Caging The Forest Bird

How would you describe your studio practice?

Almost everything starts in my sketchbook, which I carry around with

me everywhere I go. I’m one of those ADD type of folks who can’t focus

on just one thing at a time, so I tend to sketch while I’m watching TV

or on the phone. I’m also constantly scribbling down ideas for

paintings on anything that’s handy. Sometimes the sketch is detailed

or redone a few times to play with the layout and sometimes it’s just

a loose idea that comes together on the canvas.


What inspires you to make the work that you make?

I’m inspired by people, characters. I’ve always been fascinated by

what motivates and interests other people. Before I became an artist,

I was convinced that I had to get a “real” job”; the dream of working

as a full time artist was reserved for an elite few living in New

York. I (thought) I wanted to become a psychologist and began

university with that career path in mind. And then the internet came

along and changed everything! For the first time it was actually

possible to be a self-representing artist and reach an audience around

the world.

Aside from being able to showcase my work, the internet has also been

a huge source of inspiration by connecting me with other artists. I’m

able to see and be inspired by work being shown in galleries I may

never set foot in. I feel incredibly grateful to be working at this

time in history.

How would you describe the physical nature of your artwork?

I primarily paint with acrylics on small canvases. I like to do a lot

of layers, playing with glazes and depth, which means I don’t have the

patience for oils. I find the smaller sizes easier to scan and ship,

though I recently completed a few larger paintings (16×20) for a solo

show at the Plaskett Gallery and really enjoyed the challenge. I got

to play with a lot more detail than usual which I really enjoyed.

The only downside is if I hadn’t had a deadline I would probably still

be working on those paintings! I constantly fight my desire to add

more and more detail, shadows, highlights etc. Some of my girls must

have 40 different layers of paint just in their eyes. I really love

looser, more painterly work and struggle with knowing when a painting

is “done”.  My boyfriend pointed out that when I’m really focused and

working tightly I hold my breath. Not good! I’m definitely working on

painting more loosely, letting the work flow and yes, breathing!

piggy girl by kgb

Sophie and Her Pink Piggie

Do you have any friends in Vancouver who are artists that you talk to

about your ideas/work on a regular basis?

I joined an art collective that used to meet every other week and I

found that really helpful. It’s on hiatus now, but it had been great

for goal-setting and sharing exhibition opportunities and resources.

It was a very diverse group of artists and more business oriented, so

I didn’t use the group for critical feedback very much. I’d love to

start something up like that again with a smaller group of artists.

Currently my boyfriend is my sounding board for ideas and he is

definitely not afraid to be honest. He has his favorites (Murray being

one) which are the basis of comparison for all of my work. His most

memorable criticism: “Compared to Murray, I want to throw this

painting into a fire.” Ouch!


What recent work are you the most happy with?

I really enjoyed painting Margot and Richie from The Royal Tenenbaums.

I don’t paint men very often and I had a blast bringing Richie’s beard

and glasses to life on my canvas (through many many layers of glaze!).

One of my all time favorites is Caging the Forest Bird (otherwise

referred to as “the bird girl”). I make lockets and pendants with some

of my paintings and you can usually find me wearing my bird girl




Any upcoming shows?

I am co-hosting a group show featuring Alice in Wonderland and

fairytale-inspired art by more than 30 different artists. I’m really

excited to see what everyone else has come up with. It’s called Beyond

Wonderland and takes place Saturday, June 12th at Box Studios (1622

Franklin Street). You can find out more info here:

Mad Hatter the Duchess - Alice in Wonderland