Loretta Douglas, a featured artist at the Agassiz Monday Painters 57th Anniversary Art Show, holds up one of her favourite pieces, drawn from a wintery scene she captured in Harrison. (Nina Grossman/The Observer)

Local talent to be displayed at 57th Anniversary Art Show

Agassiz Monday Painters prepare for yearly event

The Agassiz Monday Painters are preparing to show off the work of their talented members at the upcoming 57th Anniversary Art Show at the Agassiz United Church.

Artists will set up some of their best pieces to display, with one taking centre stage as a featured artist.

This year that artist is Loretta Douglas, an Agassiz woman who’s been painting her whole life and a member of the Monday Painters since 2008.

Douglas said she had to take a hiatus from art before coming back to it later in life.

“When I was a teenager I took art all through high school. When I went to work full time and [started] raising kids at the same time – there was no time [to paint.] So just a couple years ago before we retired I took a couple watercolour sessions in Pitt Meadows.”

After the lessons, Douglas was hooked. The most definitive thing about her art? The variety. Her approach to art is an unusual departure from many artists who stick to a preferred medium or subject.

Douglas uses ink, acrylics, pastels and watercolours to create landscapes, nature, abstracts and more. Flipping through an album of her work, the most striking element is the lack of uniformity. She seems to be drawn to nature’s details, like the intricacy of certain patterns or the richness of certain colours.

With her miniature schanuzer, Jake, at her feet, Douglas points out one of her most recent pieces, dark shadows of ovular leaves against a rainbow-lit background.

“The sun shon right through our sun catcher,” she said, pointing to the prism of glass suctioned to the kitchen window. “The prism went right through onto that wall so I just took a picture.”

Some of her other pieces feature things like a tree-shrouded walkway near Cheam Village, dying cottonwood leaves at her cabin in the Cariboo District, bright bushels of fuschia magnolias in Vancouver, a muted winter sunset and even some abstract ammonites – an extinct group of marine mollusc animals – in swaths of blues and reds.

While she is certainly inspired by the natural world, Douglas sets no rules for herself on what she can paint or how she will paint it.

The only thing missing from her work? A painting of Mount Cheam. But Douglas said it’s on her list.

The Agassiz Monday Painters are a group of local artists that meet weekly to create everything from folk art to traditional landscapes. The Anniversary Art Show is on Saturday, April 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Agassiz United Church at 6860 Lougheed Highway. Admission is free for the public and refreshments will be available.

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