With a paint brush in one hand and reins in the other is how Jodene Kilner described herself.
Born and raised on Vancouver Island, and now living in Coombs, Kilner said she has travelled throughout the United States and other provinces during her livelihood as an artist.
Kilner said she has been painting for more than 30 years, but her artistic work started with rejuvenating old metal ware.
“I travelled all through the states — the western states — collecting it, painting it and selling it down there,” Kilner said.“It really started to take much more form when I started painting on the old jars, then I could really rejuvenate, revise a label and promote what I like to promote in healthy choices, healthy communities.”
Kilner’s work is on display at The Gallery at Qualicum Art Supply (206 W. First Ave., Qualicum Beach).
Kilner said she has always been influenced by old labels on jars.
“My designs matched the era of the pieces I was rejuvenating, so it was just this win-win mix that people recognized that it was a vintage piece and that it was functional and that it had great artwork on it,” said Kilner, adding that the bright and vibrant colours worked very well.
Throughout her time painting, Kilner said, she has loved working with the primary colours with a dramatic black background.
“It’s bright and cheery and I hear all day, everyday when I’m at a show people going, ‘It is so bright and happy,’” she said.
While her usual black background is difficult to leave behind, Kilner said she did try her hand at painting birds which she said was very different, but wonderful.
Because of her love of horses, Kilner said her next venture might be painting horses.
Over the years, Kilner said, her work has transformed.
“It’s evolved, yes, in my mastering techniques with the highlights, the shadows, you get better and better at that, but always it’s been that underlying, conscious food and community and being aware of our surroundings,” she said.
“Food, water, shelter, love — that just covers everything, no matter where you’re from, no matter what you’re doing, no matter where you are in life.”
Kilner said her true transformation was when she started working on canvases.
“There came a time when I started to run short (of vintage pieces),” Kilner said.
“I travelled all over the states, all secondary routes, in the nine western states and then into Texas and Oklahoma doing the secondary roads, little towns, antique collectible shows, collecting stuff. It slowly became harder and harder to find and more pricey.”
All of the painting, Kilner said, is done by hand, including the lettering. She said she starts with a sketch and then transfers it onto jars or canvas, and she goes from there.
“It just gets easier and easier. You know, 20 years at it, I should be getting pretty good at it.”