BANFF – Capturing her awe of the Rocky Mountains through vibrant and detailed paintings, a Canmore-based artist will be making her gallery debut at the Botega Salon + Gallery next week.
Emily Beaudoin embodies the love of the great outdoors – an avid hiker and skier as an artist she has worked to establish a collection of pieces that capture her passion for the wild.
Her art is inspired by the “beautiful mountains” of the Bow Valley, marrying watercolour with pen and ink.
“I just love it because you can get all that beautiful defined detail as well as that loose-flowy paint look,” Beaudoin said.
Her collection of work will be on display in an exhibit titled Height of Land starting next Thursday (Dec. 12).
Beaudoin said she hopes people can appreciate the love of the mountains she conveys through her work and the need for environmental stewardship attached to that passion for the land.
“I huge part of my motivation as an artist is to help people feel that incredible love and sense of place,” Beaudoin said. “For me, I want to protect somewhere that I feel connected to, so when I draw or paint I feel very connected to it and my goal is to hopefully make a few other people feel that way.”
Most of the paintings she creates are based on the spectacular views that can be found in the Bow Valley area, she said. However, she recently added a series of paintings to her collection based on the Italian Alps after a trip to Italy and France over September and October.
“My motivation to travel is different mountain ranges to paint,” she said with a grin. “Anytime I’m outside I’m constantly thinking about how to paint it.”
She creates portraits of the mountains she encounters, using her two watercolour pallets to capture the feeling of being in the area and the conversation between her, the environment and her canvas.
“I can just throw them [my tools] in my backpack and bring them anywhere,” she said. “I ski and hike to most of these places to paint – I generally try and start painting when I’m out there … I’ll get up to a height of land and start the painting. I prefer to stay out there until I finish it.”
Beaudoin is gaining fame in the art world – she has had the opportunity to pursue art licensing with outdoor companies along with ski and snowboard top sheets, but her exhibit at Botega marks the first time her work has been displayed in a gallery.
It has taken years of work and experimentation to launch her debut art gallery exhibition, Beaudoin said, explaining that she hopes to see as many guests as possible stop in so she can share her passion with the community.
“I’m super excited,” Beaudoin said, adding that she cannot wait to unveil the star of her show – a beautifully inked black bear with the Rockies reflected in his eyes titled “Mountain in His Eyes.”
It has been challenging narrowing down the pieces that will be showcased at the exhibit, she said with a laugh, explaining that she has laid out all her creations around her home to hone in on around 30 paintings to display.
Beaudoin said it is an amazing feeling knowing that she will be able to share her passion with the world.
“I just did it [painting] because I love it,” Beaudoin said. “People have been so positive in reacting to my art over the past five or six years – it will be really cool to put it all out there for the world to see.”
Beaudoin dabbled in art classes while in junior high and high school she said, but for the most part, her skills have been self-taught and aided by encouragement from her family – many of whom have an artistic streak.
“It’s just been a lot of trial and error,” she said with a chuckle. “Officially this style came out one night in university. I stayed up all night drawing this moose because it made me feel good. This was an amazing dream – it's been amazing to see it building on itself.”
Beaudoin’s exhibition Height of Land will be debut next Thursday (Dec. 12). A reception will be held at the Botega Salon + Gallery from 7-9 p.m.