Three Fairview Artists

Twenty years after the Peace Summerschool of Landscape Art, watercolour and landscape still reign supreme with these former students.

By Eileen CoristineBernice Trider, Summer from Seasons of the Peace Series

Bernice Trider

“You didn’t know there was so much art going on in Fairview back then did you?” Bernice asks, referring not only to the Peace Summerschool of Landscape Art, but also to three-day Peace Art Festivals and university credit courses that she took part in during the 1980s.

“The Landscape School was great, really intense,” Bernice says. “I wished I was staying at the college instead of at home so I could have been totally focussed on it.” She loved the field trips to Whitelaw, Sand Lake and other local spots. Those locations inspired many paintings. One of those paintings, of Cliff Paul’s farm, won her the Peace Watercolour Society “On the Spot Painting Award.”

Bernice began painting in 1969, returning to her childhood love of art. “At school I couldn’t wait for Friday afternoon art classes,” she remembers. “Once, after my children were a bit bigger, I saw a local art show in all the store windows in Fairview. I was enthralled. I haven’t missed a possible workshop since.”

Oils were the starting point for Bernice’s painting career, but that all changed after a 1980 course by Robert Guest. “I fell in love with watercolour because I liked what I did,” she explains. “My work was now so much more soft and subtle.”

Bernice is an avid art student who does a lot of research and reading. “I would have liked to have gone to college and learned design,” she says. Still a very active painter, Bernice is currently toying with the idea of watercolour portraits. Although a different subject, portraiture is consistent with her style, which she describes as realistic.

Clearly Bernice has enjoyed her times of learning and painting in the Peace. “I’ve had

a great time,” she tells me, her smile the picture of pleasures recalled.

Greg Jones, Harold's Murcury. Photo by Ziggy's, Fairview

Greg Jones

“My mother put a set of paints in front of me when I was nineteen and convalescing from a motorcycle accident,” says Fairview painter Greg Jones. “That’s how I started.”

Greg then began taking local workshops and the credit courses that were held at Fairview College through Grande Prairie Regional College. Teachers like Jim Adrain and Robert Guest were very encouraging and helpful. “Those classes were filled mainly with older ladies, many of whom became good friends,” Greg remembers. Since then many of those ladies have attended workshops by Greg and are always asking for more.

In 1984 and ‘85 he attended Peace Summerschool of Landscape Art. Greg spent many hours in the field with the instructors. “I really latched onto Laine Dahlen’s way of painting,” says Greg.

Greg had taken some drawing classes from fellow Summerschool student Doris Reynolds, but it wasn’t until later that he really appreciated the influence that she had had on him. “After I came back from art school, I recognized Doris’ talent. It was a great influence to see this in a local person.”

While doing further studies at Red Deer College, Victoria College of Art and Alberta College of Art and Design, Greg tried out many materials and genres, but has always returned to what he calls his “minimalist landscapes” in watercolours. “I’m not sure where that came from, but people really respond to them because they are stark, like a relief.”

An event that resulted from the Summerschool had a huge impact on Greg’s future. “Fairview College bought a piece of mine and tucked it away in the president’s office. One month later I saw it, in the same room as their A.Y Jackson. That inspired me so much.”

Greg now resides near Calgary but visits Fairview every month. He says he is planning more workshops for his old friends from the Peace.Doris Reynolds, Russian Orthodox Church at Hines Creek, pen and ink

Doris Reynolds

“I paint what I see,” says Doris. “I’ve never done abstracts. My favourite subjects are landscapes, and the Peace Valley and Mountain Parks provide never-ending inspiration for my work.”

Doris was directly involved as a planner of the Peace Summerschool of Landscape Art throughout the four years in which it ran. “The courses ran ten days, started with a show and sale by the instructors and ended with a show and sale by the students, both at Fairview Fine Arts Centre,” she remembers. “The school’s main emphasis was to work directly from nature when possible.”

Although the instruction by such accomplished artists as Robert Guest, Euphemia McNaught, Laine Dahlen and Inez Demuynck inspired and motivated her, Doris was already an established local artist and instructor in her own right. She remembers: “My mother was artistic and we always had paper and pencils.” To this day, Doris says, “I like to make detailed sketches. My sketch pad and pencils are always part of my gear, wherever I travel.”

Doris began painting by teaching herself to use oils. That inspired her to go to classes, where she met Robert Guest and Jim Adrain. “They encouraged me to try watercolours, and I tried but struggled. I couldn’t switch until I took two weeks just playing. Then I sort of got the hang of it.” Doris had soon left oils behind and begun using watercolours or pen and ink for her realistic, detailed work.

This past summer Doris painted enthusiastically and framed half a dozen new works, following a field trip to Buffalo Lakes with other Peace Watercolour Society members.

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