There's so much artistic talent in our region and we want to shine our spotlight on these creatives and their incredible work. Every few months, we will invite a different artist to become our "Artist In Residence" where their artwork adorns our walls, and they can host an open-house, give talks and lead workshops.
Yann Martel, Life of Pi
An Artists’ Journey
If there is a message Bonn can give about her painting life, it is to never, ever give up. If a dream dies, find a way to wake it up. And embrace any disability you may have. We all have something we are dealing with. Learn how to work WITH it.
Bonn knew at 5 years old she wanted to be an artist. She would spend hours outside, in nature, feeling and absorbing her surroundings then continue drawing and colouring when she went indoors.
Years of studying art books, taking private classes, and painting lots of representational art, has helped Bonn’s work evolve into the palette and the Contemporary Expressionistic style that defines her now.
She studied under Gerry Squires of St. John’s, Newfoundland for 3 years, while living there during a corporate move with her family. Gerry helped her see with an artistic eye. Next came a study in abstraction. There is a saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher comes.” And that is exactly how Bonn came to find her abstract mentor Virginia Henderson-Caldwell of London, ON. Together they embarked on an intensive 2-year journey that taught Bonn how to paint feelings onto canvas. This meant painting lots of dark and scary. Virginia said to her, “You can’t have the good without the bad, and you never know what is going to bubble up, so just keep painting.”
Bonn was born with sight in only one eye. Not to be deterred, she found that adding texture and high contrast to her work enables her to feel and sense her way around the canvas. And being an experiential-intuitive painter, she creates art that touches her deeply.
Looking back on her painting life of over 30 years and all the exhibitions she has had, Bonn sees a pattern of evolution that has brought her to this moment. It all fits together in mapping her internal landscape. She says, “I work to paint moments as authentically as I can with my God-given passion. And this is what I invite the viewer to see, moments that touch me, how I see and feel them.”
Bonn has learned to accept that she is only one voice among many other voices. And that is OK.
She paints in her ‘little wee studio’ outside her home in St. Marys, just north of London, Ontario, Canada, and calls it ‘My Happy Place.’
Since 2012, Bonn has been showing her work publicly in London, ON, St. Marys, ON and Stratford, ON. Her work is included in the Art Rental Program at The Shoppe, Museum London, 421 Ridout St. N., London, ON, N6A 5H4.
Works hang in private and corporate collections.