Up close and personal with Nature’s best 

Who: Karen Love

What: Meet the Artist

Where: MY Place

When: Thursday, July 17 6 to 8 p.m.

It’s not often young kids get to hang out with the legends of their time but Karen Love did. The Pemberton artist, graphic designer, furniture maker and mother of two, spent her early years peering over the shoulder of the great A.Y. Jackson, who was part of a famous movement of painters that put Canadian landscapes and colours on the map in the last century.

The octogenarian painter just happened to live nearby a young Love in Kleinburg, Ontario.

"He was the last remaining member of the Group of Seven," remembered Love. "I was barely nine years-old and I was just fascinated by this very old man who used to sketch and let us all sit with him in his gallery. He could look at something and just feel the texture in it, applying it to his art with such ease. He was incredible"

The young girl was hooked on art forever more and thus began her "great love and an appreciation for expressing nature’s fundamentals though art," she said.

"I’m all about the grandeur of natural landscapes." And Love’s not wrong on that one. Almost all of her paintings are an average three to five feet high and equally as wide. The colours are breathtaking and her broad brushstrokes capture dimensions in nature that one may not have seen before. Whether she’s painting up close and personal perspectives of wild flowers or sweeping, majestic mountain scenes, Love’s work is larger than life and a focal point for any room.

An impressive collection of Love’s work is currently gracing the walls of the MY Place Gallery, upstairs in the theatre’s main lobby. The free exhibition is a must for anyone with an eye for colour and her pieces demand a second look.

Since moving to Pemberton, the college-trained designer said her work has gone from strength to strength. "I spend a lot of time on our property just wandering with the kids. I always discover natural beauty not only in the mountains around us but in the field, the pond and the gardens. Colours and geometric shapes are so exciting to observe through the different seasons here," she said. ‘Kids too are such great observers and love to spend time looking at nature’s minutest details. That’s what I like to capture — a closer look at life done in a simplified way."

Karen Love’s "Natural Dimensions" collection will be on display daily until July 31. A public reception with the artist will be held this Thursday, July 17 from 6 to 8 p.m. Love also has her own gallery in Pemberton. For viewing times, phone 604-894-5558.

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