Yoka immigrated to Ontario, Canada with her family. She began drawing and painting as a child without formal training. She received her first portrait commission at age 12 from a teacher and continued to paint on commission. Her high school art teacher, world-famous wildlife artist Robert Bateman, encouraged her to enroll in the Ontario College of art where she studied Material Arts, such as weaving and sculpture. She then left to work on her paintings.
Paul Duval, Canada’s renowned Art Critic, collector, and author, became influential in the development of her early work. He introduced her to Windsor Newton watercolors and sable brushes. they traveled extensively through Europe to visit galleries.
Since moving to Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks from Santa Monica in 2002, from New York City, Manhattan, she has been on the boards of Westlake Village and Thousand Oaks Art Associations and a member of Channel Islands Art Center. Her paintings have won many show awards. She taught locally at the local Conejo Valley Adult School.
Yoka’s extensive travel and lifelong international experiences have provided an expanded worldview, which influences and inspires her artistry. As a result, her work is coveted and appreciated by the general public as well as many exclusive private and corporate collectors. A trademark of Yoka’s artistry is sensitivity to the subject: she paints with love and light, with a unique ability to capture those special moments which are the very reason for the existence of painting and portraiture.
Since moving to Westlake Village in 2002, she has been on the Boards of Westlake Village and Thousand Oaks Art Association and a member of Channel Islands Art Center. Her paintings have won many show awards.
In my last year of Nelson High School, my then-teacher, Robert Bateman,, took me and a few others to his cottage for a weekend. We sketched outdoors, like the famous Group Of Seven. Bob called me early out of bed to follow him. He said, “Quick, look at the Red Winged Blackbird!” and handed me his binoculars. I took them and pretended to be in awe.
Many years later I told him the truth. I didn’t have time to insert my hard contact lenses! I was as blind as a bat! We are friends to this day.
Yoka with Richard Lewis, CEO of Accountants Overload, 1997, during one of his infamous Christmas parties he gave.
Yoka with conductor Boris Brott.
"Besides being a full-time healer, I have kept my commitment to painting as a self-employed artist. I paint everything for clients, from children, horses, favorite pets and family portraits, private homes, vibrant flowers, a Harley Davidson shown on the cover of “Biker Magazine” as well as Western art paintings and celebrity portraits on Gibson guitars.
One of my works is in a permanent Japanese museum collection."
SHOWS AND EXHIBITIONS
1973 One Woman Show, ALICE PECK GALLERY, Ontario, Canada;
1974 One Woman Show, SCARBOROUGH COLLEGE, Ontario, Canada;
1975 One Woman Show, ERINDALE, COLLEGE, Ontario, Canada;
1976 Exhibit, TORONTO OUTDOOR ART EXHIBIT, Toronto, Canada;
1977 One Woman Show, MEMORIAL UNIVERSITY ANNEX GALLERY,
St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada;
1978 One Woman Show, ADMIRAL PITT'S HISTORICAL HOME, Newfoundland, Canada;
1979 One Woman Show, ART ASSOCIATION OF NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR, Canada;
1979 One Woman Show, THE GALLERY OF ST. JOHN'S ARTS AND
CULTURE CENTER, Newfoundland, Canada;
1980 One Woman Show, ARTS AND CULTURE CENTER GALLERY,
1980 One Woman Show, GALLERY STUDIO 131, Newfoundland, Canada;
1981 One Woman Show, WALLACK GALLERY, Ottawa, Canada;
1982 One Woman Show, SPURREL' S GALLERY, Newfoundland, Canada;
1982 Co-authored and illustrated "The Newfoundland Gourmet" Cookbook,
1983 - 2003 Private and Corporate Commissions
Yoka and her parents (deceased)
1990 Exhibit, PALISADES ART SHOW, Pacific Palisades, California;
1990 Exhibit, "AFFAIRE IN THE GARDENS," Beverly Hills, California;
1996 Exhibit, SECOND STREET GALLERY, Santa Monica, California;
1997 Exhibit, SECOND STREET GALLERY, Santa Monica, California;
1998 Exhibit, PALM CANYON GALLERY, Palm Springs, California;
1999 Exhibit, MYCENIA GRAVIS FOUNDATION, L.A. California;
2000 Exhibit, PAWS LA FOUNDATION, L.A. California;
2001 Exhibit, PAWS LA FOUNDATION, L.A. California;
2001 Exhibit, ANIMAZING GALLERY, New York City, NY;
2001 Exhibit, GIBSON GUITARS, Dallas, TX;
2002 Private Commissions and Guitars;
2002 Exhibit, STUDIO CHANNEL ISLANDS ART CENTER, Camarillo, CA;
2002 Exhibit, L. A. EQUESTRIAN CENTER EXHIBIT, Los Angeles, CA;
2002 Exhibit, VENTURA FARMS 'RIDE-ON' CHARITY, Thousand Oaks, CA;
2002 Exhibit, CHANNEL ISLANDS ART CENTER, 'Open House Show;'
2003 Exhibit, WESTLAKE VILLAGE ART GUILD, Won 'Best in Show;'
2003 One Woman Show, GARDENS OF THE WORLD, Thousand Oaks, CA
In the Private Collections of ...
Sybil Brand, Philanthropist
Rhonda Fleming-Mann, Former Actress
Herb Chase, Editor for Sr. Life Newspaper
David Murdock, Ventura Farms, Los Angeles
Jerry Brent, Starkist Tuna
Richard Lewis, Retired CEO Accountants Overload
Sydney Omarr, World Renowned Astrologer & Author
Gene Autry Estate, Malibu
Art Emr, Film Producer, Writer, Photographer, Director
Wayne Hughes, Owner of Public Storage Mini Warehouses
Mr. and Mrs. Michael Sachs, President of Marina Management
Free Arts for Abused Children
Mathilda Spaak, Trustee, Long Beach Hospital
New York City
Lucia La Rocca, film editor
Jerry MacDowell, Architect
Paul Duval, Art Critic, Collector, Author
William McAllister, Former Vice President of IT&T
Mr. and Mrs. Bram and Bluma Apel
Mr. and Mrs. George and Tanis Richardson
Peter Bell, Art Critic, Writer
Peter Holden, Conductor, Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra
Anne Mortifee, Singer, Songwriter
David Gray, Conductor & Former Principal Horn, London Symphony Orchestra
Flip and George Reynolds
FRANCE, GERMANY, JAPAN
Behar Benelier, Frank Schaich, Mac Yasuda and Yoshio Umezaki
Middlebeek, Delver, Tuinman, Van Swanenberg
Me with Fred Stone, our famous horse painter in Thousand Oaks, California. He loved my horse paintings! What a compliment!