Pat Palmer has embraced the artistic offerings she’s discovered in an array of places around the world, and she is revealing the outcome in a feature exhibition this month in Nanaimo.
“Wherever we’ve moved to, I’ve taken the opportunity to do classes, some on a more serious basis than others,” said the Nanoose Bay artist.
It’s called Moving into the 21st Century and it features oil paintings Palmer created while living in Connecticut, U.S.A; Berkshire, England; and her current location, Nanoose Bay. The show will be featured at the Art 10 Gallery in the Nanaimo North Town Centre on Rutherford Road until the end of February.
Palmer grew up in Calgary, Alberta and moved to Australia when she was 18. While travelling in England she met her husband and since that time has relocated a number of times for his work from Port Alberni to Edmonton to Toronto to Singapore, back to Toronto, down to Connecticut, over to England, and now the couple is retired in Nanoose Bay. Palmer is including work she created since the year 2000 in the show.
The walls in Palmer’s house in Nanoose Bay reflect her diverse interest and experience in artistic mediums, including Chinese brush paintings, three-dimensional encaustic work, rich oil paintings, detailed charcoal drawings and soft watercolour work.
While living in Connecticut, surrounded by “two very active art centres,” Palmer had the opportunity to take life drawing classes, and created many pieces using charcoal and oil paints. While living in a small village in England she was able to concentrate on painting full time, she said, working in her studio as well as outdoors. She would often go down to the Lodden River, a tributary of the river Thames, where she’d paint scenes like old weeping willow trees stretching into the water.
At the end of 2011 Palmer and her husband moved to Nanoose Bay where she has concentrated on landscapes, because the area has so much to offer in the way of natural beauty, she said. She’s also recently become interested in deep space and some of her pieces that reflect that interest will be in the Nanaimo show.
Palmer said painting is something she has to do, it’s something that makes her happy and brings her into the present. She said her work aims to express how she feels about a certain subject matter, often revealing an aspect of a scene or photograph that is beautiful to her. And she hopes others find something beautiful to them in her work.
“I hope they will take from it something of what I see, something about what I feel about the subject matter, and of course relate it to their own experiences.”
Palmer has recently joined the Nanoose Bay Studio Tour group and will be participating in an event with those members May 4 and 5 this year.
Her work is the feature exhibition in the Art 10 Gallery until Feb. 28 at the Nanaimo North Town Centre during mall hours.