Lively reception in 100 Mile House for Cariboo Artists’ Guild’s 38th Annual Show & Sale

The show and sale runs until Sept. 8 at the Parkside Art Gallery

The Cariboo Artists’ Guild’s 38th Annual Show & Sale kicked off on Thursday, July 26, at the Parkside Art Gallery with a lively opening reception.

Locals crowded the gallery’s halls to view around 100 paintings from 22 guild members. Paintings expressing the show’s theme – reflection – were grouped in a room to be experienced together.

Visitors can check out the show and sale until Sept. 8.

RELATED: Cariboo Artists’ Guild’s 38th Annual Show & Sale features artistic reflections in 100 Mile House

Here are some of the featured artists:

Cindy Wickingstad

“I’m a real hiker so that was after a heavy rainfall,” said Cindy Wickingstad pointing towards her painting. “I was in the woods behind our house and I could see the reflection of the woods in the mud puddle and I thought it was really interesting … it’s so soft when you look at the forest in the reflection of the water.”

Wickingstad has been painting for 10 years. She used to paint mandalas back when she taught yoga and said it taught her a lot about colour.

Leslie Ginther

Leslie Ginther, who currently manages the Showcase Art Gallery, said she always wanted to paint but couldn’t because “life got in the way.”

She has been painting more frequently over the past five years, since she retired from teaching and joined the guild.

“People are really supportive,” she said of her fellow guild artists. “If you really want an opinion about something you’re working on, you can usually ask somebody for some input (as long as you’re open to constructive criticism) and usually people are really thoughtful about what they suggest, especially the experienced artists.”

Marilyn Yewell

Marilyn Yewell’s theme painting was of a fishing village that she came across when she was evacuated to Richmond last summer.

“It’s a beautiful little community that’s still there in the heart of busy Richmond,” she said.

“I just found it quaint and charming and I wanted to paint it.”

She created her piece using oil paint, a medium she never used to like but has recently revisited.

“I’m back with oils and finding I love them and I want to do more.”

Penny Bailey

Penny Bailey said it was an elderly neighbour who taught oil classes that introduced her to painting when she was in high school.

“I loved it right away, as soon as I had my first lesson,” she said.

Bailey moved to Lac la Hache in November 2017, and said joining the guild has made a big impact on her painting.

“The calibre of this club, it really made me step it up, I’ll tell ya.”

Her piece featured “larger-than-life” strawberries reflecting in chrome bowl and spoon.

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Sheryl Fremlin

Sheryl Fremlin’s piece is not for sale because, “It’s a very personal piece.”

Fremlin chose to experiment with mixed-media for the first time to express a reflection of her genealogy.

She used photocopies, illustrations, photographs and pieces of a mirror along with paint because she thought it would “make it more interesting and give it more depth.”

The mirror, she said, also put the viewer into the piece.

“It’s very unusual, but I kind of like the way it turned out.”

Cheryl Gauthier

“One day I was kayaking out front and I saw this vision and the water was very still and it was exactly so perfectly like the shoreline,” said Cheryl Gauthier.

She said she used watercolour and pen and ink to recreate the scene she saw from her kayak in Lac la Hache.

Gauthier has been painting since her mom put her in classes when she was 10 years old.

Over her 23 years painting in the guild, she said her art has expanded from still life to include landscapes.

Barb McClusky

Barb McClusky has only been painting for about three years. This was her first show.

“My thought was that if you had a reflection of the sky in the water and you had a microscopic view of it you would see a portion of the reflection,” she said of her reflection piece. “You’d see the cells and everything and then as the sky changed what you would see through your microscope would change.”

McClusky said she started working on her theme piece around Christmas time.

Susan Kruse

The inspiration for Susan Kruse’s painting, a scene from Bella Coola, looks much different now that the mountain ridge has been completely burned.

She said she and her husband drove there two years ago and she thought of the landscape often so she decided to paint it.

Her husband returned from a fishing trip as she was finishing up her piece to tell her the area had been “devastated” by last summer’s fires.

“It means a lot more to me now even than it did before.”

RELATED: The Grade 7 class of 100 Mile Elementary raise money through art

Neil Pinkett

Neil Pinkett, a well-known artist in 100 Mile House whose murals can be found around town, said water is his current inspiration.

“I just look out the window and I’m inspired every time.”

His theme painting features a view of Davis Lake near the cabin where he’s living.

Pinkett said he used to draw a lot but transitioned to painting 11 years ago.

He struggled to name his highly recognizable painting style, but suggested that it somewhat reflects the way he used to draw: pointillism with an ink pen.

Helen Kellington

All of Helen Kellington’s paintings are reflections. In the five years she has been painting, she has built a body of work focused heavily on glass.

“That’s what I do. It’s not complicated,” she said.

When painting glass, she said, “you get the reflection but you also get deconstruction, you get distortion and you get shapes and that’s what I’m interested in looking at all the time is shapes.”

Lynne Flanders-Wright

Lynne Flanders-Wright has always been exposed to painting. She and her dad would hike around Lake Superior and he would paint and she would fall asleep on the rocks.

She picked up her own brushes 10 years ago, after retiring from nursing. She said the reflection theme was varied and it was interesting to see each artist’s interpretation.

“I’ve done a painting of a Mexican fellow who’s sitting on a curb and his hand is in his chin and you can just tell he’s really thinking about what’s important to him in life.”

Katalin Kovacs

Katalin Kovacs came to Canada 25 years ago from Hungary and fell in love with the Cariboo in 2004 on a long-weekend trip.

“I always loved to paint and I wanted to go in art school but my mom didn’t let me,” she said.

She taught Kindergarten for 30 years instead. “I never thought I would be an artist.”

Now she paints in watercolour, pastel and acrylic and volunteers at the Parkside Art Gallery.

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New artist Barb McClusky talks to a gallery visitor about her theme piece seen on the far right. Beth Audet photo.

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