Memory Roth was born in BC and adopted by a family who moved to Red Deer, AB when she was almost 5. This is where she spent the majority of her childhood and where she met her future husband, Bernie, at the age of 16. When Bernie and Memory were both 21 they got married; a few years later they had a son, and eventually moved to St. Albert, AB, where their next son and daughter were born. After the birth of their youngest child they were transferred due to her husband's work. Four moves in five years took them away from St. Albert, but brought them back twice, and this is where they call home.
As a stay at home mom and later a school volunteer Memory kept busy with her children and their activities. Her family has always been a priority to her; although she knew that one day she would want to pursue a full time career outside the home, once her youngest graduated. Before the time came Memory tried a number of different things.
In September of 2006, on a whim, Memory joined a good friend for an art class. They had talked about taking a class together but had not decided on what. When her friend told her that she was taking a class that very night, Memory didn't really care what it was and she signed up the day the class started.
All Memory’s life she have been creative and artistic, but she never pursued art, her interests since she was young, were sewing and photography. To her surprise, she fell in love with oil painting. She continued her weekly class for two years at Hidden Talent Art Studio in St. Albert, AB with instructor and artist Laura Watmough.
Things quickly took off for Memory. She stayed at the studio until January of 2009, just after she won an award in the International Gamblin Torrit Grey contest; the first contest she entered. After Memory left the studio she continued painting on her own and with a few friends from time to time. Things were going well but she felt the need to strengthen her drawing skills. She took some classes at Artra Art School in Edmonton, AB; a couple classes with Susanne Lamoureux, and a three month drawing class with Frank Haddock.
Memory was excited about this new found passion, and her career as an artist was starting to gain momentum when tragedy unexpectedly struck her family. In early 2012 Bernie became very ill. She took time off from her art and everything else to take care of him, but sadly, he passed away that August.
Not quite sure if she would be able to carry on with her art, but knowing her husband was her biggest supporter she knew that if she gave it up she would be doing both him and herself a disservice. As she was struggling with the motivation to return to her painting Memory and her kids went to Hawaii with family in November. They went snorkeling and she had the most profound experience swimming with a turtle. It was as if Bernie had sent the turtle to tell her to get back to the easel. It wasn't until January of 2013 that she was able to pick up the paint brush once again, but it was the turtle that gave her the inspiration she needed.
Having found a renewed strength and motivation Memory decided that in order to keep it going she would have to challenge herself and set herself up to start showing her work once again. An opportunity presented itself when Phil Alain, founder and producer of the Night of Artists put a call out. This seemed like a wonderful opportunity and Memory submitted her art for consideration. She has belonged to the group since 2013 and continues to find inspiration, motivation and joy from her fellow professional artists.
As Memory continues to paint she has always been drawn to a variety of subjects, but especially children’s portraits. She had always enjoyed artist Joanne Healey’s work and fell in love with one particular piece. She told her husband about the painting in 1995 and in 2005 he gave it to her for a Mother’s Day gift. The emotion it has evoked has helped influence her love of children portraits and the stories they tell. But what has influenced Memory the most is what she sees through her camera lens and the inspiration when she looks at the world around her. Each subject she paints has brought something meaningful into her life and it's intuitive inspiration that pushes her towards her next painting.
Memory prefers working in oil and paints in a method similar to the old masters. First painting a monochromatic under painting and then adding colour. She mostly glazes the colours onto the painting which takes many layers and a lot of time for each painting. For some paintings, if she has started out in black and white she may leave it that way. She is especially drawn to detailed realism.
Memory’s family is her life and art her passion. Going through all that she have gone through to get to this place, this moment, has given her a huge appreciation for the gifts and the strength that God has given her. Memory looks forward to the future, not knowing where it will take her, but knowing that God is guiding her, her kids are supporting her decision to pursue this career as an artist, and she knows her husband is looking down from heaven cheering her on.