Walk around 100 Mile House and you’re probably familiar with his work.
Neil Pinkett painted a number of the large murals around town, including the one outside the 100 Mile Curling Club and the one depicting a Lone Butte station master on the southern wall of the South Cariboo Theatre.
More of the Forest Grove resident’s paintings – about 30 works of oil and acyclic – are currently on display at Parkside Art Gallery until July 19.
The show is called “Appear and Disappear” and features subject matter of a temporary nature. Think autumn leaves, reflections in water, clouds, and things constantly on the move.
“It’s all changing, all the time,” Pinkett explains. “To me, the thing is following the path and seeing where it leads.”
He has had one solo show at the local art gallery in the past, and his work has been a part of different group shows there, as well.
Although many of his paintings are done in acrylic, that style goes against his tendency to paint more slowly. Oil takes longer to dry, which fits his methodical approach and strong attention to every detail.
“Sometimes I think it’s just the patience, if anything, that sets me apart. Every square inch of the picture is of equal value. I put as much time into it all.”
That extra time and care is evident in his painting of a partially frozen Canim Lake. Myriad shades of blue flow and mix into the scene and hundreds of tiny points of green and orange dot a mountain background.
“I’ve never strove to be unique. To me it’s more striving to be true to your own path. And things can change wildly along the way.”
Pinkett, a resident of the South Cariboo for close to six years, is from Nottingham, England. He moved to Canada in 1998.
He can paint big, like the murals, and also small. In the past, he would create little ink drawings about two-inches square, in very high detail with a tiny little pen.
It’s different than having your work blown up on the side of a building for everyone to see for years, he says.
“The worst thing about [painting murals] I guess is it’s constantly on display while you’re working. Like most artists, I like to work in private, and if you make a mistake, you’re kind of in a panic to fix it….
“You have to see it for ever after in town, which is a double-edged sword because you always see things you would like to change.”
Pinkett is a volunteer at Parkside Art Gallery. He says it was one of the reasons he decided to relocate to the area.
“It’s a great little art gallery and community of artists around here. I think it’s a pretty vibrant scene here.”