Some time ago I was asked to submit a biography of my art career and life. I really wondered what I could write.  Upon opening the accolade cupboard to see what credits I could claim for myself, I found it quite void of prizes, ribbons and awards.  For, I have never entered a contest or anything similar to even compete, and there was no long string of initials after my name.


I was born in north Toronto into a loving family with devoted and encouraging parents; a start that unfortunately many to-day never know.  In spite of the absence of great feats, I found a heritage unsurpassed for any kid who ever breathed, and upon reflecting once again over events in my life until now, my existence has been more exciting than most.  


For as long as I can remember I have followed the beat of a different Drummer and a song my peers did not seem to hear.  This calling led me down different pathways than my counterparts, and for a while my life was rather a solitary one, until I met and married Dave in 1959.  


For me, to paint was merely and extension of the explosion with which I searched for the Drummer Who always seemed a step ahead of my own.  The absolute surety of a Creator behind the wonders of sight and sound I beheld, was never doubted.  The electricity of colours; the sound of a bird song that  pierced the morning air; the myriads of different life in various forms – they only fanned the search for meaning to anything at all, and I began to paint with a little set of oils my dear Mother gave me for passing through grade eight with honours.  This expression gave vent to at least some satisfaction of getting a little step closer to the Drummer, but I fell so far short of perfection.  


How can any artist, anywhere, duplicate the life beneath the fur, the sight behind the eyes, the motion within the members and the pounding heart-least of all, perhaps myself.  For where is the paint that can imitate the shimmer of a spider web in the sun of noon day, the sparkle of a lake or the gurgle of a waterfall as it rushes head long over stones, as it has perhaps since time began?  What brand of paint is there to cast forth the fragrance of a wet horse, or the breath of a frosty morn?  None - anywhere.  


Only the Creator can do it and it is Him Whom I searched for in my art.  For us all then, we fall short of that perfection created in the beginning, and some, a little shorter than others.  


There is, however, a satisfaction within, as the explosion comes as close as possible to the actual subject and we stand back relatively pleased, but destined to do better.  So what accolades do I have in light of this?  I think none.  The success of our Studio, named Al Marah after my Arabian gelding, has at times invaded my world somewhat and my humanness and the desire for greater things has to be brought in check and I have to bring myself up short and get back on track.  


For me, the first priority is the Lord, the Drummer Whom I met years ago now when I was born again, after many years of painting and searching.  My profession has taken Dave, my British husband and manager and me to England for research as much of my work is of the British countryside.  Although 100% Canadian by birth, my devotion is divided between the two countries.  Who can resist the fragrant blue bell wood with robin and chaffinch chorus.  Show me the man who could not feel at least a small tug on his emotions while standing on the misty Yorkshire or Devonshire Moors stretching as far as the eye can see with the wild ponies grazing there.  The pathetic little bleat of newborn lambs coming from valleys below in the glory of an English spring takes my breath away, and the peace etches itself forever on my soul.  


We have stayed in farmhouses with shepherds and the origin and age of the place has been lost in the march of time, as the fog still rolls in from the sea to coat the bedroom windows with joy.  This is why I paint… it is impossible to contain my wonderment of it all, and it must escape somewhere.  The sweet singer of Israel, King David, sang it out in the Psalms centuries ago, and I … paint it out, a mere imitator of the glories of the natural world and the wonder of the Ancient of Days Who created it.  


When it comes down to it, I am an artist. I paint because I love to, as an expression of my love and gratitude to God, no matter what becomes of it.  I consider the success we have had with all the aspects of this talent, and the galleries with which we deal an added blessing.  The greatest blessing however - of this I am sure - is when my husband closes his hand over mine, and I can look into my beloved companion’s face, then I am the richest woman in the world.  I am on top. I have arrived.  My painting is in its proper place.  

Then I need no credits to my name, for I am painting for the sheer love of it, and the rest doesn’t matter at all.


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