I was born and raised in a suburb of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada to a German mom and Japanese-Canadian father. This strange hybrid upbringing brought with it many gifts, opportunities and challenges. So being raised at a time where mixed race was not a common phenomenon, I often wondered "Who am I ?"
I started drawing and making art from a young age. As I was lucky enough to have an Artisan mother (maker of Stained Glass) who saw my potential and always encouraged me.
My professional life as an artist started on the street. I was a skater and graffiti artist in Vancouver's East Side in the early 90s. I went by the psydonyum, STRAY, and had some reknown. Later, I managed to put a Portfolio together of my graffiti, and gained entrance into the prestigious, Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design ( currently Emily Carr University). Those haydays in Art School are some of the fondest years of my life. I first started in Sculpture, then moved to Painting, but finally found my speciality in an Inter-disciplinary Approach. I found that the learning was an inherent part of my process. I liked change and keeping things fresh. I leaned towards Installation and Public Intervention.
I took a year off from Art School to travel through India and study Buddhist mindfulness meditation in Thailand. And finally I found what I was looking for during a brief stop-over in Japan. It was hard to believe I did not recognize it before, but I felt a deep need to connect with my Japanese culture. SO I worked to make that my goal. I returned to Art School and changed to the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. After graduating, I gsained an internship in web design at the University of Namibia in Windhoek. Then almost, directly, I found a spot on the JET Program and found myself in a tiny tatami matted house in rural Nagano, Japan. Life is full of contrasts. I loved Japan deeply, and still find my greatest inspiration in Japanese creative processes.
After meeting my husband and starting a family, my interests turned sharply towards dyeing with plants and natural materials. I was determined to learn many of the most ancient techniques of SHIBORI, and tried to understand this strange world of plant dyeing.
Then in recent years, my muse has once again shifted, and I find myself increasingly interested in Ceramics and Raku Firing techniques. I also enjoy the sponteneity of pure ink painting or SUMI-E.