Melissa Voth McHugh
Melissa Voth McHugh is an artist, photographer and an entrepreneur. She is currently working as a professional commercial photographer and a photographic artist in the Okanagan BC, where she completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree at the University of British Columbia, focusing on photography and printmaking . She quickly learned that photography and its processes were her true passion. In 2001 she moved to Vancouver to enhance her skills, while obtaining a professional photographers diploma. In 2009, she moved back to her home in the Okanagan to continue her photography career. Melissa's photographic art is based on capturing the moments in between the moments. She captures and displays images that are about quiet simplicity, little things and pieces that get easily ignored but are stunningly beautiful, weeds growing out of cement, rust running down a concrete wall and flowers in front of brick. One could say that these images speak of the continued battle and ongoing synchronicity between mother nature and the man made world. Melissa experiments with photographic collaged images both on canvas and digitally. She is most recently working these concepts with a mix of natural products and man-made printing.
Karen Palmer has been a ceramic artist since 2001 and a pottery instructor since 2003. She creates functional and non-functional pottery from several different types of clays and fires them in either an electric kiln or an outdoor atmospheric kiln depending on the finish she is trying to achieve. In 2005, she enrolled in the Australian National University’s 4 year Distance Ceramic Diploma Program out of Red Deer College. She completed a extra credits with this program that took her to China in 2007 and Australia in 2008. She has also taken several workshops over the years with Ceramic Artists such as; Judy Weeden, Cory McCory, Vince Pitelka, Elaine Brewer White, Vincent Massey, etc. In 2012 Karen entered the Art Exposed Juried Art Show in Kamloops and won third place overall for one of her large slip carved vase. This piece was then purchased by the “Time Raiders” a charity group that auctions off pieces of art to community residences in exchange for their charitable time. Karen is an active member of the Thompson Valley Potters Guild where she has been on the board of directors off and on over the past 10 years. She has been apart of several exhibitions with the Kamloops Arts Council including in May of 2017 titled “ Feast for the Eyes”. Karen is also a member of the Okanagan Potters Guild. Karen lives in Lumby BC where she works and teaches out of her home studio and the Vernon Arts Community Center.
Michelle Loughery has worked in the field of community public art for over 25 years and has created over 300 large-scale murals, over 20 Community Mural Projects, including Route 66 Mural City, Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame Mural Project, Downtown Vernon BC Mural Project, to name but a few. These projects and her art have been the catalyst for over 70 million dollars and unmeasurable social value. The human connections and social good that these innovative mural projects have created is legendary in the connections and successes of all those that touched these art walls. Loughery draws on her rich experiences in rural Canada to portray a wide variety of figurative and contemporary art scenes in her murals and studio art pieces. Currently working on a series of portrait pieces about her mural journeys, that will accompany an autobiography book that Loughery is writing in partnership with author Michael Moore. Loughery spends much time exploring the encaustic wax medium, using beeswax and colors to explore her journeys in a more contemporary collection. She is incorporating figurative and environmental work within the free flowing beeswax experience in her upcoming pieces. Her rare talent in creating large scale -free hand art is an enduring public reminder of Canada’s diverse peoples, heroes and rich cultural heritage
I like to believe my art is an eclectic mix of classic and contemporary styles. My jewellery has been described as an "interesting mix of rustic and really eye catching gorgeous" and "the perfect, imperfect piece". I love the shaping of the actual metal and incorporating found objects into my work, be it old silver spoons, beach stones or vintage beads, all of which makes for many one of a kind pieces. Most of my work is oxidized to bring out the beauty of the metal and give it that vintage look, reflecting the inspiration from which it came. susanrichards.ca
Active Member of the Federation of Canadian Artists & North Okanagan Chapter. Born in Half-Way-Tree near Kingston, Jamaica I immigrated with my parents to North Vancouver, B.C. at a young age. After growing up in the region, we moved to the Okanagan Valley in 1973. Since my late teens, I’ve been keen for the arts, and after attending Okanagan University College as a mature student my journey as an Artist began. Travels abroad with my family, and to this day, awarded me the opportunities to explore various galleries and their Masters including: the Louvre; Van Gogh; Rijks; Rembrandt; and Rodin museums. Obtaining many compiled photographs and sketches from journeys to South Africa, Mexico, the Netherlands, Austria, Germany, Hungry, France, California, England, and Spain there is no lack of subject matter. You will notice in some of my paintings a theme of African and Jamaican people. As my heritage is part of these countries I’m draw to the richness of their clothing, style, jewelry, texture, and skin color. Recent abstract works on larger canvas award me the opportunity to continue further into exploring mixed media with much more freedom of movement, color and line.
It has been in the last few years that Cynthia has really pursued her passion as an artist. Inspired by her Mother, an artist and sister who introduced her to acrylic painting 5 years ago. Her real turning point and growth in her artistic career began with a trip to Italy for a 10 day art course in 2011, it was there that she first experienced plein air painting and gained the confidence to paint from her heart and life experiences. Her art has been described as “painting life” as she paints from photos captured on her travels and adventures, reliving and enjoying those memories as she puts them on canvas and brings them to life. Cynthia is a local artist and paints out of her home studio in Salmon Arm, BC. She is an active member of the FCA and associate member with the SCA. Her work can be found at The Courtyard Gallery and Leap Gallery as well as many local business locations and on her website.
Joshua Wallace is a young self taught artist based in Vernon, BC. He was a part of the inaugural Youth Artist in Residence at the Vernon Community Art Centre. His work has been shown at the Armstrong Art Gallery, Erickson Gallery, Leap Gallery and the Rotary Centre for the Arts. His work is in the collection of the Vernon Art Gallery and private collections in the Okanagan, Nova Scotia and Australia.
I am an artist and art educator. I graduated from UBC Okanagan with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts and from UBC Vancouver with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. Pushing paint with a brush, knife or hand is an experience that has always filled my life and always will. When I was 5, my very English Grandmother handed me a paint brush. It was the best way to start a long love of painting. We would have tea and painting sessions in her garden where we explored realistic landscapes in oil and watercolour paint. Currently I’m working with acrylic paint and collage. My paintings are purely abstract, while my collage pieces use an existing image as a starting point. As I study the visceral world of paint and surface in my education and life, I have discovered that the process of painting is as important as the completed work of art. The paint is given a voice. The energy of the medium, expressed in drips and puddles, springs to life without the intervention of a brush or knife. As a result, my work is neither controlled or contrived. In my mixed media works, collage is a key element. I feel that the use of an existing image allows me to build upon and change it’s meaning or context completely. The image can dictate the feel or theme of the painting; however, I also search for images that will complete the visual and contextual puzzle. My love of “retro irony” is evident through out my work. By this, I mean my innate love of the 1960’s combined with a contemporary aesthetic and context. Inspiration flows from daily life, from nature, popular culture, fantasy, billboards and a variety of current interests and experiences.
Retiring from a life long career in teaching in 2008 left me with a huge hole to try and fill and I will be forever grateful that I gave painting a try. I had tried painting once when I was a teenager but quickly decided I had no gift, and I should look for my passion somewhere else. Who knew it would take nearly 45 years before I would give myself permission to try it again. Now at the ripe old age of 67, I think I am much less critical of my efforts and I have found a real outlet for my creativity in painting. I began with water colors but quickly added acrylics to the mix and I love both mediums. I love color and texture and my work is often quite bold and bright. Lately I have been playing a lot with mixed media, adding pastel, netting, ink, and collaged materials to paintings. Sometime I have to pinch myself because I have such a good life. Pay attention to what gives you pleasure and don’t be afraid to try something new. It could open a whole universe that you never knew existed.
Hannah Grimson is the face behind the Vernon based company, Black Spruce Leather. She specializes in "tooling", the traditional process of carving designs and hammering them into leather. Her products range from belts and wallets to purses, leather wrapped flasks,earrings and more. Hannah spent the past six years working in northern Canada as an Exploration Geologist, and her work is largely inspired and influenced by the Canadian nature that surrounded her. She has always loved doing field work—especially in the Yukon; northern lights, grizzly bears, caribou and hiking (not on paths) but through thick forests of Black Spruce. However, after her first few years of living in camps, she found that she was lacking a creative outlet. She would cover the camp walls with doodles, and eventually began packing her leatherworking supplies into camp with her. It didn’t take long before people were placing orders and her hobby escalated into a business. She is entirely self-taught (thanks to endless hours reading internet forums, YouTube and a lot of practice!). All of her products are hand cut, hand tooled, hand stained, hand punched and hand sewn. Hannah loves making one of a kind, functional and unique products that can last people a lifetime (or more!).
Colleen lives and works as an artist in Vernon British Columbia. Predominantly self-taught, her first introduction to the arts began with textiles, pottery and drawing. This lead to her real passion, painting. Staring with watercolors, Colleen has grown to use more mediums, pastels, oils and acrylics enabling her to add more vibrancy and texture to her work. Colleen paints a variety of subject matter, inspired by landscapes, rock formations, color and texture, and has shown in several galleries across the Okanagan. She is an active member of the Federation of Canadian Artists in the Vernon BC chapter. Her work has been published in Art Avenue Magazine. colleenfaulknerart.com
Formally educated at Nene University College and Leicester University in England, Gale spent many years teaching Art and Design before entering Herefordshire School of Art to study Studio Ceramics. Following apprenticeships with two of England’s leading potters Gale opened her own studio and has been immersed in her craft ever since. After years of experimentation and exploration, teaching and learning, many exhibitions and shows, Gale is accomplished in the applied art of working clay. She works her chosen media with ease and dexterity and still finds joy and passion in making and teaching. Abstract mixed media painting have recently been added to the Woodhouse Arts portfolio. woodhousearts.com
Although relatively new to the world of ceramic art, Lowell Friesen is no stranger to mud, born in the dusty prairies and raised on the farm, from day one he has been grounded in the dirt. The passion for pottery however, first proclaimed itself after taking a class at Vernon Community Arts Centre somewhat on a whim. After centring a piece of clay for the first time on a wheel and finding a sense of calm and grounding he knew this was something he needed to be doing. Using the meditative quality of working with one’s hands, he uses pottery as the counterpoint to his main artistic endeavour as a touring and recording folk artist. Pottery is the balancing piece to making music; where music is extroverted, ceramics are introverted, where music is highly ener-gizing and exciting, pottery is grounding and calming, where one demands engagement from others, the other is an engagement with oneself. Together they work to keep the peace between the two halves of Lowell’s personality, one which seeks roots and the other wings. Lowell cites his first teachers, Jenny Diller and Gale Woodhouse and the supportive community at the VCAC as his inspirations. You can find him working in the studio at the VCAC here in Vernon BC when he is not on the road singing songs, on the family farm in Coldstream pruning trees or wander-ing the forest wondering where all of this is going. lowellfriesenmusic.net
Patricia Doyle is a visual artist residing on the Bella Vista Hillside in Vernon, BC. While her primary medium is glass she also works in sterling silver, copper, acrylics, alcohol inks, clay, videography and photography.
Doyle’s works are usually centered on both her love and awe of nature and her quirky sense of humour. She uses art to convey her vision of the world being a more harmonious and beautiful place.
Doyle teaches fused glass and glass bead-making classes at the Vernon Community Art Centre. She has also been fortunate enough to have been invited to teach at Red Deer College’s Summer Series of the Arts many times and enjoys it immensely.
Her work is available for sale in a number of stores and gallery shops in Western Canada.
Marla Giles (Hanson) was born, raised and lives in Vernon BC and attended Okanagan College Fine Arts Program. She has worked as a designer in the Sign Industry for over 15 years and has been recognized with many International design awards. Stone sculpture has also been of great interest. After searching for a motorcycle jacket and personalizing it, to make a one of a kind garment of wearable art, she was hooked! Marla has re-purposed gently used leather jackets to make wall art. Painting on leather and adding found jewelry or hand stitching ads another dimension. In a throw away world... repurposing, reclaiming & recycling seems appropriate. Marla's most recent creations are in the form of jewelry. Upcycling used bullet casings into beautiful jewelry. Marla is a hunter and has a love of the outdoors and adventure. Many of the casings are from her own rifle or from her husband and fathers collection. Special attention to design goes into each piece of jewelry. Crystals and stones are carefully chosen to fit different caliber casings.
Crystals and bullets coming together to bring balance <3
Annabel Stanley was born and brought up in England, she left school in the early 80's and went on to study Horticulture at Merrist Wood Horticultural College near Guildford, Surrey. She worked her practicum at Pepiniere Meunier in The Loire Valley, France. Moving to London she trained to be a Florist at Veevers Carter Flower in Chelsea. She met and married her Canadian born husband, Grant, and they moved to New Zealand in '92 where they were introduced to the world of wine. Annabel, Grant and their son Francis relocated to the Okanagan in 2003 and Grant became the winemaker for Quails Gate Estate Winery for the next decade. They are now partners in a new winery called 50th Parallel. They purchased their own vineyard in 2005, which is a source for her weaving materials. Annabel has continued with her art, holding several exhibitions and sharing her passion and knowledge with local schools and local groups of artists, including Cool Arts. Annabel has always had her feet planted firmly in the soil as her hands reach up into the branches of the trees and she loves to share this passion with young minds, getting them outdoors and appreciating and creating with nature.
Judith Jurica is a visual artist sharing time between Canada and Slovakia. After earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Okanagan University College, the artist served as Creative Director and Administrator of Gallery Vertigo for 11 years. She has actively exhibited her work throughout Canada and abroad for the last 20 years and enjoys sharing her creative skills through workshops for children and adults.
Leap has an amazing group of talented local Okanagan Valley artist displaying their work!
We have paintings, pottery, jewelry and much more. It's the perfect place to purchase that special gift or treat!
My paintings are intuitive and abstract and reflect both my inner process and connection to the organic world beyond my studio walls. In the summer my studio goes out to the garden under the willow tree where all kinds of magic happens in flower beds, vegetable patches and painting. I specialize in contemporary and abstract painting. I work as freelance artist out of my home studio, aka Blue Skies Studio. I love working with passionate people and sharing what I've learned with them. kara-barkved.strikingly.com
Shauna Oddleifson graduated from UBC Okanagan (previously OUC) in 1998 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, graduating with distinction. Since graduating, Shauna has been involved with the arts community in Kelowna working in galleries as well as volunteering with various organizations and special events. Shauna has a studio practice, both art and craft-based, and has exhibited work throughout the Okanagan as well as in various artist run centres and galleries across Canada. Her work can be viewed on her web site, www.shauna-o-designs.com
Bobby Vandenhoorn, an artist by passion, was born on Vancouver Island BC in 1982, and has lived in the Lake Country area for the last 16 years. By the time he was 17 he was painting his first outdoor wall mural, and since then, he has commissioned over 60 different murals not only for homeowners and business’ in the area. Aside from murals keeping him busy, Bobby’s real artistic passion is with oil on canvas. He uses a very traditional method, with a very untraditional, bold, bright and unique style. He has recently focused on painting what he enjoys most, which are portraits of the great musicians who have influenced him. bobbyvandenhoorn.ca
Textiles have long been an integral element in my adult leisure pursuits. From knitting and crochet in my early years, to macrame, and dressmaking, to spinning, dyeing and weaving fleece into a myriad of projects from wall hangings to home decor. Eventually, quilting became my passion, as I was intrigued and challenged by not only the endless possibilities of pattern, but also its mathematical nature. A few years ago, a quilting friend introduced me to coiled baskets, and I became enthralled with the process. Over time, experimenting with many types of fabric and methods, I refined and honed my technique, and created my own signature designs. The rich, vibrant colors of Southeast Asia inspired the choice of batik fabrics as my favorite texture to work with. I just love the subtle, yet intricate, hues and prints, as well as the high quality of the 100% cotton.. Whenever anyone sees one of my baskets in use in my home, they never fail to appreciate the colorful accent they provide, as well as their practicality. I'm fascinated and excited about every project I begin, from choosing the fabrics for each basket, to creating the shape each product will take. Such fun to create, and I love the fact that they are washable.
Vernon artist Lana Schuster was born in Regina and obtained her degree in Education with a minor in Fine Arts from the University of Victoria. Typically working with acrylics, her paintings are often developed through a process of adding and subtracting, painting over some areas, hosing off others, allowing some to remain unchanged, until a layered image emerges. Large is her preferred size to work on whether the subject matter be landscape, abstract, portrait, or something from her garden. Drawing inspiration from artists Abbott, Carr, Degas, Kahlo, and Rothko, along with biking and hiking with friends, gardening with her husband, exploring the great wide open and interior of BC and self, Schuster strives to convey her sensibilities.
Brazen Edwards grew up on the prairies of Alberta but always felt a particular pull towards the mountains, ocean and warmer weather so after raising a set of identical twin boys and pursuing a career in Criminology, she relocated to the Okanagan in 2009. After leaving such a stressful career, she felt it was necessary to re-evaluate what she focused on, what she attracted into her life and if her creativity can inspire and bring happiness to others then she feel s her life has meaning. In 2015 she opened Ellis Art Studios, a 6000sq ft art facility located downtown Kelowna where she hopes that she can help other artists become successful entrepreneurs. As a result of being heavily inspired by nature, wildlife and her surroundings, Brazen also gives back by using her talent to raise money for animal welfare. A portion of her sales goes towards helping the very subjects she’s inspired by. Brazen may not be able to change the world with her art, but she wants to know in her heart that she’s tried to make a difference.
Kate Fagervik is an artist and entrepreneur, a yoga/meditation instructor and a creative counsellor. She lives in Enderby, BC with her husband, Eric, and teaches people how to live with moxy. She believes that humans are art, and that the choices, thoughts and feelings of everyday are mediums, capable of creating all sorts of realities, including masterpieces. Kate's favourite mediums are fabric, thread, paper and words. You can find her at www.livewithmoxy.com and locally at Curriebird Studios in Armstrong, BC.
Buffy's love for photography really took off when she was 20 years old and backpacking in Southeast Asia. Her travelling companion handed her his K-1000 Pentax camera - the perfect learning camera - and told her to "start taking photos". At the end of the six-month trip, she was hooked.
After decades of wandering about with camera in hand, Buffy now combines her advanced photography skills with her in-depth knowledge of biology, gained through her PhD studies, to produce uniquely artistic images of a natural world that is often overlooked.
Buffy's images are produced through contemporary digital technologies and a uniquely informed perspective of art in Nature.
Val Bosk works with clay and loves every stage of the process. She is amazed that a "block of mud" can evolve into a limitless number of forms. She combines clay, thrown on the wheel, with intricate hand building to create detailed and whimsical pieces. Her pottery is intended to evoke fond memories and emotions for herself and others to enjoy.
Carney Oudendag is a Kelowna based mixed media artist and teacher. She is particularly fond of seeking, gathering and sometimes organizing her hoards of found papers, materials and objects! A large part of her process involves collage, along with use of conventional art materials and techniques. Her semi-representational work varies in subject matter, but she is always seeking a naturalistic and organic effect. She loves doing workshops at Leap, has taught sessions at The Kelowna Art Gallery, Gallery 97, and for the school district. Carney enjoys guiding others to find their own artistic voice and outlet. She has exhibited in Leap, Lake Country ArtWalk, Lake Country, Penticton and Peachland Art Galleries. She strives for her work to evoke strong emotional connections with the viewer..
Svetlana is a Vernon-based, USSR-born artist at heart, a linguist and teacher by training and a multipotentiolite by calling. No matter what she does in life, be it teaching at a Montessori school, illustrating a story, working on a film set or translating a book, she always has her friendly camera with her. Her love for photography started when she developed her first print in her father’s home-set darkroom at the age of five and learned to tell the difference between shutter speed and aperture a bit later. Svetlana enjoys the experimental and educational process of merging different visual art forms with photography. She gets inspired by the beauty of the imperfect in nature and in people. She cherishes each moment of her daughter’s childhood who is her muse and constant source of inspiration. She believes that learning is a life-long process.
Bramble Lee Pryde
Bramble Lee Pryde is a multidisciplinary artist, currently working under the moniker LE LOU ULA (formerly WOLF + SADIE). Founded in 2013 Pryde has since created an atelier collection of surroundings and wares that includes jewelry & adornments, art & illustration and ceramics and home accoutrements. Pryde explores these concepts while adhering to a slow design ethos. Pryde was recently listed as one of the 10 “designers who are refining the notions of dark fashion” by Paper Magazine and her work has been featured in several seasons of the television show Pretty Little Liars. Pryde found her way to metal-smithing while traveling abroad after completing her post-secondary education; starting with her foundation year of Fine Arts at OUC, and finishing up in Vancouver with her diploma in Design + Formation from Langara College, a program that merges the design disciplines of spatial formation and communication design by bridging architecture, industrial and graphic design. While traveling through South Asia, she discovered the vital role of adornment in the stories people tell about their culture. This led to returning to Australia, where Pryde specialized further by earning her diploma in Metalsmithing from TAFE, in Perth.
Angelika Jaeger (aj)
Angelika Jaeger graduated in April 2013 from the University of British Columbia Okanagan with her Bachelor of Fine Arts. She is a Member of ‘Ars Longa’ a longtime Kelowna Artist Collective in its 11th year. Jaeger is a Mixed Media/Collage instructor, and has served for several years as the President of the Vernon Public Art Gallery and as Chairperson for the North Okanagan Chapter of Federation of Canadian Artists. More recently she joined the Board of Directors, as Chairperson for the Caetani Cultural Centre, an ‘Artist in Residency’ initiative in Vernon, BC. She is the Co-Founder of their annual fundraiser ‘A Splash of Red’. Currently she is working on a large installation for the Kelowna International Airport, which shall be displayed in the Departure Lounge. Jaeger’s work can be found in private collections in Europe, The Bahamas and Canada. She is represented by ‘Headbones Gallery’, Vernon, BC, and shows her work at ‘LEAP’, Vernon, BC. Her work is made available in the Vernon Public Art Gallery through their Art rental program.
Growing up in the Okanagan, in the town of Armstrong, is where Melissa’s love of painting first started. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2001 from UBCO, which solidified her commitment to painting. Melissa then moved to Calgary, Toronto and most recently Vancouver. Within each city there was a makeshift studio and bodies of work to show. While in Vancouver, Melissa received her degree in Interior Design from the Art Institute of Vancouver. Shortly after, Melissa moved back to the Okanagan, and is the Owner & Operator of Leap art supplies & gallery, continuing her own art journey, as well as helping others to realize and pursue their own. She is also a member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, in both the North & Central Okanagan Chapters. melissadinwoodie.com
My first memory of creating jewellery is of when I was about six years old. I remember sitting in our back garden in London, England, where short daisies grow in the grass, making a slit in a stem and threading it threw with another stem, creating chains of daisies. It was almost 30 years later before I made another piece of jewellery.
In 1995, after eight years in the music industry, and four years in the publishing industry, I quit my job in Australia, sold all my possessions and travelled to Prince Rupert, BC. During this time of travelling and hanging out, I started making beaded jewellery and collecting glass beads. I eventually ended up in Cherryville in the North Okanagan, and never left. I continued beading and came up with my first original design of an anklet with bells. In 2004, I took a silversmithing course which I thoroughly enjoyed. I found the most joy in simple soldering – giving me the ability to make clasps and findings for my beaded jewellery, as well as the skills needed for my silver designs. I find inspiration in my natural surroundings, the garden and the wilderness. In 2007, after 10 years of running local arts festivals and founding & managing an outlet for local artisans, I resigned to be a stay-at-home mum for our daughter, while continuing to createjewellery as a home-based business and personal artistic endeavour. I am also a director of the Okanagan Artisans Guild. Everything I make I truly do with love, as a way of showing my gratitude, and sharing all the love I have found in my life.
As a trauma survivor art is my gateway to healing my inner spirit, it allows me to connect to my inner child. My work is an exploration inside my internal self. Music is the opening to my feelings, and a way of exhuming my emotions to be brought to life on a canvas. Without any pre meditative ideas or thoughts of how the creation will unfold, this is what excites me the most about my art.
Self taught I mostly use pastels and acrylics. I have this new found love for mixed media artwork and I enjoy exploring different medias. I Hope you enjoy my art, and I am honoured to be a part of the leap community.
Shannon studied ceramics for 5 years earning a Diploma of Craft & Design and a BFA. She has been potting full time for 5 yrs, exhibiting, selling her work and teaching pottery in the Okanagan for the past 3 years. She specialises in functional tableware & homewares. Handmade objects, both functional and decorative, enhance our daily experience and spaces by creating relationships between maker & user and between user and object. It’s these relationships that help us connect to our spaces, daily routines, and create memories.
Originally from Victoria B.C. Laura now lives in the North Okanagan of British Columbia. Laura has a diploma with distinction from the London Art College in Botanical Painting, as well as a diploma from the U.K. Society of Botanical Artists (SBA) in Botanical Painting. In 2015 Laura was accepted into the Botanical Artists of Canada. Laura’s love for animals and wildlife inspired her to start creating wildlife portraits after receiving her training as a botanical artist. All of Laura’s illustrations are created in watercolor. “I express my passion and love for the natural world through my paintings. Nature is ever evolving and changing, much like our own lives. Life itself would not survive without the intricate cycles of nature, which today are often taken for granted. My calling as an artist is to capture the beauty and diversity of nature in watercolor and connect people with the fascinating and often fragile world of plants and animals. My paintings highlight the details that make each different species so unique. Nature has always been my inspiration, and from a young age, I have had a keen interest in botany and animals. I have had the opportunity to go on rare plants surveys with some of the top botanists in the country. I really enjoy learning and identifying native plants as well as more popular garden varieties. One of the highlights of my youth was being able to assist with wildlife rescues in Victoria B.C and raising many successful rescue animals myself. Having such close contact with a variety of animals inspired me to use my botanical painting training to also create wildlife watercolour portraits.”
Kayleigh Mace (BFA, BEd) produces and exhibits work throughout the Okanagan. Her abstract paintings show the fusion of dynamic mark-making with the careful application of a variety of acrylic washes, always looking to achieve a balance between precision and play. Her more recent work has shown a reemergence of hand-drawn images and using pure colour as negative space. She graduated from UBC Okanagan’s Fine Arts Program in 2008 with Melanie Newell; the two artists formed the partnership "DUO" with a focus on exploring collaborative performance and painting practices. Mace is an art / drama educator with School District #22. Her work has been shown at the Vernon Art Gallery, 557 Artist Block in Penticton, Leap Art Supply and Gallery in Vernon, Sopa Fine Arts in Kelowna, Gallery Vertigo in Vernon, the Rotary Centre for Fine Arts, at the annual Lake Country Art Gallery's Under 100 show, at Ecotone 2013, and at Lake Country’s ArtWalk from 2008 – 2016. DUO artwork has also been featured in various restaurants, wineries, festivals, and businesses.
Tatianna’s passion for art began at a young age with art classes at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, when Arthur Lismer was the director of the school. Later, she had the opportunity to spend six months in Paris, studying art, and then back in Canada, Tatianna studied art at university as well as taking workshops with many prominent artists. Tatianna is an award winning artist, active in many Art Associations, including the Federation of Canadian Artists, the Society of Canadian Artists, The Alberta Society of Artists as well as being president of the Enderby Artists’ Initiative which runs The Courtyard Gallery in Enderby, B.C. Her work has been included in juried and solo exhibitions nationally and can be found in Canadian collections, i.e. The Alberta Foundation for the Arts, The Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies and the University of Alberta Children’s Hospital as well as numerous private collections internationally.
Growing up in a creative household in Britain, Rebecca was never short of supplies or inspiration to explore her own natural creativity. However, rather than follow a traditional art education she decided to be practical instead and went to university and acquired a degree in Geology and Biology, with which she has done nothing practical since. On emigrating to Canada, Rebecca started to paint seriously earning a living painting portraits and teaching art privately. For the last few years she has become increasingly more enamored with clay sculpture. Currently animals are her main subjects. Rather than a strict anatomically correct representation of her subject she emphasizes certain parts of their bodies and takes artistic license to their postures. The intention being to attribute human like qualities to the animal, not so much that they become cartoon like, just enough to identify with. Rebecca's paintings are currently mostly of animals, she uses a style that requires a lot of paint to create texture and rich luscious color sweeps. The subjects are rendered loosely often with detailed eyes, she does this to produce a focal point that draws the viewer into the painting. Rebecca has both paintings and sculptures in private collection around the world.
Lois was born and raised in the Okanagan. She received her B. of Education at UBC and taught for 37 years at the elementary level, mostly in Vernon. She especially enjoyed teaching art and tried to choose projects where each child could succeed, as well as, learn the principals of art. Lois began painting in Grade 11 with oils, inspired by her art teachers and classmates. Although she keeps coming back to oils, she has definitely been inspired by the Australian aboriginal dot art in acrylic. “I watched two Aboriginal artists for hours by the Tweedshead beach on the Gold Coast. Doing dot art is so very relaxing and therapeutic. It is a great way to warm up to the visual and perceptual thinking of the right brain. She feels very lucky to have this time in her life, where she can put much of her energies into experimenting with the different mediums. Pen and ink is precise. Oils are forgiving, yet creamy-rich and vibrant. Acrylics have endless possibilities, especially with texture, and anything goes. Mostly, Lois is influenced by the amazing artists in this area. The two groups she belongs to - Okanagan Artists of Canada and North Okanagan Federation of Canadian Artists - are extremely talented and gifted. Sometimes, you don’t have to look at the Masters when the Masters are in your own back yard!