At the curated exhibit “Seeds of Inspiration” at the McBride Library/Museum last Friday night, Sheilagh Foster gently read to all those present an adapted quote from Rebekah Joy Plett:

“When you buy something from an artist you are buying more than an object. You’re buying hundreds of hours of errors and experimentation. You’re not buying just one thing, you are buying a piece of heart, a piece of soul… a small piece of someone else’s life.”

Pieces of beautiful art by painters (in acrylic, watercolor and oil), felters and other local artists from the Whistle Stop Gallery were on display at the library, where some of the creators themselves came to meet the public and talk about what inspires them. And what inspires them is also what brought and kept many of us here, in the beautiful Robson Valley – the mountains with silvery peaks, the sweet meadows, wide spaces and landscapes, as well as the rich agricultural life and history. Seven artists exhibited their work: Bob Fredrickson, Glen Frear, David Marchant, Sheilagh Foster, Alecsandra Scott, Hugh Perkins and Kathie Juncker (the last two representing the “Forestfelters”).

David Marchant has entertained us with his witty cartoons for many years. With a big, warm smile, he tells me how art has been very important to him throughout his life, but he could not settle on only one kind of art. He has been a musician and photographer since the 1960’s. After decades of taking photos, he realized that as he was aiming his camera, in the back of his mind he was thinking “This would make a nice subject for a painting.”

Two years into retirement he started to paint, and his first subject was a cabbage. I cannot agree with him more when he says that he loves nature and believes he can’t improve on what nature creates. So he paints subjects from nature and describes his style as “segmented realism”. You see, there is a curious trick with his style and you need to learn from him about it: his paintings look photographic when viewed from a distance, but from up close you can see there is a grid of individually painted square segments. He preserves the tones but changes subtly the colors…

Alecsandra (Sasha) Scott has lived in Canada since 2006. Her favorite subjects are simple in form, and inspired from nature. Trained as an agronomist in her native country, she has always worked and lived close to plants, especially flowers. Her pumpkins are gorgeously fat, orange and …endless! Sasha is planning to teach art classes in McBride and other places, and enjoys the rural life that is so inspirational to her.

A warm welcoming from the hosts, good taste and high quality art contributed to a most pleasant evening last Friday at the library. I surely was glad I took the time to be there.