In an effort to get to know our Members, Artist of the Month participants share their lives through the popular Proust Questionnaire.
WHAT IS YOUR IDEA OF HAPPINESS?
1. I doubt my idea of happiness differs much from most--family, friendship, health. But I find the most joy in travel and know that the more of the world I've seen, the more I wish I could keep traveling. I was born in The Netherlands, spent my childhood in Australia, followed by 2 more years in Holland before we came to Canada just as I was turning 14. Our travels were by sea, and we circumnavigated the world, traveling through the Panama Canal and the Suez Canal. I've been to many places, but there are many many more places I would love to experience.
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST FEAR?
2. I rarely allow myself to consider my fears, but like most parents, there is that dread that enters when I consider the pain of losing one of my sons. It's a horrid thought, but one that occasionally surfaces when a family member or friend is faced with this massive kind of grief. Aside from that though, there are two things that terrify me. The first is fire. The next is poverty. I've experienced both. I've survived both.
WHICH LIVING PERSON DO YOU MOST ADMIRE?
3. My husband, Victor, is actually the person I admire most, and also like best. Perhaps that's a cliché. There are many other people I admire for one reason or another, including my friend, Charmaine Jones, a palliative care physician who once went to a dying woman's home on a tractor during a fierce winter storm because no car could reach her. I admire people who put themselves aside to provide care for others, and I actually have a good many friends that fall into this category.
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST EXTRAVAGANCE?
4. I'm not actually very extravagant in any monetary sense, though I've allowed myself the purchase of a few paintings that weren't in my budget. I come from a family of modern-day pioneers. My parents were always looking for a better place to settle. This frequently meant leaving almost everything behind. Moving from one country to another is costly, and bringing household furnishings, goods, and toys would only add to the cost. I learned at an early age not to place a great value on possessions. I had a reminder of that early message when Vic and I lost our home and everything in it to a fire in January of 1981.
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE MOST OVERRATED VIRTUE?
5. That's a truly difficult question, because I believe virtues are important. I could easily say that compassion is the most important to me, but most overrated is tough. Perhaps if I had to choose, I'd say honor.
WHAT IS THE QUALITY YOU LIKE MOST IN A FRIEND?
6. My friends have to be compassionate and open-minded. I struggle when people are judgmental, so compassion matters. Honesty and a great sense of fun are also of intense importance to me. I'm involved in theater because of a sense of play and creativity.
IF YOU COULD LIVE ANYWHERE ON EARTH, WHERE WOULD THAT BE?
7. I've never stopped feeling homesick for Australia, so if I could live anywhere, it would definitely be there in that sun-burned land surrounded by sea. But my family is in Canada, and my boys were born here, so the next best place to live is right here on Vancouver Island, and I'm a proud Canadian.
I'm so fortunate to have traveled, met people of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, learned that people are all more alike than different, and yet each of us is unique. I'm inspired by the differences and delighted by the similarities. I think the most enjoyable experiences come from learning, and trying new things. I love color, I love courage, and I hope that's reflected in my work.