Walking into Studio Connexion Gallery, the eye is assaulted with the colour green as it takes in scenes of branches, leaves, and cliffsides.
The paintings are part of “West Coast Rainforest,” the current exhibition at the studio, by artist Kate Marlowe.
Marlowe lives on the north shore of Vancouver, but comes back to Nakusp every summer to visit with family. Art is something Marlowe has always been interested in from elementary school straight up to university, where it really became her passion.
“When I got into university I wasn’t expecting it to be an option for a career and it kind of got thrown at me,” she said.
Marlowe did a studio art program, where she learned drawing, painting, sculpting, and printmaking. She currently works as a graphic designer, and does painting on the side.
She draws inspiration for her paintings from her surroundings. Living on the north shore, she is surrounded by nature. She also draws inspiration from impressionist artists like Tom Thomson, the Group of Seven, and Emily Carr.
Attendants of the gallery’s reception were impressed with Marlowe and her work.
“They’re very loose, and the use of paint is very generous,” said Roberta Whitfield. “It takes time to get that under control. This is very free work, and you don’t get that way overnight.”
At 21, Marlowe is the youngest artist to be featured at Studio Connexion. Having her work shown there almost seemed to be kismet. Her mother Teresa Anton used to bring her to the gallery when she was younger. At one point, Teresa mentioned to Anne Beliveau, the owner of Studio Connexion that Marlowe painted and that she was quite good. After viewing some of her work, Beliveau decided to invite Marlowe to do a show.
Beliveau loves her work.
“I’m a landscape lover, and what she conveys on the canvas is pretty amazing,” she said. “She looks like she has more experience than she does. I think her youth and her talent appealed to me.”
“West Coast Rainforest” will be at Studio Connexion from June 28 to July 16.