My Mom passed away this week. She was the first artist I ever knew. I watched her from the time I was a very young girl as she took colour and created a world of memories where there had only been a white canvas. I was spell-bound. She was mainly self-taught taking an adult education class to learn the basics, but Mom was fearless painting anything from the local landscape to commissioned portraits. She was a farm-wife living out in the country, but that never stopped her. First she started sharing her work on easels set on our front lawn on the corner. Cars stopped. Lots of cars. Soon she was showing in local exhibits and taking endless commissions. Eventually she became a student of artist Charles Couper and took her first university course to study art history. She loved painting and was immensely proud of the series she completed of the historical main street buildings in her hometown of Berwick. Seven years ago Mom suffered a severe stroke, but within months, she was painting again. We were amazed. Then one day, she asked me, "How do I make green?" And she knew. We both knew. She just smiled and put the paints away. If she couldn't paint the way she always could, it was time to stop.
Mom, all your paintings are still out there. They're hanging on walls and featured in books and people still love them. You were an artist and you were my inspiration.
Anna Horsnell SCA
Canadian painter of contemporary abstract art