A self-portrait graphite drawing of Charles Keillor, whose work will be on display in the Cloakroom Gallery at the McMillan Arts Centre in Parksville until Dec. 23, 2021. (Submitted photo)

A self-portrait graphite drawing of Charles Keillor, whose work will be on display in the Cloakroom Gallery at the McMillan Arts Centre in Parksville until Dec. 23, 2021. (Submitted photo)

Nanaimo graphite artist displays work at McMillan Arts Centre in Parksville

Charles Keillor is drawn to relationship between humans and natural world

Graphite artist Charles Keillor from Nanaimo will have his work on display in the Cloakroom Gallery at the McMillan Arts Centre in Parksville until Dec. 23.

It is the first exhibit of Keillor’s work on Vancouver Island, following a month-long October show at the Gibsons Public Art Gallery.

Keillor’s art tends to focus on West Coast life and landscape, sometimes with an urban or industrial flair.

The digital display at the MAC showcases various themes across six monitors. Keillor said one focuses on Vancouver Island, another on portraits of people and another on his architectural work.

“​​The show, I think, really is to be a reflection of elements, of people. I like people to anticipate what might be going on in the picture. It might be a mystery (to them), but there might be some hope,” he said.

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Since moving to Nanaimo, Keillor said his artistic vision has grown to include various modes of transportation and their connection to infrastructure, architecture, the economy, lifestyle and the environment – both positively and sometimes negatively.

“I’ve focused more on landscape, but always with some sort of a human element component to it. If I’m going to do a natural landscape, I will want to put some sort of manmade component within there to show the relationship between the two,” he said.

Keillor describes his personal style as a blend between imagination and realism. Of his work that includes heavy natural elements, like trees and rocks, he tends to draw from imagination and less from photo-realistic reference, whereas his work with people or architecture will focus on realism.

Juxtaposing the two styles in a single image gives the natural world a ‘magical feel’ beyond human comprehension, he said.

Although graphite is his favourite medium, coming from an artistic family and studying fine art at Capilano University, Keillor has delved into other mediums but prefers a rougher black-and-white contrast.

mandy.moraes@pqbnews.com

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