Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Ninalee completed her Bachelor of Science and graduate degree in Education in Utah before moving home to teach junior high school. Forever interested in the visual arts, and influenced by the artistic skills of her grandmother, Ninalee began painting as a hobby using crafty acrylics that wouldn’t blend. She was thrilled to discover oils soon after and has continued to develop her style over the last ten years in that medium. When she began to paint she was most interested in the style of contemporary realism. As she attended lessons and workshops, her style evolved into one that is more impressionistic, and she soon realized that art was going to become much more than an enjoyable pastime.
The strong differences in seasons of the Canadian Prairies have greatly influenced Ninalee’s work by encouraging her to document what can only be seen for part of the year. She prefers to paint subjects that are fleeting in some way - ones that don't stay in a single form for long and need to be captured, which is why her work is mostly comprised of birds, flowers, and edible items.
Ninalee’s studio is filled with books, images and objects that influence her work. A favorite piece is a small painting by Carol Marine, the painter who Ninalee gives credit to for teaching her how to loosen up and to appreciate the appearance of bold brushstrokes. The work of her husband, a creative director, and her children’s art supplies have also found their places in the studio, making it obvious that art is a family affair.