Sometimes, peope ask me, "when did you start writing and telling stories?" Or, "when did you start painting?" I started telling stories about as soon as I learned to talk. Once I discovered the power of a pencil - or crayon - for writing down words and drawing pictures, I never stopped. I learned to read very early, and soon was pouring through all the books and magazines my parents had collected. I used to hide books all over the house, so no matter what room I was in, I could dig out my stories and disappear into a magical world someone else had created.
I always liked to draw and started taking art lessons when I was eight. I rode my bike to Mrs. Haye's house every Saturday morning and learned the magic of paint. My little sister, Linda Frayne- Kemp went along with me. She's been a very successful professional artist for many years. Later I studied palette knife with Roger Rondeau. I studied Art in high school with Shirley Owens, then majored in Visual Art and English Literature and completed a Double Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree at the University of Western Ontario. I studied drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, art history, art theory and art criticism and in English Literature. Then, on to the University of Toronto where I did a double specialist degree in Visual Art and English Language and earned a Bachelor of Education.
I taught High School Visual Art and English and acquired a Master's of Education in Curriculum Design from Brock University. I've continued to take courses in both Creative Writing and the Arts through the years. It's essential to keep learning - especially in our rapidly changing world.
I first lived on the outskirts of a small town, and later our family moved to a working farm. I could drive a tractor by the time I was twelve and helped with the production of tender fruit. And mucked out stalls. The big draw on the farm was that we had farm animals and most importantly - horses. We had a cottage in the northern woods on a small lake. Those things are huge influences in my writing. My dad was a lawyer and my mom was a nurse. They were fantastic role models. My best inspiration comes to me when I am in quiet country settings - and then the words and pictures just flow like magic!
'The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.' Pablo Picasso
ART - I paint in oil or acrylic on canvas. I've exhibited at Rodman Hall in St. Catharines, the McIntosh Gallery in London, Ontario; the Burlington Art Centre, Burlington, Ontario, the Pumphouse Gallery in Niagara-on-the-Lake and in the Rotary Room at the NOTL Community Centre.
My work is colourful and expressive and conveys the feeling or mood of a place or experience. I've enjoyed doing a series of portraits of Queen Elizabeth II that reflect the various time periods and art styles in her life. All paintings are glazed and wired - ready to hang.
I started taking painting lessons as a young child, studied art in high school and university and have worked with many marvellous instructors. There is no right or wrong way in art - and artists throughout time have chosen mediums and styles to suit their subjects, advances in technology and historical developments.
But passion has to be there - and the ability to share the passion with someone else.
'I think kids want the same thing from a book that adults want - a fast-paced story, characters worth caring about, humour, surprises, and mystery. A good book always keeps you asking questions, and makes you keep turning pages so you can find out the answers.' Rick Riordan
WORDS - I write in a variety of styles and genres. I started writing for local papers as a high school student, and have since been published in local papers, on line publications in Canada and the US, and in several anthologies. I have done public readings in school classrooms, at the Niagara Falls Public Library, the St. Catharines Public Library, the NOTL Strawberry Festival and other local venues.
Non-Fiction: 2019 International NOWW Creative Non-Fiction Shortlist 'Just a Cuppa Coffee' Fiction: 2018 - EMWF Fringe Festival Winner - 'Fairy Castle in the West' Poetry: 2018 - Canadian Author's Niagara Branch, The Bannister, 'Modern Love' Fiction/Non-Fiction/Poetry - Rising Spirits NOTL Writers Circle Contests, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 National Award (USA) 2014 in the online publication Stage of Life with 'Stepping into a Lifetime' Personal Essay CommuterLit - frequently published
EDITOR 2019 - Fifteen Stories High - Anthology for Canadian Authors Association Niagara Branch 2018 - Ten Stories High - Anthology for Canadian Authors Association Niagara Branch