I was born in Winnipeg, the city of weather extremes. I remember having to live in Grandma's Victoria Beach Cottage during the 1950 Red River Flood. Early photos show me happily drawing faces. Several pivotal moments as an artist occurred in Grade 1 when the usually strict Mrs. Burt called the class over with "Come and see what Leila has done now!" Because of the support of my teachers I became one in 1965 and worked on my BA in English and Psychology.
British Columbia beckoned in 1971. I taught in Abbotsford, then I accepted a position in rustic Cherryville in 1981. The Monashee Mountains inspired many paintings and photographs. When I moved to Vernon in 1987, I took the first course in Diploma Fine Arts, and attended full time from 1990-1992. While teaching I studied for my Masters of Fine Arts Education through Simon Fraser University, graduating in 2000.
My artistic influences have been Jim Tanner, Gord Hartley, John Lent, Gladys Goode, Sveva Caetani, Emily Carr, Georgia O'Keefe, Freeman Patterson and Courtney Milne, as well as Boccioni from the early part of the 20th century.
My images are drawn from nature - I love to zoom in on a small object with my closeup lenses and produce large pictures in various media.
My creative passion has led to the formation of my business, Okanagan Eye Photo Art. I market photo greeting cards, framed photos and have paintings in several galleries, and am becoming involved with real estate companies who require good Okanagan scenes in their promotion efforts.
Mike Roberts of CHBC's "Roberts on the Road" kindly took the time to interview in September 2010.
Watch it on CHBCnews.ca