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I read an artist statement should not contain anything about childhood or family. However, without becoming my mother’s caregiver when she was in her 90’s and suffering from dementia, I may not have discovered the joy of being a whimsical artist.

A year after she moved in with us, a nasty bout of shingles made me realize some “me time” was needed. Learning to paint had been in the back of my mind for some time and weekly lessons at Nadine’s Fine Arts in Vernon became a time for me to unwind and focus on being creative. I chose acrylics as the medium to work with and enjoyed painting landscapes with them. More than three years of being mom's caregiver took a toll on my health. A heart attack landed me in the hospital and my mom in a senior's home. I had joined the Vernon Community Art Center that year and after coming home from the hospital I saw a class being offered there on "zen doodling". I took the class and discovered a whole new world of carefree art. As a child I remember being fascinated with fairy tales, nursery rhymes, and folk stories. Images began to take shape in my head and I could see magic appearing on paper. I discovered bright, beautiful colours and a freedom from rules. I could create what I imagined, what I felt, what I saw. And then I saw smiles on people’s faces when they looked at my art.

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I call it “Happy Art” because it gives me joy. It makes me happy when I create it and it makes people happy when they see it. Although there were many stressful times caring for my mom, without her being here I may never have discovered art and the joy it brings.

“Art is Something that Makes You Breathe with a Different Kind of Happiness”
“Anni Albers”

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