"I grew up in the Okanagan, surrounded by the natural landscape. My parents would take my siblings and I to the beach or orchards, where we would spend hours playing in the water or among the trees. Some of my fondest childhood memories are swimming, playing along the rocks and trees, and swinging from a tire swing. There was so much to do and be surprised by nature.
Art was a form of expression for me. When I wasn’t outdoors, my playtime included drawing, sketching and using crayons when I was really young and then gradually progressed during high school. Around grade six, I had the opportunity to learn Gurbani, shabads, and play the dhabla, also outlets for my expression that I later realized show up in my art.
During my university years, I quashed my artistic voice with the should and would expectations that many emerging artists, especially women, face. My parents wanted me to pursue teaching, so I put art on hold to pursue a degree in history.
As a way to deal with family challenges and my own personal growth, I created a few art pieces for a local festival…this led to meeting my husband, Ravi, who is also an artist. Since then….art has been a huge part of life, either in support of Ravi, or in finding my own journey (without any comparison to him) with art.
My formative years have provided the grounding for my artistry, especially the sky and trees. Repeatedly, I gravitate towards recreating these good memories. I had a wonderful childhood, and I find it easy to depict what I remember from that time. I have come to realize that nature is where I find peace and as an artist this sense of peace through the sky and trees translates onto my canvas.
I find that I also gravitate towards including Waheguru in much of my art. Without realizing it, I connect with my faith in ways I would have not imagined. I say it so often in the regular course of my day, but especially when I am painting. It helps me stay in the flow of creating and there is something so peaceful about the word that it naturally shows up in some of my pieces.
I find myself dedicating more time to painting, being in surroundings that inspire me. My artistic voice grew stronger after the birth of my son. I believe something creatively opened up in me, but I was also able to quell my self critic. I just wanted to express myself through art and as I create more art, my VOICE gets louder and stronger, which is exciting.
As a Kaur, I think its challenging at times to find your voice and it may be even easier to ignore it because of what you should or should not be doing. I find this especially, challenging when you set out in a path that is not traditional. I didn’t have any role models who were successful artists. It was challenging to negotiate whether to focus on art and believe in myself."