My vision is to awaken the best in human spirit through creativity, design thinking and the arts to coCreate a better world by means of authentic holistic leadership.
I help people by assisting them find the source of beauty, creativity, and wisdom that brings them joy, inner peace and that fuels inspired action.
I’ve loved making art since I was a little girl. Inspired by nature, my pottery and paintings express feelings of aliveness, visceral tactility and interconnectedness. My art-making process is holistic as I integrate mind (thinking and specificity), body (the act of making with skill) and spirit (heart and soul).
Choosing to consciously create artworks intuitively, I specifically leave the intellectual work out to allow the language deep within to surface unedited, with integrity and completeness. This is not to say there is no meaning to the work that is created. On the contrary, I believe that what comes from the unfathomable recesses of our being brings our own truth and authenticity to light.
My artwork is often about the creative process more than the final product. It is about embracing uncertainty, ephemeral life, and healing through art-making. It is also about the pleasure that comes with harmonizing colours and textures. I celebrate the mysteries of life and creativity by being in the flow of “all knowing” as I create with form, colour, and clay instinctually and spontaneously.
As an advocate of wellness created through art-making, I co-founded the Ottawa’s Art and Health Network.
In 2015 I was blessed to be selected as the Artist in residence at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa. I discussed the power of the arts as it relates to health, provided others with an opportunity to colour and collaboratively create six 24” x 24” acrylic paintings, and painted a series of 15 acrylic 30” x 30” mandala paintings.
In 2010, as a special community project, I photographed a marvellous group of women aged 78–92 for the “Girls at Heart” calendar which raised over $10,000 for the Ottawa Food Bank and Cornerstone, a women’s shelter.
I believe that anyone can learn to trigger the mechanisms that generate creativity. The key is to employ evolutionary perspectives on how mental and reaction mechanisms generate feelings. I can help you to make good career decisions, deal with endings and negative influences, and make life choices that can lead to better and more sustainable mental, physical, and spiritual health.
“I strongly believes that art, in its multiple forms, is a
keystone to creating healthy lives and communities.”
Trained as a coach and facilitator for “The Artist’s Way” in 2008 I combine various techniques and customize them to suits each person. Although I can work with cognitive and practical tools, having been a board member of The Association of Spirituality and Mental Health at the Royal Ottawa Hospital and trained in Mental Health 101, my approach is mindfully constructed and holistic.
Presenting a rich tapestry of strategies used by leading inventors, entrepreneurs, artists and scientists, I help my clients experience the ability to see anew, connect seemingly unrelated concepts to gain fresh perspectives and generate new ideas for their projects in life and at work.
When coaching or facilitating I see myself as an expedition leader, an equal with a unique set of talents and experiences that can help a fellow traveller in their journey.
Details on my approach to coaching are found on the coaching process page, under coaching services.
“I believe in the creative intelligence of each person and encourage whole brain thinking that summons and integrates imagination (right brain) and analysis (left brain).
As we foster our innate creativity and inner resources, we can defy our old habits to replace them with new life in all we create.”
My approach includes proven methods that enhance team efforts toward innovative and creativity: one that explores paradoxes and honours mistakes as part of the process as it ignites radiant thinking.
An individual cannot be truly authentic in an organization that stifles creative expression and an organization cannot remain innovative unless people are encouraged to take moderate risks, to be authentic, to experiment and fail without losing the respect of their peers or superiors.
An important aspect of my career path was spent in the design field for 30 years. I lived, slept, and ate design! I came to see that the design process is clearly applicable to any endeavour. In the last decade, Stanford University and IDEO have developed a five-step method that uses tools of the trade - these have been my tools for decades and I am happy to share them. In 2016 I co-wrote a Design Thinking and Creativity Process online course for two local colleges.
In addition to Design Thinking workshops, I provide art-based workshops and art expeditions that revitalize thinking and being. So here is your opportunities to explore the metamorphic effects of creative activities and unleash innate creative talent.
The workshops I design balance creativity with evocative thoughts and meaningful experiences to propel creative leadership. I facilitated my first creativity workshop in 2002. In 2010 I directed a women’s collaborative that facilitated workshops and, similarly in 2013, in addition to facilitating, I directed over twenty facilitators for art-based workshops ranging from dance, voice, theatre, painting and sacred geometry.
“Light shapes the space, controls the atmosphere, and focuses our attention, building a construct of the world we perceive, as well as our own inner world.
This is to say, lighting illustrates, instantly and provocatively the innate tensions within the human condition:
Darkness is much more than the absence of light:
it’s an entire world of concealed form.
When light emerges it brings from out of the darkness a meaning, a relationship to more than can be described with words.
In a similar way, I believe that creative action illuminates our lives.”
My formative years were spent as the daughter of a Canadian diplomat in the Foreign Service. My family lived abroad for many years in the capital cities of India, France, Ivory Coast, Tunisia, and Trinidad & Tobago.
It was during this time that I acquired my bilingual skill, cultural sensitivity, and a deep appreciation for many forms of artistic expression. I returned to Canada as a teenager and later pursued my design education in Ottawa.
I feel that spending my girlhood immersed in the creative atmosphere of diverse cultures led to my choice of design, psychology and creativity as my combined career path. Over the years I have explored a variety of media, including architectural light, pottery, photography, painting, doll making and jewellery design.
I still love travelling because it always brings new perspectives and insights. I consider life, however, to be a gift we all travel through. We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty; there is no end to adventures. Starting with our senses, why not explore it fully?
“Each experience is a process that leads to another.”
“Live fully • Love wholeheartedly • Light the way”
It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters, in the end.
— Ernest Hemingway
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
― Marcel Proust
I have been working with reiki for many years, that is, working with energy, with awareness and kind intent. The work Reiki means Universal Life Force Energy, which, strictly speaking, refers to the energy and not only a hands-on healing technique. Working with reiki is being aware of how we use our energy and share it with others from the way we think to the way we talk and behave.
Even though I only occasionally give hands-on reiki treatments, I practice reiki principles in all projects I undertake. The five spiritual principles of Reiki are to daily: not worry, not be angry, work honestly, give thanks to life’s blessings and be kind to neighbours and all living things.
We all share something in common, the energy that flows through us, individually as well as universally. This energy is almost indescribable since it is not as clear as our other senses, but it is real. It is as difficult to explain as trying to describe colour to a blind person. In fact, colour is hard enough to describe to anyone, as colour exists ONLY through us.
As defined by the Illuminating Engineering Society, colour vision is an illusion created by the interactions of billions of neurons in our brain. There is no colour in the external world; it is created by neural programs and projected onto the outer world we see. Colour is created by utilizing two properties of light, energy and frequency of vibration or wavelength.
As with light is energy; both invisible on their own, they touch us in all aspects of our lives - indoors or outdoors, home or work, day or night. It is hard to imagine what our lives would be like without these invisible concepts, and powerful to know how to work with them.
“Each person must find their path; as a reiki practitioner
I am a humble vessel for the Universal Life Force Energy.
My contribution to healing is in discovering, clarifying, and releasing the mind toward ultimate changes in consciousness: learning to master one’s mind where hidden agendas are minimized, solve problems at the material level, use creative intuition, and be present to work with cosmic power.
This is a humbling and ongoing educational process.”
After studying art and psychology at Ottawa University, I graduated from the French Algonquin College Interior Design Program in 1985. The week after I started working as an architectural lighting designer, a career that lasted three decades and brought wonderful, varied experiences. I founded coCreations lighting design inc. in 1995, completing numerous commissions and partnering with other professionals on many award-winning projects.
SUCCESSFUL LIGHTING DESIGN PRACTICES
Design is way of thinking and doing. For design success, one must incorporate both the creative and practical.
Costs, safety, energy and maintenance are critical, but if technical issues alone are considered, the human experience is greatly diminished. The eye and the perception of space works as no lighting meter can measure. For this reason, lighting must be planned to be inclusive of multiple design considerations holistically. My approach incorporated things ranging from design concepts to post installation: development of strategies; drawing up blueprints; systems integration; budget and report preparation; customized luminaire design; on-site supervision; focusing of equipment, and maintenance and operation instructions.
Most importantly, one has to be organized and possess good communication skills. Lighting demands liaisons between multiple stakeholders: owners, architects, engineers, construction personnel, material providers, designers, and those displaced or inconvenienced by it.
Getting involved in the development of a new type of design profession was also important to me. I was a long time active member and instructor for the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) and the International Association of Lighting Designers.
AN ARRAY OF WONDERFUL PROJECTS
Some of the Major installations and renovations I was lucky to be involved with were Parliament Hill, the National Defence Command Centre, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the National Gallery, the Aviation Museum, The Supreme Court of Canada, the Canada Post Control Centre and the National War Memorial.
I also created designs for restaurants, hospitals, major universities, museums, and banks, private residences ranging from single family homes to condominium complexes as well as the interiors and exteriors of famous luxury estates.
LIGHTING THE HEARTS OF PEOPLE AND PLACES
I understand light as an integral part of how we see and, more importantly, how we perceive our world. Darkness is much more than the absence of light: it’s an entire universe of concealed form. So when light emerges, it brings form out of that darkness, having meaning in relationship to its backdrop.
When we look at landscapes and buildings at night, a framework of shapes and textures lights up. Nocturnal landmarks come to life and are able to give a place character and create impressions. In order to construct evocative spaces it is imperative to organize light for optimal visual balance and tension. Properly done, engaging architectural lighting can capture people’s spirits. It is an opportunity to bring beauty and lightheartedness into the world.
“The key is light and light illuminates shapes and shapes have emotional power.”
- Le Corbusier, famous modern architect (1887–1965)
“The very beholding of the light is a fairer thing than all the uses of it.”
- Francis Bacon