When Patricia Mansell heads out into nature, she’s on a mission. She is looking for something worth shooting.
“I am hunting for certain animals,” Mansell said.
Once the Nanaimoite has found the specific animal she’s looking for, which can range from geese to ducks to surf scoters, she takes aim.
“When I come across it I am watching it closely,” Mansell said.
But Mansell isn’t looking through the scope of a rifle or down the barrel of a shotgun, she’s looking through the viewfinder of a camera.
“That’s part of the enjoyment,” she said. “You get into the bird itself and you get into the environment of it.”
By photographing animals in their nature surroundings, Mansell is then able to portray them in paintings.
“I am never looking at a blank canvas,” she said. “I am always looking at it as a finished piece.”
Mansell is this month’s featured artist at the Art 10 Gallery, which is located inside Nanaimo North Town Centre. Her exhibit, titled Feathers, features nine paintings of birds in their natural habitat.
“Animals specifically draw me because they are the heartbeat of nature,” she said.
Mansell was born in Kent, United Kingdom and moved to Alberta in 1981 and began painting in 1994.
“I never had the opportunity to be involved in art,” Mansell said. “But when I came to Canada in 1981 and saw Robert Bateman’s work my jaw just hit the floor.”
Mansell, who moved to Nanaimo in 2011, mainly uses acrylics. Her work has exhibited throughout Alberta and she is a signature member of the Federation of Canadian Artists and the Artists for Conservation, a Canadian non-profit organization that represents more than 500 artists including Robert Bateman and promotes wildlife conservation through art and education.
“Just to be a part of that is absolutely wonderful and I am very, very honoured to be a signature member,” Mansell said.
Recently, Mansell received an honourable mention from the Federation of Canadian Artists Arrowsmith Chapter for her piece, Shoreline Chorus (Stellar Sea Lions).
Mansell’s exhibition runs until the end of the month.
For more information, please visit www.myartclub.com or call the gallery at 250-756-6136.