Artist’s Statement


A friend of mine once said, “The years will tell what the days will never know”. As I look over my artistic life, my work begins to make sense. Clarity of shape, light and color dominate. Subjects are the vehicles for expressing universal feelings. My interest is in the defiance of a medium, making photographs like paintings and paintings like photographs and merging the two media together in Polaroid Transfers and having photos digitally printed with watercolor inks on watercolor paper in Giclees.

With my late husband, the writer Kildare Dobbs, I share an insatiable passion for travel. My senses become fine-tuned when I am away from the familiar. Some artists draw from their personal worlds, but for me, it is the new, the provocative that awaken and excite my eye.

The older I get, the more I want to strip down to essentials the elements in my paintings. The works become more abstract, yet still carry powerful emotion. I try to set up questions by not giving everything away. I show a window, a doorway, a stair leading who knows where, hoping the viewer will imagine what is beyond. I show the effect of light sculpting a subject, rarely the light source itself.

Portrait painting has allowed me the great privilege of getting to know my subjects intimately, and zooming into their lives, into their inner and outer selves.

My mother Hortense Kooluris was a leading exponent of the dance of Isadora Duncan. Exposed to her dance all my life, and having danced myself since the age of three and specifically Latin dance since the mid 1990’s, I have finally merged my skills as a visual artist and photographer to document dancers in performance and in studio shots. I feel completely in my element.

My work, earlier as an illustrator, and throughout my life as a painter and photographer, has given me opportunities to document the world near and far. The added pleasure is seeing my images in print.

No website of worth that reflects a creative person is put together without the assistance of many hands and throughout many years. I would not have been able to built it without the following people:

Patrick Donoahue,who created this beautiful and comprehensive website and who guided me with enormous patience through this very complex path.

Dimitri Levanoff, Image Foundry, over considerable years, whose genius, exacting eye and perfect printing and scanning represent my work truly.

Erick Perdomo, Fandango Productions, who captured me as a mature artist and photographer in a documentary video during the run of my Salsa, Eight on Eight exhibition.

Edwin Luk, SV Photography, whose insightful work caught me in the most favorable light.

Cylla Von Tiedemann, the leading dance photographer in Canada, with whom I took three all day workshops. After I had already been given a press pass to the Toronto Salsa Congress and had a successful four day shoot in 2009, I realized I better find out what I don’t know. Cylla’s demanding method of teaching, insight and guidance provided the light for me to grow in a new direction.

Helena Wilson and Thomas Moore for shooting my artwork over several years with great sensitivity and technique so that the feeling and the color of my images were accurate and the results were like “gold” with which Patrick needed to work.

Father Allen Duston O.P. former International Director of the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums whose belief in me and whose invitation to photograph the Vatican Gardens and whose grace and hospitality while I was in Rome set me on a new path in my work.

Gunars Roze, master photographic printer with whom I have worked for over 25 years, who is always able to retrieve and enhance my original vision taken on film by producing exquisite results on paper.

Colourgenics and Pikto who have reproduced my work flawlessly over the years in their photographic labs.

Sutton Graphics for their attentive care in producing my limited edition Giclee prints.

Brian George at Vistek who got me over my fears of entering the digital camera world and set me on my way into the modern age.

Susan Jacobs of Frozen Images Photography for her candid shot of me speaking at the unveiling of Vern Krishna’s portrait at the Law Society of Upper Canada.

Kildare Dobbs: my late husband, writer and poet I thank Kildare for his understanding of and undying belief in my work as an artist and photographer and for the shot of my executing the underpainting of a family portrait commission.

And lastly, all my portrait subjects and clients who commissioned me or bought my work since the day I graduated Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, Mass. since 1968.