“Life is what happens to me while i’m busy making other plans” - John Lennon - 1969
Angie’s 2017 Biography - in the artist’s own words…
“I have always been a free spirit and making plans was never something I did well.
I was born in a small village in Cyprus to an English mother and a Greek father and when I was five we moved to London, England.
After finishing school, I apprenticed for five years as a hair stylist & colour technician, even becoming a hair model for Vidal Sassoon. How funny…I’m still working with brushes and colour, but just in a different way! I guess it was meant to be?
During that time, I moonlighted for two years as a film extra and met some amazing actors; the highlights being Katherine Hepburn , Noel Coward and Sir Alec Guiness; who, at the end of filming on the set of “Our Man in Havana”, kissed my hand and told me he knew that I would excel in whatever path I chose to take!
The path I chose was to emigrate to a land of opportunity, Canada! The timing could not have been better. It was the early 60′s…The British Invasion…The Beatles…and FLOWER POWER. I was destined to be a flower child!
I opened my own beauty salon & boutique on Yonge Street and since money was in short supply, there were to be no new shiny arborite counters or chandeliers. Instead, I went to the Salvation Army Store and bought beautiful antique furniture, which I painted in bright colours. And there was music!
Well…it took off and soon became the new “IN ” place to be in Toronto. In fact, I was the first woman ever to cut men’s hair! The salon was a great success and very exciting.
Upon marrying my wonderful husband Hartley in 1969, (and although I loved working), we both felt it was time to expand my creativity and I spent the next three years at George Brown College as a Ceramist, and then on to The Ontario College of Art and Design for fine art. Now the mother of two, I yearned for a different way of life from the big city. Never did I realize what a wonderful decision that would be. We sold our home in Toronto and moved to Niagara-on-the-Lake, then just a tiny town untouched by time. But soon it was destined to become “The prettiest town in Canada” and one with a lifestyle that truly fostered my creativity!
We restored an 1860′s farmhouse, raised chickens, had a huge vegetable garden and I opened a home pottery studio & gallery.
Unfortunately, in 1980, an accident severely damaged my left elbow and I spent an agonizing three months in Mount Sinai Hospital undergoing six hours of therapy a day. I was so very sad and depressed, when one day, my therapist Suzie brought me some Acrylic paints and paint brushes.
I said…”Suzie, WHAT am I supposed to do with these? “She smiled and replied” Don’t worry. I know that you are an artist, so you’ll figure something out”. I left my legacy at the hospital by painting a huge floral mural on the walls of the rehab centre…On returning home, my husband had a beautiful bouquet of red tulips waiting for me. Since I could not move my elbow properly and with diminished strength, I could no longer create my pottery. Once again life had a different plan in store for me…I started to paint wonderful, colourful flowers and those new paintings created a phenomenon!
Soon I was painting beautiful flowered clothing with my designs and they became so popular that within a year, we were manufacturing a complete line of flowered clothing and supplying 125 stores across Canada, as well as to the Canadian Pavilion at the Epcot Centre in Florida! The line grew to include giftware, travel & fashion accessories, slippers, paper goods, place mats and coasters. All distributed around the world.
I felt so blessed, I knew I had to share my positivity with others and started to do motivational speaking, giving others hope in overcoming their adversity. I still cherish my “Rainbow Box” which is filled with letters from grateful people (who attended my seminars) sharing with me how my encouragement helped them to change their lives. It makes me very proud and is something I still do today.
Now, after having my own large Art Gallery & Craft Centre for 20 years on the main street in Niagara-on-the-Lake, it is time for me to go back to where I started. To my beautiful home-based gallery & studio. With more time to be creative, and more one-on-one personal relationships with all of the wonderful people who have made my amazing journey possible.
This is my personal invitation to visit me there…”
*NIAGARA REGION BUSINESS WOMAN OF THE YEAR
*NIAGARA REGION ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR
*LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FOR THE NIAGARA REGION