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Three Peace River Artist

Chickadee, Kimberly Boychuk

Kimberly Boychuk

Wildlife and landscape painter Kimberly Boychuk has made it her life’s work to capture moments in time. She views her function as an artist as encouraging others to stop and appreciate the beauty around them. She points out that taking time to appreciate natural beauty, both in nature itself and through art, is one of life’s few pleasures.

“Something in me drives me to do something exquisitely beautiful. Every piece I do, I try to achieve that,” Boychuk explains. To Boychuk, beauty is obviously truth, and truth is beauty, much as it was to the poet Keats.

Having left Peace River to go to school in Idaho and to study at workshops with luminaries such as Robert Bateman, Boychuk has found herself more inspired by the natural beauty of her home in the Peace River valley. Her own appreciation for its rich natural beauty has increased as she regularly walks the local hills. She has begun to find herself on a quest to capture the distinctive light of the north. The long hours of sunshine and twilight at different times of year have caught her attention through the transient play of light on clouds, water and even snow.

Now, she finds, “Snow isn’t white in my mind. It’s pink, it’s blue, it’s peach, it’s purple.” She challenges herself to capture these vibrant colours in her own work, but without allowing her pieces to become a gaudy mess of colour. Instead, she wants people to become enchanted with the beauty of a piece without consciously realizing why.
“The light is the main thing I’m pursuing,” says Boychuk. “Before I would do a pond, and the subject would be the pond. Now it’s the lighting on the pond, and the pond. To make dynamic compositions with light, and realism – that is where I find peace and joy.”

Wolfboy, Stephen Kos

Stephen Kos

Stephen Kos also paints to show people beauty in places they usually ignore, but for him, beauty can be found in a salt stain on a bus floor. “There are universes there – uni- verses of intricate designs and depths,” he says.
Kos describes himself as “a bit of a surrealist,” a painter who uses familiar elements in unfamiliar and even fantastical ways. While there is humour in his paintings, it tends to be a black humour, a smile that shows sharp teeth. “I’m more interested in painting monsters than I am people or flowers,” he explains.

Although Kos is currently working on a series of children’s books featuring bright, colourful characters, the artist also taught art in Hong Kong for many years, and while there he held a solo show titled Fields and Monsters. It included a mini-monster series of paintings, with monsters of all types from cute to grotesque to threatening. His larger paintings on canvas tackled still more bogeyman, but took on subjects like evil and death.

Kos is a painter who brings the entire rich tapestry of child- hood imaginings to life. He understands the sense of joy and wonder we have as children goes hand-in-hand with a darker landscape, populated with fears and imagined dangers that still resonate with adults.

Runners, Lara Felsing

Lara Felsing

Painter and fashion designer Lara Felsing found herself be- coming more of a Peace River artist while living and working in another province. After growing up in Peace River, Felsing moved to Vancouver, where she received a Fashion Design Diploma at the Helen Lefeaux School of Fashion Design and a Bachelor of Fine Art from the Emily Carr Institute.

“The irony is that when I lived in Vancouver, a lot of my paint- ing series were themed after rural Alberta,” Felsing says. Her subjects became a birdhouse, or a bus in a snowbank. “I became enthralled with the colour of the Alberta sky, the co- lours of poplar trees. Imagery so obvious became foreign.”

Even her clothing designs expressed the same symbols for home. “At my last show in Vancouver, the theme was birds and buildings. I used stitching to represent railway tracks, and embroidery to represent flights of birds.”
Felsing has returned to painting and drawing as she’s re- turned to Peace River. Despite the fact she acknowledges drawing is almost a non-validated art form these days, for Felsing drawing will always be her first love. She finds draw- ing and painting more freeing than fashion design, since pattern drawing is a type of architecture of the body that can become almost mathematical.

Felsing says her recent work is a tribute to the simplicity of the every day, an attempt to capture “how little kids see things,” and then give that importance by placing it in an oil painting. Now that she is a parent, Felsing’s paintings have become permeated with nostalgia for a childlike sense of wonder, allowing a re-experiencing of childhood as an adult.


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Every Picture Tells a Story

Janet Enfield

[caption id="attachment_512" align="alignright" width="166" caption="Wisdom of the Ages, Janet Enfield"]" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://www.artofthepeace.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/jenfield.jpg"> " rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://www.artofthepeace.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/jenfield.jpg"> alt="" width="166" height="250" /> [/caption]There is a lot more to a Janet Enfield portrait than a face represented in two dimensions. Through her series, Wisdom of the Ages , Enfield is painting to express a legacy.No one under age 80 is included in the series, which will show at the Prairie Gallery in April. The Wembley artist started with portraits of her grandmother and grandmother’s sisters and since has expanded it to include a total of thirty portraits.In order to create a context for the paintings, which include the person and some images and colours that relate to their life story, Enfield visited her subjects, photographed them and asked them to fill out a questionnaire.“I wanted to find out their favourite colour, favourite fruit, favourite animal,” she says. “Even a saying they always say.” She also asked them what they miss about the past and what they like about now and tried to put those feelings into her 24”x36” portraits.Enfield admits that painting some portraits felt like a fight. “But when I’d be painting along and get lost, sometimes I’d look up and I could feel the person looking back at me,” she says, “that’s what really hooked me.”

Edward Bader

[caption id="attachment_511" align="alignright" width="196" caption="Mediate/Meditate, Edward Bader"]" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://www.artofthepeace.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/jenfield.jpg"> " rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://www.artofthepeace.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/jenfield.jpg"> alt="" width="196" height="250" /> [/caption]“I finally found a way to integrate drawing and love of colour,” says Grande Prairie artist Ed Bader of his recent series Mediate/Meditate .Based mainly on subjects Bader sketched on the bus or in public spaces, Mediate/Meditate shows us people going about their daily business while using cell phones, ipods or games.“I looked at their whole body language,” Bader explains. “They are communicating but oblivious to their surroundings.”Bader’s goal was to use a flat ground with patches of high key colour and add the linear elements last. “This is very much the reverse of most painting, “ he says. “As the consequence of thirty years of ink on paper, it was do or die by the drawing.”The greatest challenge of painting the series, which Bader spent a year or so creating, was to be accurate in terms of proportion and gesture. The ultimate reward was his sense that the colour and harmony worked. Mediate/Meditate , which was on display during November and December, 2009 in the Courtyard Gallery at QE II Hospital, Grande Prairie, consists of 4x5 foot acrylic canvasses and some small works, including watercolours built into multi-subject collages.

Darcy Jackson

[caption id="attachment_510" align="alignright" width="250" caption="Copperlily, Darcy Jackson"]" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://www.artofthepeace.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/jenfield.jpg"> " rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://www.artofthepeace.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/jenfield.jpg"> alt="" width="250" height="175" /> [/caption]Usually, Darcy Jackson has a lot of information about the subjects of her portraits, but her Copperlily series, which she has returned to again and again over the last 15 years, is based solely on visual impressions of a person she’s never met.“For a commission I talk to the person and find out their loves and passions,” she explains, “I want to know their philosophy of life and then show them their story illustrated.”Jackson, who now lives in Tumbler Ridge and is self-taught, began by painting portraits of young children. “At that time I lived on the West coast among families from different nationalities and I began to enhance the portraits with animals and imaginative images,” she says.The chance gift of a photo collection depicting Yukon natives connected Jackson to one subject in a very unexpected way. Over the years of painting Copperlily , Jackson began to notice that she was filling in the woman’s story without intending to.“I noticed that in my first painting the eyes have such pain. Seven years later there’s wisdom and acceptance,” Jackson says. “The third has such a sense of peace. Surely this is just a reflection of my own journey.”
8 years ago

Every Picture Tells a Story

Janet Enfield

[caption id="attachment_512" align="alignright" width="166" caption="Wisdom of the Ages, Janet Enfield"]" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://www.artofthepeace.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/jenfield.jpg"> " rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://www.artofthepeace.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/jenfield.jpg"> alt="" width="166" height="250" /> [/caption]There is a lot more to a Janet Enfield portrait than a face represented in two dimensions. Through her series, Wisdom of the Ages , Enfield is painting to express a legacy.No one under age 80 is included in the series, which will show at the Prairie Gallery in April. The Wembley artist started with portraits of her grandmother and grandmother’s sisters and since has expanded it to include a total of thirty portraits.In order to create a context for the paintings, which include the person and some images and colours that relate to their life story, Enfield visited her subjects, photographed them and asked them to fill out a questionnaire.“I wanted to find out their favourite colour, favourite fruit, favourite animal,” she says. “Even a saying they always say.” She also asked them what they miss about the past and what they like about now and tried to put those feelings into her 24”x36” portraits.Enfield admits that painting some portraits felt like a fight. “But when I’d be painting along and get lost, sometimes I’d look up and I could feel the person looking back at me,” she says, “that’s what really hooked me.”

Edward Bader

[caption id="attachment_511" align="alignright" width="196" caption="Mediate/Meditate, Edward Bader"]" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://www.artofthepeace.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/jenfield.jpg"> " rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://www.artofthepeace.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/jenfield.jpg"> alt="" width="196" height="250" /> [/caption]“I finally found a way to integrate drawing and love of colour,” says Grande Prairie artist Ed Bader of his recent series Mediate/Meditate .Based mainly on subjects Bader sketched on the bus or in public spaces, Mediate/Meditate shows us people going about their daily business while using cell phones, ipods or games.“I looked at their whole body language,” Bader explains. “They are communicating but oblivious to their surroundings.”Bader’s goal was to use a flat ground with patches of high key colour and add the linear elements last. “This is very much the reverse of most painting, “ he says. “As the consequence of thirty years of ink on paper, it was do or die by the drawing.”The greatest challenge of painting the series, which Bader spent a year or so creating, was to be accurate in terms of proportion and gesture. The ultimate reward was his sense that the colour and harmony worked. Mediate/Meditate , which was on display during November and December, 2009 in the Courtyard Gallery at QE II Hospital, Grande Prairie, consists of 4x5 foot acrylic canvasses and some small works, including watercolours built into multi-subject collages.

Darcy Jackson

[caption id="attachment_510" align="alignright" width="250" caption="Copperlily, Darcy Jackson"]" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://www.artofthepeace.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/jenfield.jpg"> " rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://www.artofthepeace.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/jenfield.jpg"> alt="" width="250" height="175" /> [/caption]Usually, Darcy Jackson has a lot of information about the subjects of her portraits, but her Copperlily series, which she has returned to again and again over the last 15 years, is based solely on visual impressions of a person she’s never met.“For a commission I talk to the person and find out their loves and passions,” she explains, “I want to know their philosophy of life and then show them their story illustrated.”Jackson, who now lives in Tumbler Ridge and is self-taught, began by painting portraits of young children. “At that time I lived on the West coast among families from different nationalities and I began to enhance the portraits with animals and imaginative images,” she says.The chance gift of a photo collection depicting Yukon natives connected Jackson to one subject in a very unexpected way. Over the years of painting Copperlily , Jackson began to notice that she was filling in the woman’s story without intending to.“I noticed that in my first painting the eyes have such pain. Seven years later there’s wisdom and acceptance,” Jackson says. “The third has such a sense of peace. Surely this is just a reflection of my own journey.”
8 years ago

Every Picture Tells a Story

Janet Enfield

[caption id="attachment_512" align="alignright" width="166" caption="Wisdom of the Ages, Janet Enfield"]" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://www.artofthepeace.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/jenfield.jpg"> " rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://www.artofthepeace.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/jenfield.jpg"> alt="" width="166" height="250" /> [/caption]There is a lot more to a Janet Enfield portrait than a face represented in two dimensions. Through her series, Wisdom of the Ages , Enfield is painting to express a legacy.No one under age 80 is included in the series, which will show at the Prairie Gallery in April. The Wembley artist started with portraits of her grandmother and grandmother’s sisters and since has expanded it to include a total of thirty portraits.In order to create a context for the paintings, which include the person and some images and colours that relate to their life story, Enfield visited her subjects, photographed them and asked them to fill out a questionnaire.“I wanted to find out their favourite colour, favourite fruit, favourite animal,” she says. “Even a saying they always say.” She also asked them what they miss about the past and what they like about now and tried to put those feelings into her 24”x36” portraits.Enfield admits that painting some portraits felt like a fight. “But when I’d be painting along and get lost, sometimes I’d look up and I could feel the person looking back at me,” she says, “that’s what really hooked me.”

Edward Bader

[caption id="attachment_511" align="alignright" width="196" caption="Mediate/Meditate, Edward Bader"]" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://www.artofthepeace.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/jenfield.jpg"> " rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://www.artofthepeace.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/jenfield.jpg"> alt="" width="196" height="250" /> [/caption]“I finally found a way to integrate drawing and love of colour,” says Grande Prairie artist Ed Bader of his recent series Mediate/Meditate .Based mainly on subjects Bader sketched on the bus or in public spaces, Mediate/Meditate shows us people going about their daily business while using cell phones, ipods or games.“I looked at their whole body language,” Bader explains. “They are communicating but oblivious to their surroundings.”Bader’s goal was to use a flat ground with patches of high key colour and add the linear elements last. “This is very much the reverse of most painting, “ he says. “As the consequence of thirty years of ink on paper, it was do or die by the drawing.”The greatest challenge of painting the series, which Bader spent a year or so creating, was to be accurate in terms of proportion and gesture. The ultimate reward was his sense that the colour and harmony worked. Mediate/Meditate , which was on display during November and December, 2009 in the Courtyard Gallery at QE II Hospital, Grande Prairie, consists of 4x5 foot acrylic canvasses and some small works, including watercolours built into multi-subject collages.

Darcy Jackson

[caption id="attachment_510" align="alignright" width="250" caption="Copperlily, Darcy Jackson"]" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://www.artofthepeace.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/jenfield.jpg"> " rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://www.artofthepeace.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/jenfield.jpg"> alt="" width="250" height="175" /> [/caption]Usually, Darcy Jackson has a lot of information about the subjects of her portraits, but her Copperlily series, which she has returned to again and again over the last 15 years, is based solely on visual impressions of a person she’s never met.“For a commission I talk to the person and find out their loves and passions,” she explains, “I want to know their philosophy of life and then show them their story illustrated.”Jackson, who now lives in Tumbler Ridge and is self-taught, began by painting portraits of young children. “At that time I lived on the West coast among families from different nationalities and I began to enhance the portraits with animals and imaginative images,” she says.The chance gift of a photo collection depicting Yukon natives connected Jackson to one subject in a very unexpected way. Over the years of painting Copperlily , Jackson began to notice that she was filling in the woman’s story without intending to.“I noticed that in my first painting the eyes have such pain. Seven years later there’s wisdom and acceptance,” Jackson says. “The third has such a sense of peace. Surely this is just a reflection of my own journey.”
8 years ago