I’ve been painting, showing and selling my work for many years now. I’ve had active status
in the Federation of Canadian Artists since 1986. I majored in Art until graduation in school, took Education at UBC and moved from Vancouver to Port Alberni when I got married. After three children arrived I took two years of college courses in painting and drawing at North Island College, then moved on and attended the FCA summer school on Salt Spring Island for four years. I spent sixteen years privately teaching drawing and painting to children which I have been retired from for several years. At home in Port Alberni, my studio where I paint overlooks a beautiful and extensive garden on three acres and is named appropriately, “Country Gardens Studio.” This year in March I was thrilled to receive my associate signature status with the FCA.
I paint mainly in watercolor, however, I also enjoy working in graphite and acrylics as well. I have painted many landscapes and house portraits but the bulk of my work is inspired by the abundant flowers in our garden. Downstairs in my home the walls of my gallery are lined with paintings.
I like to paint flowers for different reasons. Some are auto biographical, some are visual metaphors and some are just plain fun. The circle paintings of flowers were both challenging and enjoyable. The challenge was to incorporate a design in both color and line that would flow and complement the original image in a pleasing and cohesive way. I love to include in my paintings elements that tell a story. Some of my house portraits evolved into designs that spoke beyond the surface elements. The last show that I did two years ago in Port Alberni combined poetry with my paintings. Interpreting the poems on the surface of watercolor paper was a different and new invitation to create and in many instances became a personal record of my thoughts and ideas. My latest series are mandelas, an art form I fell in love with when my husband and I were in Yuma where we stay for the winter months. I love the design aspect of them as well as incorporating symbols and shapes that become visual poetry.
Added to my painting experience I now have two new books published this year. Both have been written and illustrated by me. The first one is “Across a Prairie Sky”, a novel for young people about a fourteen year old girl and her horse, Nell. It was inspired by stories my Mom told me about growing up on the prairies in the 1920’s. The second one is “Ronald and Donald”, a story written in rhyme about two cats that are brothers for young children aged 1-7 years. Doing the illustrations for both of them was another challenge but one that I thoroughly enjoyed. You can visit me at my website: www.karenepoirier.com