I held a paintbrush as soon as I could hold a spoon. My parents, abstract painter William Perehudoff, and landscape painter Dorothy Knowles, created an interesting environment in which to grow up. My sisters and I were exposed to art and artists from our earliest days as our parents took us along to galleries, museums, and studios. My earliest outdoor painting experiences began with my mother. I also accompanied Reta Cowley, a Saskatchewan landscape painter, known for her unique, unconventional dry brush method of painting watercolours. I was also fascinated by the work of artist, Ernest Lindner, famous for his meticulous depictions of the deep forest and northern lakes. He had a cottage down the road from ours at Emma Lake, in northern Saskatchewan. On the same beach was the University of Saskatchewan property where the renowned Emma Lake Artists’ Workshops were held, attracting the cream of the art world from London and New York.
|Emma Lake, Saskatchewan|
My workshop experiences were not limited to the ones at Emma Lake but also included participation in the Triangle Workshop in upstate New York, the Leighton Centre in the foothills of Alberta, and the Symposium of Young Artists in Baie St. Paul, Quebec. I also took part in an expedition of artists to the Columbia Icefields in Alberta organized by the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies. The workshop leaders who offered me the most incite regarding my painting were all from New York, and included art critic Karen Wilkin, and artists Stanley Boxer, and Lawrence Poons. Attending these workshops not only enabled me to meet international artists and critics but also gave me access to unfamiliar and challenging landscape.
Watercolours are my medium of choice when working en plein air. The freshness that my watercolour paintings convey comes from depicting the landscape in flux. When painting in nature, I strive to capture the moments of changing light, atmosphere, and weather. The knowledge and experience that I gain from painting on location is an important aspect of my artistic practice; I carry this with me to my studio where it reveals itself as the major driving force behind my work.