Saturday, April 5, 2008

April--Flora and Fauna


Flora and Fauna

A curvaceous slash of hot pink feathers greets you as you step into the room, the boa in its own way, with colour and natural medium, both separating and uniting the work of two painters, Sharon Blythe and J'nia Fowler, sharing the exhibition space with their Flora and Fauna.

Sharon's bold and exuberant "phat fairies" frolic in a martini glass, lounge in the pink luxury of petals in "Sleepy Afternoon" and "Catching a Few Rays". Her exquisite watercolour flora--lilies, hydrangea, thistle, grapes, as well as the matted paintings of bamboo and exotic birds--are a Canadian fusion, extrapolating upon the single-stroke Chinese brush painting style. Greeting cards of Sharon's work make her art accessible to everyone.

The flora theme repeats in J'nia Fowler's colourful northern landscapes where Van Gogh meets the Group of Seven. In these fifteen new acrylic paintings, she captures stormy skies, snowscapes, light, sunset, but also movement, emotion, mood. Her brush strokes suggest rather than replicate; her trees would make a grapple-hook want to hug instead. As a viewer, you know you want one of these canvases; you just cannot decide which to pick. The rapid development of J'nia's style since her last exhibit has commentators insisting that we will all be saying "I knew her when . . . "

Flora and Fauna inhabits the Backroom of the Hope Arts Gallery, Hope, BC from April 1to April 28, 2008.