Wild Canada in the frame 

Wild and Sacred Places exhibition opens at the Mountain Galleries

click to enlarge PHOTO SUBMITTED - Plein Air Artist Charlie Easton captures Black Tusk.
  • Photo Submitted
  • Plein Air Artist Charlie Easton captures Black Tusk.

The majesty of the Canadian wilderness goes indoors at a new exhibition at The Mountain Galleries in the Fairmont Chateau Whistler.

Wild and Sacred Places, a group exhibition featuring paintings by Nicholas Bott, Brent Lynch and Charlie Easton, begins Jan. 10 with a special opening from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The show runs for a week.

Gallery manager Liz Peacock says the importance of doing the show had to do with the talents of three artists.

"All three artists are complimentary. They're all Canadian artists. Nicholas and Brent are well established," Peacock says.

"They are people who love their work and create true representations of Canadian landscape and they all enjoy plein air painting, so they get out there into the wilds of Canadian landscape and experience it. They put it on canvas for people to enjoy."

New Westminster artist Nicholas Bott, who was born in Holland, says he uses his Dutch compatriot Vincent Van Gogh as an inspiration — while the 19th-century genius painted the countryside, he wasn't exactly known for his mountainscapes.

"He is my first inspiration. I start with black outlines and a strong shape, then I fill it in with bright colour," Bott says.

He has 14 paintings in Wild and Sacred Places. The joint show is his first with Mountain Galleries after joining them as an artist eight years ago.

Bott was largely self taught, but also studied at the Creative School of Art in Chicago. He lived for many years in Smithers, and from there was able to access the Rocky Mountains in northern B.C.

Working as a painting contractor with his brother at the time, they would take on jobs in remote places, giving him access to remote mountains to paint.

"I'm always trying to produce something new, always trying to make a fusion between my own artistic interpretation and an end result that is pleasing to the eye," Bott says.

"In nature it never really is perfect. I create my paintings using my own interpretation of a location."

Charlie Easton is considered the emerging artist of the trio.

Now 35, he moved to British Columbia from Britain in 2006, after having studied both at the Slade School of Fine Art and Emily Carr University. This makes him a relative newbie, but his star is on the ascendancy.

He has worked with Lynch, going on painting expeditions around B.C. and beyond.

"The others are super established," he says. "I am incredibly honoured to be featured with two of my idols. Brent is a bit of legend in the illustration game; he did a lot of graphic works for Whistler Blackcomb back in the day. And Nick has been known for his work for a long time. Both are an inspiration to me."

Easton spent last summer exploring and painting in Haida Gwaii, The Great Bear Rainforest and the Purcell Mountains.

Prior to the show's opening, Easton also spent a week as artist in residence at the Fairmont.


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