Denise MacNeill has walked the same Nanaimo trails thousands of times over the last 28 years, and each time she sees something new.
“There is so much beauty out there in nature, it stops me dead in my tracks,” the Nanaimo-based painter said, “So I just come home to my studio and let all that out onto canvas.”
MacNeill is showcasing some of her most recent oil and acrylic nature scenes this month at Art 10 Gallery. An opening reception for her show, Parks and Paths, takes place on Saturday, Dec. 8.
The paintings depict parts of local parks, like Westwood Lake and Buttertubs Marsh, as well as gulf islands like Hornby and Quadra.
“I find people paint what they’re used to,” MacNeill said. “If I lived in a city I’d paint more people and buildings and cars, I think. And if I was a big gardener I’d probably do more flowers. I do a lot of hiking and just absorb nature.”
MacNeill’s interest in art and the outdoors date back to her childhood in Ontario, where she attended summer camp in Algonquin Park, portaging and canoeing the same lakes that inspired the Group of Seven nearly a century ago.
MacNeill has a personal connection to those artists – she said Tom Thomson’s girlfriend used to babysit her father, who later became a painter himself.
WHAT’S ON … Opening reception for Denise MacNeill’s Parks and Paths at Art 10 Gallery on Saturday, Dec. 8 from 2 to 4 p.m. Show continues until Dec. 30.