In celebrating 40 years, and wanting to bring awareness to, and support of the phenomenal artists of Wallaceburg and the surrounding area, this page will be dedicated to highlighting one special artist (and possibly one student artist) each month, beginning August of 2020!
August 2020 Artist of the Month
I was born and raised on Manitoulin Island where I worked on my family’s saw mill. I lived three miles back in the bush in a little village called Silverwater. I was always a nature girl, almost a wild child if you will. Although I didn’t run with the wolves, I would spend hours walking in the woods, learning the names of flora and fauna, pressing flowers and cataloguing their healing properties which also turned me into an artist that loved to capture on paper, everything I encountered. I loved going by myself to the shores of Lake Huron and spending the day there listening to the waves crash. I would grind up slate and make my own pigments from crushed flowers. Sometimes I would draw on birch bark. We didn’t have a lot of money so I used whatever was naturally available. I was happy as long as I could create and express myself. In school I was bullied, and a loner. The only place I felt truly accepted and safe was the art room. The kids there would get me to help them draw the things they were struggling with. My mother from a young age was always very loving and encouraged my creative side. We would often draw and paint together. My favourite creature to draw was horses. That still resides in me today. I feel a real emotional connection when I’m around them. When I turned 13 my dad got hurt at the saw mill and sent me down to live at Snyeview Orchards With family I didn’t even know existed. I was immediately taken in at eleven o’ clock at night by my 80 year old kindly faced great aunt Dorothy. We bonded almost instantly. From there I went to WDSS, met Mr. Babbitt, learned how to play trumpet, and alas my soul was awakened with a school that supported my creativity and had really kind understanding teachers. It wasn’t until my mid twenties that I really started to get into painting full time. I went to school for graphic design, but still wasn’t sure which direction as an artist I should take. I always had a hard time connecting with myself and completing what I started. Once I started creating without worry of criticism my world opened up. Today I paint in oils and acrylics mostly. I enjoy sketching all preliminary work in chalk pastel, or willow bark charcoal. It has that primitive feel, that allows me to rework things until they feel right. Then I turn to paint to capture light and shadow, then finally colour my favourite part, bringing the life and essence into my work. I’ve been working toward the goal of having my own studio here in Wallaceburg called “Sunlight n Shadows“ or else “2️ ♥Arts Studio“ I have been focusing primarily on painting the waterways around our beautiful town that I have the privilege of kayaking. I’m really drawn to them, preserving the wetlands and nature that resides there is also an interest of mine. I’m hoping in the near future to create a personal mural for our town, which contains indigenous species, flora and fauna found here, and the very large tree in sycamore woods as the focal. I think it would be beautiful.
I was asked by the Wallaceburg Museum to help restore this with my husband Lance Cross. Panel by panel we restored it. It took approximately three weeks. It’s hanging on the wall down James Street and is in great need of restoring or repainting again, but funds are not available. The substrate behind is rotting and would need replacing, if our community is going to keep its mural. Just an idea I would like to raise funds for – and also be involved once again in the restoration process.
If you are an artist in the area, and would like to be featured on our “Artist of the Month” page, or would like to nominate a local artist, please feel free to contact us through our form below.