Bobbie Crane with one of her paintings on display at the Showcase Gallery inside the South Cariboo Business Centre. The painting is called Autumn at Boya Lake. Brendan Kyle Jure photo.

Lac la Hache-based artist’s nature paintings on display at the Showcase Gallery

‘A day without painting is like a day without sunshine’

An assortment of nature-themed acrylic paintings is hanging at the showcase section of the South Cariboo Business Centre on Birch Avenue.

“Nature inspires me by the breeze that whispers through the trees and the birds chirping high above while out walking or the rippled reflections in the water of a remote lake while kayaking,” said Bobbie Crane, the exhibiting artist. “It is in nature and in design, in colours that can affect our moods or in shapes that we like in a car, in clothing, in our furniture. In paintings, it can transport us to another time, place, tell a story or evoke a feeling or emotion. Art is very sensory.”

The exhibit has several paintings by Crane, who will usually take a photo of her subject(s) while on trips to Boya Lake, the Calgary Zoo and other places. She then recreates the scene with paint.

Of the paintings currently hanging up on the wall, her favourite is Autumn at Boya Lake. It portrays the road access to the lake, which is about 250 kilometres north of Dease Lake on the Stewart-Cassiar Highway. Crane said it was one of her favourite spots.

“We go to the Yukon quite often, so we take the Stewart-Cassiar Highway because we like the Meziadin Junction and that sort of thing. The fellas like to go fishing, so we take our kayaks, my girlfriend and I, and we take pictures and come back and hopefully paint them.”

Two of the paintings in the display did not come from photos she took. One of them depicts two apes at the Calgary Zoo, which a friend took at the zoo but the friend gave Crane permission to recreate it as a painting. The other two paintings of the Lion and Giraffe are from photos Crane took though.

Another painting of hers used a picture a rancher near Mount Timothy allowed her to use of a grizzly bear.

One of her other paintings has an additional component to it.

The subject is a red-tailed hawk but it includes a real feather from the species in the frame.

“I actually found that at Francois Lake while we were camping out there. It was at the base of a tree. I guess the powers that be gifted me a very lovely red tail feather,” she said.

She called the Ministry of Environment to make sure she was allowed to use it and there were no regulations against using the bird’s feather in her work. They told her there were no rules against using it and she could do whatever she wanted with it, so she had the framer stitch it in.

Crane’s artwork has been shown at the Showcase Gallery at the South Cariboo Business Centre at least three times, not including pieces of work apart of joint Cariboo Artist Guild displays.

She is also a freelance art instructor, something she started to do 25 years ago. However, she has been trying to become a more visible artist within the community.

“Four years ago I decided to challenge myself in becoming a more visible artist and becoming an active member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, Cariboo Artist Guild and a board member of the 100 Mile and District Arts Council. These associations have opened many doors of which I am grateful, with exhibitions in many noted galleries in B.C.”

The display will be switched over on March 5 and each painting can be bought. For information on buying paintings or signing up for art classes, Crane can be reached at 250-396-7721.

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