The natural beauty of Mahood Lake is just about all the inspiration watercolour artist Brenda Bolton needs for her paintings.
Bolton lives with her husband, Dave, in the semi-remote area, approximately 90 kilometres east of 100 Mile House.
In winter, driving conditions keep trips to town down to only once a week, and for the rest of the year, Bolton just enjoys her home and the beauty that surrounds it, but she made a trip to town in early July to set up her solo show at Showcase Gallery.
The collection of watercolours includes dreamy florals and subtle landscapes that reflect what interests Bolton most.
She only started painting 15 years ago, after enrolling in a watercolour class, which she saw advertised in a newspaper. She has been taking painting classes ever since and never gets tired of watching the magic that happens when she puts her brush to paper.
“I look at the paper, and the paint and the way it flows. I don’t really have to paint anything. I just love looking at it. I’m surrounded by beautiful scenery, with the weather and clouds rolling in and out. I’m never without something to paint.”
Sometimes she feels she should widen her spectrum a little, but realizes she hasn’t filled her appetite for watercolour.
Her favourite subject is landscapes and often she is drawn into her picture with the animals, birds and quaint buildings that always find their way somewhere into each outdoor scene.
“I also like the softness of trees and reflections on water, so there’s lots of water in my paintings.”
Whenever Bolton picks up a paint brush, her expectations are reasonable.
“I just love practicing, and if it works out, it’s great, and if not, it’s a learning thing. My closet is full of things that didn’t work out. The other side of the water colour paper works out, too.”
She values her membership with the Cariboo Artists Guild group she joined five years ago.
“I needed to join a painting group for inspiration and be with like-minded painters. There’s always something on the go with the group and it’s nice to be a part of it.”
Bolton and her husband lived much of their lives in British Columbia before moving to Alberta for work, which kept them there for about 15 years. They retired at Mahood Lake five years ago.
Bolton’s show can be viewed until July 29, when a new artist will install his or her work in the small gallery located in the main lobby of the Cariboo Business Centre at 475 Birch Ave. Gallery hours are Monday to Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and Saturday from noon to 4 p.m.