Martha Ponting’s Tofino Sunset

Two artists, two visions, one stage

Gail Neuls and Martha Ponting at the Pearl Ellis Gallery

Voice and Vision is the upcoming exhibition by Comox Valley artists Gail Neuls and Martha Ponting at the Pearl Ellis Gallery in Comox, Feb. 2-21.

Neuls started as a realistic painter. Her art world opened to new horizons when she enrolled in North Island College and painted abstracts for the first time. She reveled in the freedom to be creative and to indulge her passion for colour and line. It was so exciting and inspiring as to be almost overwhelming.

Neuls now calls herself a ‘semi-abstract stylist’.  She turns a realistic photo into something unique using her love for colour and design, such as in her piece Helmcken Falls. With several requests for larger paintings, she is enjoying how the larger canvas enhances her particular style.

Bold and joyful acrylics, mixed media and collage are Ponting’s chosen media.  Her eclectic work ranges from realistic to abstract to whimsical.

Many of Ponting’s paintings, such as Tofino Sunset, reflect the artist’s deep spiritual connection with nature and her sensitivity to small wonders found there. Perhaps it is no surprise that she turns to the ever-changing natural realm to inspire and express her artistry, as shape, the interplay of light and shadow, and the rhythm of pattern are all nature’s gifts.

Ponting’s exploratory intuitive paintings are about story-telling and are open to different interpretations.

In this series, the artist’s inner voice is given free reign, with the result that the work on canvas responds to the artist’s intuitive inclinations and to the dictates of self-expression.

Ponting’s heritage buildings series is undoubtedly a reflection of her love of the farm life of her childhood.

Featuring old barns, this series captures the warmth of country life. Her trees series focuses on the majesty and mystique of Vancouver Island trees and the invitation the forest paths offer to come into their midst.

The artists’ works can be previewed at their websites: and

The opening reception, with refreshments and door prizes, will be held Saturday, Feb. 6 from 1-4 p.m. The draw for two small paintings will take place at 4 p.m.

The Pearl Ellis Gallery is located in Comox at 1729 Comox Ave. and is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday and from 1-4 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is free.


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