I am the founder of Smiling Horse Wellbeing, where I share the benefits of process art, yoga, mindfulness, breathing, movement and spending time with horses!
In 2010, I experienced a very challenging and difficult health issue and came out on 'the other side' with a different view. That provided an opportunity to reflect on how I spend my time and consider how to re-connect with my own passions and what I would like to do with those to make a unique contribution in a meaningful way. So, I wrapped up a career in administration and re-imagined my life as a creative being with a desire to share the benefits of intuitive expression, movement, mindfulness and equine-informed wellbeing with people in my community. I have an innate capacity and flair for sharing knowledge and facilitating hands-on experiences, which has informed how my offerings have taken shape over the years.
When I was in my twenties, I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to take a certificate in Applied Visual Arts at Algonquin College, where I had the privilege of studying under a diverse team of beloved and accomplished Canadian artists, in subjects such as drawing, painting, fibre arts and sculpture. After college, while I was working at other jobs, or in between them, I always had some creative pursuit happening. I even worked for a year pouring slip and painting custom pots for the retail and wholesale market under the name ‘Primarily Pots’. Since then, I have always brought a creative energy to my work, pursued further informal art education and more recently have come to appreciate the emerging process art modalities. You can see some of my own creations in the gallery at my studio page.
For the past five years, I have been sharing my passion for the benefits of expressive art by facilitating painting and mixed-media programs in my own studio and at times, taking creativity 'on the road' for different group events. Today, my 'Art Express' van will travel almost anywhere to bring expressive art to people in my province! On the testimonials page, you can see what people have to say about my pop-up studio experience.
I have enjoyed a personal yoga practice all of my life and a few years ago, I had a marvellous experience achieving the 200-hour yoga instructor's certification at Joyful Yoga, a Canadian Yoga Alliance membership school. I share the empowering practices of breathing, mindfulness and movement through integration of yoga into my other offerings and my custom-designed BAM (breath, awareness, movement) program.
I have also been with horses most of my life, with many experiences too numerous to mention here. Today, I care for a small gang at home, managing and facilitating equine assisted wellbeing programs for youth and adults, individuals and small groups, including serving the professional healthcare community. My ‘Natural Connections’ initiative brings humans and horse together for mutual benefit.
When I'm not doing all of that, I'm in the studio, sometimes with fellow creators, studying, taking photos, playing my tenor recorder, studying music theory and history, making quilts, singing in the car, journaling, painting, cleaning the barn, grooming horses, drinking coffee, daydreaming, trying new recipes, hiking, jumping on rocks and trees and scheming the next road trip in our beautiful province!