All Memory’s life she has been creative and artistic, but she never pursued art, her interests since she was young, were sewing and photography, so when art entered her life, it was a surprise and a gift. It has changed her life in ways she would never had anticipated.
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 that day for the class, it turned out that the class was how to paint realism in oil. To her surprise she fell in love with painting.
Things quickly took off for Memory. She continued to take her weekly classes until January of 2009, just after she won an award in the International Gamblin Torrit Grey contest; the first contest she entered. To her surprise, her award winning painting “Boats at Portsoy”, was published in the 2009 “American Artist” magazine.
After Memory left the studio, she started painting on her own. Things were continuing to go well, she continued to win awards for her work and had many of her paintings published in newspapers, but she felt the need to strengthen her drawing skills. She took some classes to help build her confidence and to strengthen her technique.
Memory was excited about this new found passion, and as her career as an artist was starting to gain momentum tragedy unexpectedly struck her family. In early 2012, her husband became terminally ill. Putting everything aside, she took care of her husband until 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 children went to Hawaii with family in November of 2012. While snorkeling on their last day on the island, Memory and her daughter had the most profound experience swimming with a turtle. 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; it felt to her like her husband had sent the turtle to tell her to get back to the easel.
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. As a member of the Night of Artists she found wonderful opportunities to show and sell her art and to be published annually in the NOA magazine. In 2014, her painting "Boats at Portsoy 2" won the cover of the magazine.
In 2015, Memory was invited to submit her art for a solo show at the brand new gallery Alcove Gallery at the Northern Alberta Jubilee. Her show "Flower Power" took place for 3 months in Edmonton and 1 month at the Southern Alberta Jubilee in Calgary. A few years later the Jube reached out and asked her to have another solo show, this time she chose The Polar Bears series. Her biggest painting at the time, "Submerged" a 48" x 48" oil on canvas, sold at the opening.
As time has moved forward Memory’s subject matter remains diverse, she continues to paint flowers and polar bears and has added many more series and subjects to her easel. Commission work leans towards portraits, which is one of her favourite subjects to paint, but she has found herself painting other subjects for her clients as well.
Being a photographer most of her life and having a camera in her hand most days, has brought her great joy. Since her husband passed away, Memory has been venturing out to a local provincial park and wetlands to take photos. Visiting the area brings peace to her and has helped her through her bereavement, but not only that, it has given her inspiration to paint her new series "Big Lake". Photographing the wildlife and landscape has been amazing and exciting, especially with a couple moose encounters and bald eagle fly byes. Memory has found that watching birds is fascinating, but finding moose is great fun. Investing in a telephoto lens in 2020 has made the hunt for great wildlife photos much easier and safer. Many of the photos that she took will be used as reference in some of her paintings.
Living and raising her children in St. Albert, the series "St. Albert" is also near and dear to her and has been well received by the community. Her first painting in the series, “Sturgeon Crossings” won the cover of the St. Albert Historical Society’s hard cover book “A Bridge over Time: the continuing story of St. Albert”. “The Trestle” was featured as a cover for the City of St. Albert’s Partners in the Park thank you card, and in 2021 the Chamber of Commerce asked permission to use her painting "St. Albert Trestle Bridge" as the cover art for their VISA card for a "shop local" campaign. Season's Gift Shop in St. Albert has become a huge supporter of Memory's art and sells reproductions and prints and has been welcoming her to have pop up shows in their art display room. Along with several local businesses, the Art Gallery of St. Albert and the Heritage Museum sells selections of her art cards and prints.
In 2019, Memory was asked if she would be interested in submitting her art to the Federation of Canadian Artists to become a member. She had heard about the FCA since she first started to paint and how hard it was to become a member of this distinguished organization; this was a huge honour. As it turned out FCA was going to start a new chapter in Edmonton. Memory submitted her work and was accepted. She became involved with the chapter for a few years and enjoyed sitting on the executive and working with the other members. She has participated in a number of on line art shows through covid and the chapter's first two in person shows in 2022. Through the shows she has earned herself two Honourable Mention Awards for her artwork. One in an international show through Vancouver for her painting "Getting Closer" in 2020, and the second in the Chapter's first in person show for her painting "Begonia in Orange Cascade" in 2022.
Memory is a realism painter, she prefers working in oil and paints in a method similar to the old masters. Each painting takes many hours to complete, starting with a monochromatic under painting; once she is satisfied with the result, she will add the colour to complete the painting. People always ask her how long it takes to compete a painting, it's a hard question to answer because each painting is unique. Depending on size, subject matter and taking into account drying time between coats of oil paint, a painting can take anywhere from a couple months to many months to complete. Memory pays close attention to detail, which again, takes a lot of time, but this is the part of the painting she enjoys the most.
Becoming a professional artist wasn't something Memory set out to do, but as fate would have it, it is the path she is on. The business side of art is time consuming and takes away from the creative side, but she thoroughly enjoys both sides of the business. In 2022, she was nominated for a Small Business Award of Excellence. Being recognized for the hard work that goes into running your own business was very much appreciated.
Memory's family is her life and art her passion. Going through all that she has 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. She is truly grateful for all the awards and accolades, for the support of her children, friends and family, the people who follow her on social media, for those who have purchased her art and for the guidance that God gives her.
One of the greatest lessons Memory has learned from this journey so far, is that even in the darkest of days there is purpose and reason. You only have to look to the light, listen, believe, have faith and do the work.