Nelly Kazenbroot's painting Just Below Heaven will be part of her exhibit at the downtown Nanaimo Art Gallery until Oct. 10.

Nelly Kazenbroot's painting Just Below Heaven will be part of her exhibit at the downtown Nanaimo Art Gallery until Oct. 10.

Acrylic paintings brighten gallery

Nelly Kazenbroot seems to have the alchemist’s touch.

Nelly Kazenbroot seems to have the alchemist’s touch.

Like the fabled men who claimed to turn lead into gold, Kazenbroot’s paintings combine what seem like incompatible elements.

The lightness of air, the colour of the earth and the forms of living creatures are brought together to create something new.

The results are strengthened by the combination of opposites:  two-dimensional backgrounds compliment three-dimensional foregrounds, realistic imagery enriches the fantastic and historical art references imbue contemporary subject matter with richness and depth.

Kazenbroot’s artwork is inspired by a lifelong love of historic art and a fascination with modern surreal creations.

She grew up on the outskirts of Toronto and in Qualicum Beach, and became a multi-disciplinary artist while attending Malaspina College and the University of Victoria. Her award-winning poetry has been published in literary magazines across Canada.

Running simultaneously is Denise MacNeill’s show. MacNeill paints in acrylics and is primarily a self-taught painter with a background in fine arts, commercial art, weaving and crafts.

Known for her portraits of arbutus trees and now captivated by firs, she is influenced by the hours spent walking through her favourite Nanaimo parks.

The shows are on display at the downtown Nanaimo Art Gallery until Oct. 10.

For more information, please call 250-754-1750 or visit www.nanaimoartgallery.com.