Local artist Alexandra Verboom is taking the next year to experiment with light and darkness in a new line of painting.
Verboom, 29, who currently lives and works at Gang Ranch as a bookkeeper, said while her home is a few hours from town, the peace and scenery of the ranch is “the perfect place to paint.
“My painting is really about celebrating the lifestyle we have here. I’ve been focusing on wildlife lately but I love doing pieces on animals, our area and our surroundings,” said Verboom, who has lived in the South Cariboo for most of her life. “I’m a true country girl and I guess that’s what a lot of my art is.”
Over the last four years, Verboom has begun to establish herself as a well-known Cariboo artist. She was featured in Parkside Gallery last June with her show Celebrating the Cariboo Chilcotin Life. Marking her first solo show, she said the feedback she received from the community was “wonderful.”
For the next year and a half, however, Verboom said she intends to keep her larger work under wraps for a new collection of paintings. While they’ll feature her signature wildlife and country lifestyle paintings, the primary focus will be on the dynamics of light and dark. She’s fascinated by backlighting and playing with shadows.
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“I just love trying to capture light,” Verboom said. “It’s hard as an artist not to just stick with what you know works and sells. It’s easy to just get into a rut with what you’re doing and never challenging yourself, so this is definitely a good challenge.”
She got into painting in high school after her art teacher at NorKam Senior Secondary School had her look up a different artist each week and study their work. Over time, with a little trial and error, Verboom developed her own unique “loose realist” style and began to pursue her painting on the side shortly after coming to the South Cariboo.
Some of her influences over the years have included French artist Henri Matisse, Italian artist Pino Daeni and western artist Chris Owen. Whenever a painting has a strong focus on light and dark, Verboom is drawn to it and seeks to emulate that in her own work.
“I always come back to painting. That is just where I feel at home and it’d hard to describe but that’s something that I truly feel I’m meant to do.”
For those looking to check out some of her more recent art, Verboom displays and sells her art at Rustic Elements. Much of these paintings have been on natural canvases like pieces of wood, moose antlers and antique sawblades. Otherwise, Verboom said she doesn’t have any shows or showcases on the calendar.
“Just with the pandemic, I figured it was a good time to have a quieter year and really just focus on some development.”