All Over the Place is Comox artist Ruth Rae’s first solo show and a tribute to the spectacular surroundings in which we live.
A West Coaster from birth, she finds joyful inspiration in nature at every turn and captures that by studying it in daily forays into the nooks and crannies of the Comox Valley.
To her, sharing that inspiration by creating visual art makes joyful sense.
She hopes that by internalizing her surroundings and then allowing those impressions to be recreated she is serving her town and reflecting the values of her community. Favourite spots include Mack Laing Park, Goose Spit, Kye Bay, Royston waterfront, and Macdonald Wood.
Rae is a mainly self-taught artist who had a distracting yet interesting career in legal work for some 20 years, so she’s playing catch-up and loving it, proving art skills are not a matter of age but more of determination and passion.
Working daily on careful observation, sketching, colour, value and tone is an important aspect of artistic expression and she now realizes that those aspects combined with letting go of mind-made goals are key to her work, although planning ahead is a necessary and important part of the process.
Planning ahead in terms of art, for her, has not come naturally but by doing so and creating an overall vision before putting implement to paper she is able to convey the reverence for nature she feels and is eager to share.
Her choice of mediums include pencil, ink, watercolour, acrylic, and her favourite, pastel.
She discovered that pastels offer colour-mixing choices that other mediums don’t, and that, combined with their inherent glow, makes them a delightful choice for landscapes and portraits alike.
Ink work includes colourable posters based on the flora of Mac Wood and the shores of beaches surrounding the Town of Comox and other local areas.
Also on display are a selection of Tuscany village scenes where she travelled on a “trip of a lifetime” to join with other artists and bask in the warmth of the surrounding hillside towns to take in and capture the beauty found there.
Rae describes the detailed pastel pencil strokes that she uses to create some of her landscapes as being completely immersive to the point that time stands still. She recalls taking several lessons with Comox artist Sandi Lamb, who encouraged her to create work for a show – the idea seemed a distant dream, and here she is with her very own show.
A Meet and Greet on Saturday, Jan. 17 from 1-4 p.m. will be the official opening of Ruth Rae’s exhibit at the Pearl Ellis Gallery in Comox. The gallery is located at 1729 Comox Ave. and is open Tuesday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.