When painter Mary Ann Fleming moved from Northern Ontario to Vancouver Island, one of the first things she noticed was the prevalence of hanging flower baskets.
“We didn’t have these and when I came to B.C. that was the first thing that really struck me,” she said. “There were hanging baskets everywhere.”
Hanging baskets became Fleming’s muse and for the month of November she’s presenting her latest body of work, Ode to Hanging Baskets, at Art 10 Gallery. She will be present on Nov. 12 and 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to meet with visitors and discuss her work.
Fleming said she was moved to paint flower baskets because “they’re very delightful, they’re colourful [and] they make people smile.”
The exhibit also includes a collection of painted rocks, which Fleming described as a “COVID project” she was able to work on during the pandemic.
“I try not to pick them up in people’s yards because they kind of frown on it,” she said. “But most of these are from the Nanaimo River, just along the edge.”
The paintings in the show are based off of photographs Fleming took while visiting downtown Chemainus 10 years ago. She said there was an impressive display of flower baskets.
“They were over-the-top and I’ve never seen them that good since,” she said.
Fleming uses acrylic and watercolour paint and mixed media in her work, and the paintings range from realistic to more abstract.
“As artists, as we do a series things change. Each one kind of progresses into the other. So it’s a progression from realism to impressionism,” she explained.
WHAT’S ON … Mary Ann Fleming presents Ode to Hanging Baskets at Art 10 Gallery, Nanaimo North Town Centre, until the end of November.