An exhibition at The Old School House (TOSH) this month features the work of local photorealist watercolor painter, Sherry Mitchell.
Mitchell’s work is so detailed and accurate that often observers insist her work is a photograph and certainly has not been made using watercolor paints.
“It is very different from classical watercolor,” Mitchell explained, “traditionally watercolor has been very soft and very watery, this is not. Many people think the piece is a photograph or could not possibly be watercolor, it must be acrylic because of the intensity of the colours.”
Mitchell has been perfecting her craft, painting mostly botanicals, for the past 40 years and said she simply uses more paint and less water, focusing in on the fine details of the plants. She is a Senior Signature Member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, a member of the Botanical Artists of Canada, and the International Guild of Realism (IGOR), among others.
Recently her work has been accepted into IGOR’s prestigious traveling exhibition, called Illusion of Reality, which will take her work throughout the U.S. from 2013 to 2016.
“The attention to detail has always been the thing to me,” she said. “I want the painting to look like I see the plant itself.”
Mitchell is not sure where her love for plants began, but may have something to do with the magnificent gardens both her grandparents and parents have kept over the years. She also loves hiking and the outdoors, she said, which is where she takes many photographs of her subjects. She hopes her work will encourage others to find this beauty outdoors.
“I hope they are able to see better what perhaps they have missed when they go outside,” she said. “Because that’s what it’s all about.”
Other artists being featured in the exhibition are Rob Miller and Regina Seib. Miller creates sweeping acrylic landscapes, both on the Prairies and the West Coast, with much of his work focused on the sky. Seib creates colorful abstract acrylic art of both people and landscapes.
The exhibition runs until May 21 at TOSH in Qualicum Beach. For more information visit www.theoldschoolhouse.org or call 250-752-6133.