Painter Jessa Gilbert said it wasn’t until she moved from Vermont to British Columbia that she truly understood what it meant to be in nature and that understanding is now visible in her latest exhibition.
Gilbert’s Flux exhibition at the Revelstoke Visual Art Center explores change and movement.
“It’s about going back to those natural elements to find footing and finding the beauty in change,” she said.
All but two of the paintings in the exhibit were done in the elements or based on sketches Gilbert made while on an adventure.
“There are a lot of things that we miss when we take a picture,” she said. “A photo exists in seconds, perhaps, of that day, whereas if you sit there and watch the clouds move, rise and fall, you have a different appreciation of the feeling. .”
Gilbert studied studio art and art history in college, planning to fall back on it when she was old and stranded and no longer a semi-pro snowboarder.
“Turns out old and broken is like 23,” she laughed.
A serious knee injury kept her out of the backcountry and she turned to painting. Art has become a means of exploring the landscape.
As she healed, her two loves converged. She found herself gazing at the mountains with the curiosity of an adventurer and an artist. She wondered, where does the next peak lead? How do the forms line up? What is the color palette here? How would you present it?
“I hope the pieces become a catalyst to get out there and experience the outdoors for themselves or to see how special and important they are and how much we have to defend,” she said.
Meagan Oxford, another artist currently showing her work at the gallery, studied art in London, Ontario. She also had an awesome moment when she reached the mountains, by train, in 2011.
“I knew I had found my home,” she said.
During her studies, she painted characters: animals and women. This evolved to paint her surroundings when she moved to British Columbia
The mountains are so majestic, I have to pay homage to them, she said.
Oxford spends summers in his paint shop and winters running the bar at Revelation Lodge. She described it as a good balance between isolating herself to create art and socializing.
“I was just doing art for a few years,” she said. “But I found out that I had stopped calling my friends and it got a bit depressing.”
Although she earns part of her living through art, she has stated that money never influences her art.
“My love for painting trumps everything, in the end I don’t care if people like it or not because in the end that’s what I have to do to make my soul happy” , she said.
Inspired by Degas
Sandra Flood’s exhibition is the third currently on view at the Revelstoke Visual Art Center in September.
What began as a piece for the members’ show “Inspired by…” has turned into a collection of paintings featuring the Royal Ballet of London.
“For me, this has been an absorbing journey into another life and a lifeline during this pandemic,” Flood wrote in his artist speech.
Flood was inspired by Edgar Degas who lived from 1834 to 1917 and painted the dancers of the Paris Opera.
However, where he was able to watch the dancers live, Flood relied on videos. She created sketches from the videos and transferred them to canvas using a grid.
“Once the sketch has been transferred to the canvas, I add fine areas of color to specify the shapes and positions of the dancers, and to get an overall idea of the painting. From then on, it’s all about refining, referring to the video for more details, correcting, redesigning and enhancing the color to give weight and dimension to the dancers,” she said. .
You can see the work of Flood, Gilbert and Oxford at the Revelstoke Visual Art Center until October 1. The gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
art exhibition revelstoke