I grew up in Victoria and now live on Protection Island, Nanaimo, BC, where my husband and I have raised two children.
I have a BSc in Biology and an MFA in Creative Writing.
I am a painter who writes; I am a writer who paints. I am never sure exactly which comes first. Writing has been a way to express more accurately what I am drawn to express in the non-verbal language of painting. Both are equally important to me.
Originally a biologist, I have worked on seabird colonies, in the Amazon, and in a botanical garden. I have led ecotours in Honduras, the Galapagos, and (under sail), in the Pacific Northwest in the Gulf Islands, the Great Bear Rainforest, Haida Gwaii, and Alaska. I have traveled extensively by land and sea. In 2008/2009 my husband and I sailed our boat to French Polynesia. During that year I kept a travel blog illustrated with sketches and paintings.
Biologist/naturalist is the lens through which I see the world and the sensibility I bring to both my painting and writing. My first book, The Last Island, a Naturalist’s Sojourn on Triangle Island, is a memoir of working as a seabird biologist and an elegy to one of the most wild and beautiful places on the BC coast. In my book of poetry, Circadia, scenes of ordinary life unfold in a backdrop of light cycles, tides, and weather. Some poems are set in a tropical research station and explore taxonomy and diversity. In others, I try to move past nature as a backdrop to delve more deeply into its inner, often invisible workings (photosynthesis, pollination…) to release them from the language of science.
Poetry: Circadia. 2005. Pedlar Press, Toronto.
Non-fiction: The Last Island – a Naturalist’s Sojourn on Triangle Island. 2002. Harbour Press, Madeira Park.
Second Place, Subterrain Magazine's Lush Triumphant Annual Poetry Contest, 2011
Long listed Arc Poem of the year 2010
Long listed for Malahat Review long poem 2005
Winner of Subterrain Magazine’s Lush Triumphant Annual Poetry Contest, 2003
Second Place, Prairie Fire Poetry Competition, 2003.
Winner of annual Hinterland Poetry Contest, Backwater Review, 1998.
Recipient of Canada Council for the Arts “Emerging Writers” Grant, 2003, to complete a manuscript of poetry (Working title “Circadia”, published fall 2005 by Pedlar Press, Toronto).
Two time Literary Delegate to B.C. Festival of the Arts: 1997, 1999.
“The Last Island – a Naturalist’s Sojourn on Triangle Island” was nominated for two BC Book Awards (2003): Roderick Haig-Brown and the B.C. Booksellers Choice and won the Edna Staebler Award, 2003 (a national award for a first or second book of Creative Non-fiction).
Recipient of B.C. Arts Council Grant for a work of historical non-fiction, 2003.
Winner of Victoria School of Writing, Post Card Fiction Contest, 2004.
2012/13 Art for An Oil-free Coast invitational show (Vancouver, Victoria, Salt Spring, Nanaimo, Calgary)
2011 FCA Vancouver Gallery juried show
2010 Nanaimo Art Gallery FCA juried show
2010 Tres Chicas Studio Nanaimo
2009 Tres Chicas Studio Nanaimo
2009 Nanaimo Art Gallery FCA juried show
2005 Sidney Fine Arts juried show
2001, 2002, 2003, Recent Works, Protection Island Studio
2002 Maple Ridge Art Gallery
1999 AABGA invitational botanical show, Hotel Vancouver
1996 Nanaimo Art Gallery
1992 University of British Columbia Botanical Garden
1992 Victoria Convention Centre
1990 University of British Columbia Botanical Garden
1990 Invitational Tsitika Valley/Robson Bight, multi-venue
1989 Invitational Carmanah Valley, multi-venue
1988 VanDusen Botanical Garden