While people across the country will be celebrating Canada on July 1, Margery Blom will be putting a spotlight on a small but special corner of it.
For her first solo exhibition, Blom has 56 oil paintings celebrating the magic of Vancouver Island.
With the exhibit, which is set to run from July 1 to the end of the month at the MAC, Blom hopes her vibrant landscapes and close-ups make visitors want to take a step into the Vancouver Island she sees.
A graduate of the University of Manitoba School of Art, Blom moved to Vancouver Island four years ago after many visits here to see family.
The move has been “a dream come true,” she said, in part because it has meant retiring from teaching and painting full-time.
The change has been a long time coming for the artist, who first wanted to drop out of school in Grade 5 to pursue art full time, she said.
Now, she’s a resident artist of both the MAC and TOSH.
Despite working with various paint media, Blom has stuck with oil most of her career, and now paints on both canvas and boards with an impressionist-inspired style, though you’ll likely notice her use of colour first.
“I find that if you paint with the colours of nature, in a lot of cases, especially the greenery on Vancouver Island, sometimes it becomes sad, especially on a misty sort of dull day,” said Blom.
“I like happy, bright, lots of light … I like to put (in) a lot of colour.”
Though she strives to keep the form and the play of light and shadow the same as what she sees, she said saturated, bright colours are a reflection of who she is, and will even find space for blues and purples in shadow.
“It’s happy, it’s bright and it’s part of my personality. And if they make the colour, why can’t I use it?” she asked.
Ultimately, she hopes that her work is a positive influence on those who see it. “I want them to walk away feeling elated… and go, ‘Wow, that was colourful, that was beautiful, that was pretty, that was nice, I’d love to be there!’ That’s what I want.”
To see what else is coming up at the MAC, go to www.mcmillanartscentre.com/celebrate-canada-day-with-us/.