A lot of what inspires me about making art connects back to my grandmother.
Kee Kee (our nickname for her) was my first artist role model. She could paint and draw, write music and play the accordion, sew and make furniture — it seemed to me like she could make anything — and she wove her unique artistic style through everything she did. I could always spot the birthday gift she had wrapped with colourful, precisely measured paper and a coordinated, handmade origami card on top, or the thank-you notes she wrote in whimsical script with green felt-tip pen.
If you ask around across generations of our extended family, we all have stories to tell about a bookcase or bulletin board or rocking horse Kee Kee made for us. Though she had always been artistic, she launched into making most of these things after she was widowed suddenly at a young age with two small children. Instead of selling the woodworking equipment my grandfather left behind, she learned how to use it. She made anything she could think of, then spread it around to people she loved.
Kee Kee and me
When Kee Kee passed away in 2013, we gathered a collection of items she had made for us and displayed them at her funeral service. It felt like a celebration — and almost as if she were right there celebrating with us. So many of our memories of her relate to how she used her art to make her relationships with people more special.
Art has given much to me. I would like for my art to be a vehicle for helping people heal themselves and connect with each other. Several times per year, I plan to offer one large painting for sale with 25% of the proceeds going to a specified charity. Watch my home page for more information about upcoming offerings and causes.