Five friends get together and hike to a remote mountain lodge to go painting. For those who’ve been to the annual Art in the Park shows at the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre, it’s a familiar scenario.
This month, a new group of artists from the West Kootenays will showcase their own take on the experience when they present their works from a trip to the Mount Carlyle Lodge in the Kokanee Range of the Selkirk Mountains.
The Carlyle Group consists of Rossland, B.C., artists Jenny Baillie, Brigitte Debois, Louise Dresche, Stephanie Gauvin and Mirja Vahala. They will be showing more than 50 works from a five-day trip to the lodge last September. They were there during a stretch of clear days and nights, before the snow fell and with a full moon lighting up the nights.
“We could see as far as the Kokanee Glacier with the light gleaming off of it in the distance,” Vahala told me. “There was brilliant blue sky and sunshine that would light up the anemones, which were glowing. The larch were backlit, and there were these great distant blue hues of the mountains and all the myriad of colours of the grasses.”
The five artists hiked into the lodge with their painting supplies. Each day, they would hike out to different spots and capture what they saw, said Vahala.
“What we we do is start with trying to simplify what we would see,” she said. “Choosing a portion of the entire view, and simplifying into mass forms and shapes what we saw, and then interpreting with the colours each of us individually would express and the feelings that we saw.”
They debuted their work at the Rouge Gallery in Rossland in December. There will be 52 paintings on display at the Revelstoke show.
“The styles go from a full carte type of look to very colourful expressionistic paintings,” said Vahala.
Mount Carlyle opens at the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre this Friday, June 14, at 6 p.m. Showing in the side galleries will be Ron Nixon’s Retrospectives and Sarah Windsor’s Spirals, Shapes and Elements of Nature. The show runs until July 5.