In the busy world of Lianne Heales, a little bit of pressure is a good thing.
The 108 Mile Ranch resident is this month’s featured artist at the Showcase Gallery in 100 Mile House. She says joining the Cariboo Artists’ Guild (CAG) about four years ago motivated her to start painting again.
The group of local artists is very supportive and inspirational, she explains, and they want you to get stuff done.
“We have something coming up; you need a painting for it. That’s what started [my painting] all over again. It’s amazing.”
Colourful acrylic paintings Heales has done in the past couple of years are now on display on the main floor at the South Cariboo Business Centre at 475 Birch Ave. They feature a variety of scenes she encounters in places like the South Cariboo or the Okanagan Valley.
One painting – a self-portrait – was inspired by a CAG project to duplicate the work of a famous artist. Heales chose Vincent van Gogh.
“I came from the school of thought where you should do a self portrait every five to 10 years. It’s a recurring project you do, and it’s a good marker. It’s the artist’s ‘selfie.’”
After high school, Heales earned a graphic design degree from the Alberta College of Art and Design. She says that was a turning point with respect to her style of painting, transitioning away from creating highly realistic works.
“What I’m more interested in now is [how the paintings look] graphically. What are my shapes like? What feelings do I get from it? As opposed to ‘Does it look the picture; does it look like what I’m looking at?’
“I’m more concerned with brush stroke, feeling and evoking the moment.”
Heales is a secretary at Lac la Hache Elementary School. She plays hockey, soccer and likes to snowboard. She’s a mom, a director with the local soccer association and executive director of the South Cariboo Chamber of Commerce.
She says painting is relaxing and enjoyable. When Heales is asked how she finds time to do it, she laughs.
“Most days are pretty busy. There isn’t a lot of time. That’s why the pressure [from CAG] is good.”