In the summer of 2023 I joined an artist-parent collective and did a residency on Toronto Island at Gibraltar point. It was MAGICAL.

The kids and I collected invasive species around the lighthouse near where we were staying, and on the beach. These plants were the inspiration for the large scale drawings that I created while on site, and beyond.

For one roughly 2×4 foot drawing I rubbed the leaves and stems of the plants onto the page as my drawing tool. Dog strangling vine was drawn WITH dog strangling vine, phragmites was drawn USING phragmites and so on.

Then I invited our kids to draw in my studio with charcoal and once their hands were good and dirty I asked them to slap this drawing.

For others I drew what I found in the environment. Some of it man-made and washed up on the beach and some of it natural, whether native or introduced.

All of the artists were also parents. Kids ranged from 16 months to 16 years old. We lived in a community and shared care-giving, meals, and best of all supported each others art-making. What a privilege it is to know these other artist-parents.

I worried I wouldn’t be able to make any work while there, but the kids roamed from one studio to the next in a wild barefoot pack and I was able to make a lot of nice big drawings!