Zoë graduated in 1982, with a degree in Fine Arts and Illustration from Harrow College of Art in London England (now University of Westminster). She worked for several years in London as a freelance illustrator producing imagery for book and magazine publishing, Design and Advertising. Through her natural flare for colour and movement, Zoë began to gravitate towards the Animation Industry, painting background scenery for classically animated feature films including “Anastasia” and “Titan AE”. Zoë lived a typically nomadic lifestyle moving from place to place following film contracts in Europe, the US and Canada. “My commitment to painting, particularly from nature, has been constant through my career and I've had the good fortune of living in some very picturesque and paintable places”.
In 2000, I relocated from Arizona to Vancouver BC to Art Direct “Gulliver's Travels” a stereoscopic 3D animated feature at Mainframe. After my first contract at Mainframe finished, I made a solo trip to Haida Gwaii on the Suzuki DR650 I had brought over from Arizona. It was a memorable trip and gave me an insight into the beauty of the Pacific Northwest Coast. I knew I would never run out of places to paint in BC and that this was somewhere I could grow as an artist.
My commitment to painting, particularly from nature, has been constant through my animation career and I've had the good fortune of living in some very picturesque and paintable places.
The expressive nature of watercolour continues to fascinate me and allows me to explore new ideas and themes. It is a way of thinking and problem solving for me. I work in different mediums but I particularly enjoy a fluid, slightly unpredictable way of using paint whether it is watercolour, oil or acrylic. My paintings are often in response to a sense of impending change or at points of transition - a sense that life may not be the same tomorrow. Against a backdrop of ancient Coast Mountains and Temperate rainforest, I find endless opportunities to study and document the changing cultural landscape around Squamish and the Sea to Sky area. I am exploring familiar places that have either changed by development, been abandoned or remain untouched by progress; places that are controversial, protected, endangered or that are simply breathtakingly beautiful.
I am an Active member of the Federation of Canadian Artists and have been included in a number of their National juried shows. I'm also very proud to be represented by Mountain Galleries at the Fairmont, Whistler.
I graduated in 1982, with a degree in Fine arts and Illustration from Harrow College of Art (now University of Westminster), London England. After graduating, I worked for several years in London as a freelance illustrator producing images for book and magazine publishing, design and advertising. During this period, I became interested in animation through an association with Canadian animator Richard Williams, whose many film credits include “Who framed Roger Rabbit” and “The thief and the Cobbler”. The enormous passion and artistry of this man made a lasting impression on me and I have been in the Animation Industry ever since!
For many years I lived a typically nomadic life, following new projects in Europe, North America and Canada, painting background scenery for animated films such as “Asterix in America”, “Anastasia” and “Titan AE”.
I'm now proud to be part of an incredibly talented and dedicated team at Bardel Entertainment in Vancouver, BC. As Senior Art Director my work includes Visual Development, Art Direction and Production design for animated TV and Feature productions. In 2006, 2007 and 2008 I was the recipient of 3 ELAN (Electronic arts and Animation) awards for Art Direction and Production design in the animated TV show category.
In my own experience, I learned fundamental design skills at Art School but I learned and developed my style through lots of practise and working with other artists. Towards the end of High school I met my step Grandfather Charles Stuart Howieson, who balanced a career as an industrial engineer with painting oils and watercolours in his spare time. He became my biggest influence when he took me on painting trips around Yorkshire and showed me the basic techniques of watercolour. I began to see the world in terms of painting and viewed my surroundings in a new positive light. Grampa gave me the tools and confidence to begin a career in the Arts.
In my classes I encourage self expression. Painting is a visual language which can be taught, but what an individual artist chooses to communicate using this vocabulary is completely personal.
I teach watercolour evenings at West Vancouver Community Centre and I offer workshops through the year.