artist-working on one of her creations