Members - Shirley Conway

I believe we were born to create. Creation is our own unique response to our inner world, to the people and situations we encounter, to the environment in which we live, and to the Mystery of Life and the Natural World. At this stage of my life painting has taken a dominate place as a means of expression. It wasn’t always that way.
I was born in Montreal and lived there until 2007. I expressed my creativity through teaching elementary school children aged six to twelve. I took early retirement from teaching to immerse myself in the study of natural health, wellness, and the miraculous healing powers of the body. This led to the creation of a small business as a natural health and therapeutic massage therapist. Both the fields of education and health provided ample opportunities for creativity.
In 2007 I decided to move to St. Catharines. My reason for coming fell through but I came anyway. Now that I was retired I wanted to explore paths that had been on the back burner for a long time. I considered writing or painting. I had done a lot of writing throughout the years, but aside from one year when I had a bit of time for it, painting was totally new territory. Alone in a city where I didn’t know anyone, I thought painting would be less solitary, so I stepped into the world of art.
I love the art world! There is so much beauty. I love that spark of inspiration that says “I want to paint that.” Then comes the challenge-the process of creation with its frustrations, the chaos, the “aha” moments. I love delving into new concepts and techniques- taking courses, going online, and reading books. Visiting artists and museums, displaying and selling some of my artwork, completes the process.
The whole Niagara Region is a hotbed of artists and they uplift and inspire me to continue the struggle we all face-to express on a blank piece of canvas or clay our unique response to something encountered within us or around us, something that excites us, frustrates us, entices us, uplifts us. For myself Nature is usually my inspiration, so I paint mostly landscapes and flowers, in watercolor and sometimes acrylics.
Thank you for reading this short bio and I hope you enjoy looking at my paintings. May they touch something in you that arouses your own creativity! Shirley