Courtenay artist Christine Boyer presents Alongside My Path: Native Wildflowers of Canada at Gallery Merrick from April 9 to 23. (Photo courtesy Christine Boyer)

Courtenay artist Christine Boyer presents Alongside My Path: Native Wildflowers of Canada at Gallery Merrick from April 9 to 23. (Photo courtesy Christine Boyer)

Island painter shows off the wildflowers of Western Canada in first solo show

Courtenay’s Christine Boyer presents floral exhibit at Nanaimo’s Gallery Merrick

Courtenay artist Christine Boyer has set out to document on canvas the native wildflowers of Canada and she’s unveiling the first paintings in that series in Nanaimo this month.

From April 9 to 23, Boyer presents Alongside My Path: Native Wildflowers of Canada at Gallery Merrick. It’s her first solo show and the first time she’s created a body of work connected to a theme. She said she’s normally “all over the place, subject-wise.”

“I really just allow myself to be influenced or inspired by anything that I see and I go for it,” Boyer said. “So this is the very first time that I have forced myself to do a series and that was scary but the product has been great and it’s been a really good learning experience.”

For the series Boyer had to educate herself about Canadian flora, and in her research she discovered that flowers she grew up with and loved and remembered from her travels were not actually native to Canada at all.

“A lot of the flowers that you see along the side of the road or a lot of the ones that you consider wildflowers were actually brought over by ships,” Boyer said. “So there’s a very interesting dialogue that can happen around indigenous plants and a whole conversation that can happen about colonialism.”

This portion of the series will feature flowers from B.C., Alberta, the Yukon and Ontario. While they aren’t normally seen blooming at the same time, the flowers in the show will be bunched together geographically in five-by-five-feet bouquets. As a trained theatre scene painter, Boyer is used to working large-scale and said some of her other paintings are as big as 10-by-12 feet.

“When you paint sets, everything is very big and dramatic,” she said.

Boyer said the larger canvases allow viewers to get a better look at some of flowers and experience them differently than they would in nature.

“A lot of the prettiest wildflowers are so small. They’re very, very tiny,” Boyer said. “So I was able to really play with scale, so make the tiny ones as big in the bouquets so you could really see what they are.”

Boyer said her floral paintings have evoked feelings of nostalgia and childhood memories in some of the people who have seen them so far.

“A lot of that is because we’re not allowed to touch the plants that are in our mom’s garden,” she said with a laugh. “But as a kid you’re allowed to touch and you’re allowed to experience the wildflowers.”

WHAT’S ON … Christine Boyer presents Alongside My Path: Native Wildflowers of Canada at Gallery Merrick, 13B Commercial St., from April 9 to 23. Virtual reception on April 9 at 7 p.m. on the gallery’s Instagram and Facebook pages.

RELATED: Collage artist presents arctic glamour in live-streamed Nanaimo exhibit

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo city council voted unanimously Monday to pass a bylaw establishing the foundation for a new downtown business improvement association. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
City of Nanaimo adopts bylaw to create new downtown business improvement association

Chamber of commerce says next steps will be a board of directors and five-year strategic plan

Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district teachers’ union, and its counterparts from Mount Arrowsmith district, seek stricter COVID-19 rules. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith teachers’ union asks health authority for stricter COVID-19 measures

Teachers ask for vaccine, more online learning, mask mandate for primary students

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
Island Health seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

VIHA says Chakalaka Bar and Grill also violating water and sewer regulations with RV hook-ups

Nanaimo Fire Rescue investigator Mark Jonah probes the scene of a blaze that destroyed two apartments on Sunday, April 18. The cause of the blaze has not been determined. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
UPDATE: RCMP say Wakesiah Avenue fire was arson, suspect has been arrested

35-year-old man arrested for allegedly starting fire lived in the complex

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

The City of Nanaimo will further investigate an initiative to set up two 12-cabin sites to create transitional emergency housing for people experiencing homelessness. (Black Press file photo)
City of Nanaimo will ask for expressions of interest to operate tiny cabin sites

Staff expresses concern about workload, councillor says sheltering people must take priority

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Christy Clark, who was premier from 2011 to 2017, is the first of several present and past politicians to appear this month before the Cullen Commission, which is investigating the causes and impact of B.C.’s money-laundering problem over the past decade. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Christy Clark says she first learned of money-laundering spike in 2015

The former B.C. premier testified Tuesday she was concerned the problem was ‘apparently at an all-time high’

Police executed a search warrant at the Devils Army Clubhouse on Petersen road in Campbell River on August 10, 2017.
Murder trial into 2016 Campbell River killing underway in Victoria

Ricky Alexander is charged with the first-degree murder of John Dillon Brown

Pat Kauwell, a semi-retired construction manager, lives in his fifth-wheel trailer on Maxey Road because that’s what he can afford on his pension, but a Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw prohibits using RVs as permanent dwellings, leaving Kauwell and others like him with few affordable housing options. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Housing crunch or not, it’s illegal to live in an RV in Nanaimo

Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw forcing pensioner to move RV he calls home off private farm land

Most Read