I was born in Kenora, Ontario and raised in the First Nation community of Sandy Lake, Ontario. I am a self-taught artist; my art is in the Nature Woodland style. I have been doing this type of art since I was 15 years of age.
The person whom inspired me to paint was Joshim Kakegamic. He had shown me his artwork and from there I wanted to get into art. He had told me that if he could do it that I could too. I had practiced sketching and later on went into colors by using the school’s accessories, from crayons to paint.
My uncle Johnny Meekis who was the one that bought my first set of acrylic paints and paint brushes for me and that is when I started painting full-time.
The images that came into mind are also my hunting experiences and other traditional activities, from there, I have used and expressed them through my paint brush.
I have taught in an art class for the youth at the Thomas Fiddler Memorial High School and have spoken about my art in numerous schools .
It was good to share my art work with the youth.
I remember my late-grandfather once told me that you can show your Woodland style art work out there to the world, and I have.
I am thankful to Norval Morrisseau for opening the doorway of Woodland art to the world. Miigwetch.
The meanings behind the images I use in my paintings were told to me by my Grandfather and other elders in my community. Here is a brief list of some of the images and colors I use in my paintings and what they represent.
The feather represents the Love for all of creation and it is also used for communication, and many mother ceremonial uses.
The loon represents the love for each other as the loon themselves have only one mate.
The wolf tracks represent strength, bonding, endurance and sharing.
The thunderbird represents protection.
The four primary colors I use are:
There are also spiritual meanings to the images used in my paintings.
As I continue to paint more meanings may come forward.