Fresh canvases lined the walls of Inside Out Fernie Wellness as a double headlining art show made its debut on Saturday, June 6.
Artistic Fernie transplants Aidan Lindsay and Kathy Stead’s nature paintings were received well by the large number of art lovers who dropped by to view their exhibit.
Lindsay, a Winnipeg-born artist, has been painting for the last seven years.
Self-taught, the young artist said that her nature pieces are different than most due to the dark and emotive feelings they invoke.
“I like to do a twist on typical landscapes and do something different with them,” said Lindsay. “I think there’s an underlying darkness to my pieces that really makes you look into them a little more and question them.”
Tapping into emotion is precisely what Lindsay set out to do with her pieces, for each of her canvases was paired with a short story.
“I had this idea awhile ago to bring more depth to paintings through writing. It brings out the character in the painting so when you read about it you can immerse yourself in the image of the painting,” explained Lindsay of the creative decision.
In the future, Lindsay hopes to build paintings based off of stories in the future rather than writing words to suit her paintings after the fact.
Stead, a longtime resident of Fernie for 30 years originally had her roots in Thunder Bay, ON. Now, she spends much of her time in the studio adjacent to her home or out in Fernie’s plentiful nature creating paintings en plein air.
Having spent decades being inspired by nature, as is a trademark of many Fernie painters, Stead said that her present style has shifted into a markedly more expressive manner.
“I’m trying to do less representational and landscape pieces and more interpretive paintings,” said Stead. “My style was very realistic for quite a few years and I’m trying to do more evocative things now. I think that to me that’s where art should be explored. With art there’s soul and I don’t want my art to look like a photograph anymore I want it to look like art.”
She added, “You always put a bit of yourself into any of the paintings you create and now my present paintings aren’t just direct representations of nature, they’re how I view nature and how I interpret it.”
Stead cites a painting of butterflies as a cornerstone piece of her new style and one of the paintings she was most proud of.
“I want to highlight my love of nature and my more expressive pieces more. I think I’m most proud of my butterflies. I had a tough time with that one, it changed many times over the course of me painting it as I wanted the butterflies to be immersed deeply into the grass. But because that one was so difficult to finish I think I’m most proud of it,” she said.
Lindsay and Stead’s paintings will be on display at Fernie Wellness until July 31.