Artist Shirley Gibson-Bull hanging one of her favourite paintings, called Surf, in the Showcase Gallery in 100 Mile House on Tuesday, June 5. Ten of her paintings will be displayed for the month of June. Beth Audet photo.

108 Mile artist featured in the 100 Mile House Showcase Gallery for June

‘I’m thrilled and I’m into it’

Select paintings by 108 Mile-based artist Shirley Gibson-Bull will be featured in the Showcase Gallery in 100 Mile House for the month of June.

Gibson-Bull, who majored in art but pursued a teaching career, said she never planned to sell or display her work when she picked her paintbrush back up nine years ago.

“Now I’m thrilled and I’m into it,” she said.

For June’s Showcase display, Gibson-Bull has chosen ten paintings, all with a similar abstract theme.

She currently works with experimental poured inks and calls her art “a bit different,” saying she doesn’t plan when she paints.

“I like the person looking at the art to decide what it is they see,” she said. If I end up with a finished piece, that’s a bonus, but, “the journey is the important part.”

She admits she names her art somewhat reluctantly, trying to select one vague word that won’t influence the viewer’s interpretation.

One of her favourite paintings included in June’s display is a piece called Surf that typically hangs in her bedroom.

She initially started experimenting with watercolours as a post-retirement hobby, using online and library resources as a guide.

It was all very new to her, she said, because she only learned about oils, screen printing and pottery when she studied art in school.

She and her husband live in a modern-style home so she said she was aiming for a contemporary look to adorn her walls.

Soon after family and friends began seeing her work, she was asked to display the art.

She has now been featured in the Showcase and Parkside Art Galleries, in 100 Mile House, the Station House Gallery, in Williams Lake, and the Studio 2 Studio event, in 108 Mile.

“I find it exciting; people seem to like it,” she said, but added that if her work wasn’t being displayed or sold she wouldn’t be bothered.

Brenda Devine, organiser of the Studio 2 Studio event, described her work as “fabulous” and said, “Shirley’s a wonderful artist.”

Gibson-Bull is among eight artists in 108 Mile who invite the public into their homes to peruse their artwork for the annual event held in September. A quarter of all profits from sales go to support the South Cariboo Health Foundation.

All of her paintings currently displayed in the Showcase Gallery are also available for sale.

And in a few cases, she said her husband would tell you’re getting “five for the price of one,” because if she runs out of canvas, she sometimes paints right over another piece.

“I just really want to paint,” she said.

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