Working at an art store while I was in university was very fun for me. Shortly after graduating, however, I was promoted to work as a custom art framer, which I was not very excited about. I was asked to do it because of my knowledge and skills in art, but I thought that frames were the most boring part of displaying artwork.
For me, frames were a complete after-thought and mainly just a means to hang up a beautiful piece of art. I somewhat reluctantly accepted the new position. Little did I know, this would spark a new passion in me and change the future trajectory of my art practice!
Once I had learned more about custom framing, I realized the creative possibilities that came with it. This realization made me quickly fall in love with the craft. In my next position as an art and framing consultant at a large gallery, I was exposed to even more creative framing options that made my imagination run wild. I began to wonder, what else can we do with frames? Some frames are so beautiful and artistic on their own, what if they could be a part of an art piece? This thought sparked the shift in my art practice.
I had already been exploring surrealism in my artwork for some time and absolutely loving it. I wanted to use my technical skills to make surreal images look as real as possible. While I was continuing to develop this style, I walked around downtown Toronto one day and the entire idea for my pivotal “Surreal Sidewalk” series hit me when I saw a lamppost painted bright blue: monochromatic sidewalk scenes with some of my favourite subjects (sea creatures) in matching frames! This series began my exploration of including frames as a part of the artwork, while also challenging myself to paint mainly in one colour. I was also inspired by the real, spectacular colours of the sea creatures that were included in each painting. I’ve since had the most fun combining my oldest passion of creating art with my newest passion of custom framing.