The coast--natural landscapes, working world, remote wilderness and busy harbours--life on the shores of BC is where Esther draws her artistic inspiration. Having grown up on the coast, and spending nearly a decade as a commercial fisherman, the wild and rugged coastal waters have truly inspired Esther’s artwork. In her fishing career, she worked on 6 boats in as many fisheries. She had the rare opportunity to travel through and work in some of BC’s most remote waters. Hiding from storms in the tiniest of coves, hauling gear out in the open ocean, traveling through passages among porpoises, whales and eagles, the coast whispered just a few of its secrets to her, sharpened her artistic eye and deepened her passion to express it on canvas. Now, in her quiet studio, Esther draws upon her life experiences and paints about it daily. She has a deep desire to share her point of view and her love of the land she calls home.
For Esther, painting has largely been a self-taught process. Through hours of trial and error, and endless practicing, she continues to hone her skills.
Esther began her painting journey in watercolours in the mid 90’s. This difficult medium was a proving ground for learning techniques and colour theory. In 2008, with the desire to challenge herself she turned to painting in acrylics. This was a great fit for her personal style and thus began her professional career. In 2014, looking to grow again as an artist, Esther took up oils. This medium brought her technical skills to a new and exciting level and fresh life to her already vibrant work. Today, you can find Esther in her studio daily, or perhaps out on the local beaches and estuaries, painting, pulling from landscapes, blending in her own experiences, chasing the ever elusive light in the hunt to create beautiful paintings.
In 2011, Esther became the first woman to win the Pacific Salmon Foundation’s 24 year long sport fishing salmon stamp competition with the painting “Hunger Strikes”. Anglers are required to purchase the stamp for salmon retention and to record the catch on their sport fishing licenses. Proceeds from the stamps are used for salmon enhancement throughout BC.
The following year, Esther was invited to join 50 of BC’s finest artists to work on a project called “Artists for an Oil Free Coast”. Using their artistic voices, the group produced a film, hard cover book, and a traveling art show which circulated throughout BC and Alberta. It was a chance for artists to bring beautiful visual interpretations of the coast and its amazingly intricate ecosystem.
Esther has a variety of publications through Artists for Conservation and North Light Books. She has been featured in Island Arts Magazine, In Focus Magazine, and BC Outdoors Sport Fishing Magazine. Her artwork is collected all over the world, and she has enjoyed showing her work in the USA through Artists for Conservation. Esther has been a guest speaker for several organizations, sharing her life stories and artwork.