South Cariboo artist Helen Kellington will have a collection of artwork on display at the South Cariboo Business Centre for the month of July. Millar Hill photo

South Cariboo artist merges past careers into a new hobby

‘You get that distortion, the deconstruction of shapes and reflection’

A new collection of work is hanging on display inside the South Cariboo Business Centre.

This month’s featured artist is Helen Kellington, a South Cariboo watercolour-based artist with an eye for design.

Kellington was born and raised in Scotland. Her inkling for painting was discovered until her later years, once retired.

Before immigrating to Canada in 1966, Kellington’s former years focused on interior design in London, England.

“I had joined the Royal Air Force, but after doing that for four years, I decided I needed to have a career,” said Kellington. “So I went into interior design and I did that for about 25 years.”

When Kellington moved to Canada, she noticed interior design received more recognition in Europe than it did overseas in North America.

“When I came here, it was never a real part of the building team. So in the end, I decided I would become an architect and get a degree from the University of British Columbia.”

Related: From an Etch A Sktech to a showcase

Aside from a fine art course while studying in England, Kellington doesn’t have any formal training or experience in art or painting. Working in the industry of design and architecture, Kellington has always known how to draw.

“Maybe it was just a natural ability,” said Kellington. “I think the strength of my paintings is my drawing.”

Her work reflects her career in the design industry.

“It’s been a long and interesting career and this (painting) is the latest part of it,” said Kellington. “I think my paintings make you think ‘what am I looking at,’ I don’t think they are earth shattering but I do it because I like it. You get these deconstructions of the space, I like that and that’s what I enjoy doing.”

Kellington will take a series of photographs of the subject she is going to paint. From there, she will get an 8 by 10 or 11 by 14 photo made up.

“I will gird the photograph and then make a grid on the paper I am painting on to get that exact accuracy,” said Kellington. “I do a lot of thinking about my paintings. I will start to work at it, take a break and then come back.”

“Sometimes I have to explain my paintings,” she added.

You might not always know what it is you are looking at while you observe Kellington’s work. The current showcase features a series of work with a focus on reflection but also includes a few other pieces.

“The looking part is all based on being a designer and looking at spaces,” said Kellington. “You get that distortion, the deconstruction of shapes and reflection.”

Kellington’s work has made it to various places around the world such as the United States, Australia and more.

The current exhibit will be on display at the South Cariboo Business Centre until the end of July.

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