Right from childhood, Neil Pinkett knew he wanted to be an artist. The idea of it was rebellious and Pinkett was attracted to it.
“I knew I wanted to do something different, anything besides your typical day-to-day job”
Pinkett has been painting for roughly 12 years. In the beginning, he started out with drawing tight, concise and detailed imagery. The painting came to him just before moving to the Cariboo.
“Originally, I am from Nottingham, England. I have lived in Canada for 21 years now,” he said. “I moved to the Cariboo in 2008 and have lived in Forest Grove for the majority of my time here.”
Coming to Canada, Pinkett moved around quite a bit – places such as Jasper, Vancouver Island and the prairies in Alberta.
The places he’s visited have influenced his work, focusing on the various landscapes he’s seen. Pinkett said many appear throughout his collection of art, including local landscapes throughout the Cariboo.
“The Cariboo has some beautiful places.”
For the most part, Pinkett will paint from photographs he has taken of many areas and their landscapes. It’s not just one photograph, but several, that he will refer to when working on a painting. Pinkett said he paints slow and methodically, which doesn’t suit the outdoor painting experience.
“There is a connection because I have personally experienced whatever the subject matter is – it’s a part of the mix that makes it work for me,” he said. “I have done stuff on location, such as old drawings that I would create with oil pastels.”
Pinkett paints using acrylics – with an optimistic pallet he employs a unique style that captures the light reflected in the landscapes of the Cariboo throughout the seasons. Pinkett’s work is colourful and almost identical to the landscapes he photographs.
“It is my calling and contribution to the world,” he said. “I wanted to use my skills and create pieces of art. It feels like what I should be doing. A part of it is pleasure, but it is also a job like any other job. There are aspects that are pleasurable and others that are not.”
The beginning of a painting, while everything is being sketched and laid out, is exciting, according to Pinkett.
“While you are working on it, it can be a pain because you second guess things and really it feels like work,” he said. “Towards the end, you’re almost there and that feels good.”
For Pinkett, he enjoys taking the risks of being a full-time painter. It took quite some time before people started to recognize his work.
“You do what you have to do, to get by,” he said. “In the end, it all pays off. I want to do something that makes the world a better place and I feel like I am contributing to that in my own small way. I approach every day with the outlook of trying to make it better than the next. What can I do today, that was better than yesterday. I will put in long days of painting. I have to. I can’t stop, I have to keep on trying to support myself and my son.”
This will be Pinkett’s third solo show at Parkside Art Gallery, the show is titled On A Journey – featuring 60 pieces of art from Pinkett’s collection ranging from old to new. The opening night is set for May 17, from 5-7 p.m. and be on display until June 15.
“I don’t think I will ever stop painting.”