Cathie Flahr hopes her paintings will permit people to slow down and notice life’s small, beautiful details.
Her art is currently being displayed in the Showcase gallery in 100 Mile House.
Flahr said she started painting when she was 16 years old after her parents bought her an oil kit.
Her first painting was of the old heritage home she grew up in. She said that’s when she discovered her love of colour.
Flahr was always outside as a child, “on the river, watching the turtles on the logs,” or just walking through the bush around her farm, she said.
She continues to explore her surroundings as an adult, but said she now takes photos of scenes and moments that attract her attention so she can later paint them.
“I don’t just grab a photo and start painting. I’m always painting in my head,” she said, mentally capturing everything she sees and experiences.
Flahr said she didn’t paint much when she was simultaneously working with children with special needs in the school system and raising her own kids by herself.
She said she got serious about painting when she retired a few years ago, taking workshops and trying to learn from other artists.
Now, she said, “painting’s my passion.”
She said she loves the challenge of painting and that every painting she struggles through only improves on her skill.
Completing a piece is “a sensational feeling,” she said.
She works with acrylics, watercolours and recently picked oil painting back up.
Her first oil painting in over 30 years was completed in a workshop that taught her to paint “the way the old masters did.”
Using the Grisaille method, she started with variations of grey before ultimately adding colour to the piece she calls Pear Parade.
If forced to select a favourite piece, which she was, Flahr said it would be her painting of the Overlanders Bridge in Kamloops.
She said she took that photo from a kayak and “the light was just right, shining on the buildings reflecting on the water,” so she had to paint it.
There is no particular theme to the paintings she chose to display in 100 Mile.
Instead, she selected moments that had particularly caught her eye. She said she hopes people who view her work can appreciate the “tiny wee beautiful things” that often go unnoticed.
“I want them to stop and smell the roses.”
Flahr is the Cariboo Artist’s Guild’s featured artist of the month. You may view or purchase her paintings displayed in the Showcase Art Gallery in 100 Mile House until the end of July.
Pear Parade is the only painting not for sale. She said she is keeping it “as personal inspiration” to continue painting in the masters’ method.