Curated by Ron Ulrich of the Fernie Museum. James Snell/The Free Press

Fernie landscape artist inspires with light

The Fernie Museum’s current exhibit is a pop-up show and sale for artists of the Fernie Visual Guild. The goal of the exhibit is to show diversity through art, “examining ‘unlikeness’ and difference in the way they see and experience the outside world. Through a collaborative process, the artists of the guild support and encourage each other in developing their own unique styles and diverse viewpoints.”

The show’s curation, by Fernie Museum executive director Ron Ulrich and staff, is as beautiful as the art itself – and that’s saying a lot – warming the heart and soul in preparation for cold weather ahead. Local artist Jean Marchi brought her brand of mood altering landscapes to the exhibit. Her work utilizes a balance of shade and light that transports the viewer into other-world natural experiences. Marchi’s description of the show is nothing less than relaxing. On Saturday, November 16, she conducted an art demo at the exhibit, talking participants through the creation of an acrylic landscape painting.

“I’ve been doing art on and off my entire life,” she said. “In the last three years I’ve dedicated more time to become more committed in my art. Today was a demonstration for people who might be interested in doing art.”

Marchi’s demonstration painting was first started at Island Lake Lodge. It is a view of Big White, which is to the right of Three Bears.

“It was early in the morning…I probably started the painting around eight o’clock,” she explained. “And the clouds were just starting to lift. So the story I’m trying to tell in this painting is Big White waking up. The lifting of the clouds and sunlight starting to hit the trees.”

Creating feeling of the weighty clouds and the heaviness of sleep was Marchi’s purpose for the demo.

“Contrasted with the brightness and energy that comes when the sun starts to hit the trees and the snow,” she said. “I love working with shadows. But in this case, the shadows on top are much softer and cooler because the light is cooler. On the bottom they are a little more graphic.”

Marchi said that defining the trees in her painting was another goal for the day.

“Starting to get some of that light coming in so you can see which direction the light is coming from,” she explained. “Before it was just flat, now you can see a little more of the light that is coming in. And that will evolve further.”

The demo was attended by guild members, those seeking art mentorship, and walk-ins.

“I was really pleased to see a number of people who came in off the street to see the exhibit,” she said.

“The theme for the exhibit is nature. And the museum does a great job…beautifully curated…very professionally presented.”

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