Fernie artist opens exhibit in Kimberley

Laura Nelson displays her mountain inspired paintings at Centre 64.

Centre 64 will host Fernie artist Laura Nelson for the month in just her second journey outside of her community to show off her artwork.

An opening reception was be held Saturday, and the exhibit will run in the gallery from September 4 to 29.

Nelson said her artwork is inspired by the mountain scenes around Fernie, which she paints using bright colours.

“I’m from Fernie which is an amazing place for inspiration,” she said.

She has previously exhibited her work in Rossland, and this will only be the second time in her seven years of painting that she has exhibited her work outside of Fernie.

Laura said her goal is to connect people to the wild places around them, and she hopes she can do that through her pieces. She was recently invited to show her work in Kimberley, and Laura decided it was time to take her show on the road.

Right now her work is being shown at several galleries in Fernie, and Laura said the tourism culture in that city has seen her pieces fly off the walls.

“I can’t keep up,” she said. “Things are going well.”

Laura has recently switched to full-time painting – a dream many artists wish for. Laura said she and her husband use the money she earns to travel, which in turn provides inspiration for pieces completing a creative circle. Her favourite place to be is immersed in nature.

“I have a hard time getting out of the forest,” she said.

Laura enjoys painting mountains, ridge walks, water and more out of acrylic. She would love to spend more time in nature actually painting but said acrylic paint isn’t really conducive to that style as it dries out quickly. Instead, she will do pastel sketches with the scene in front of her eyes and then move back to her studio to complete the piece in paint.

It’s only been seven years since Laura decided to pick up the paint brush, but she says she’s always been around art.

“I sort of got it from my mother, just like I did my green eyes and black hair,” she said.

After deciding to get started, Laura said she’s had great opportunities to work with great Canadian artists to learn the trade, but she is mostly self taught.

A few of the pieces to be shown at the Centre 64 gallery are already sold, but the exhibit will run until the end of the month.