From now through the end of July, the Sidewalk Gallery in Ashcroft is featuring a display of works by Cache Creek artist Sharon Rennie.
Some of her art has been on show there in the past, as part of a larger exhibit from the Ashcroft Art Club, but this is her first solo display at the gallery. Rennie calls it a retrospective, with a mix of old and new works, noting that some of her more recent artwork shows her branching off in a new direction: monoprinting.
The process involves putting paint on a gel plate and then making designs in it, taking some of the paint off, or using it as a background.
“I’ve been doing that on my canvasses to get a background; then I paint whatever I want to paint over that,” she explains.
Rennie, who is largely self-taught, began with watercolour as her medium of choice, then switched mostly to acrylic paint. “That’s the kind of creator I am. I get bored easily and want to try new things.
“I’d seen another artist doing monoprinting, and thought I’d like to try that, so I started learning my way through it.”
She’s also an artist who is not interested in painting a whole series of the same thing: “I like to paint what I feel at the time. At the moment I like painting figures, people in motion. I’m not a portrait painter.”
She has been painting since she was in her twenties, when she did a workshop in watercolours. “I’ve always been interested in art, but I didn’t do it full time until I retired.”
Since then she has painted a wide range of subjects, including landscapes. “For a lot of people it’s the landscape here that attracts painters. I’ve done buildings, and farm workers; I go through periods of different subjects. It depends; if I see something I want to paint, that what it’s going to be.”
She mainly paints from photographs, but does plein air painting — creating works outdoors, in the open air — as well. She has participated in past plein airs in Ashcroft, and is looking forward to seeing the event return from Sept. 15-17: “I’ve become friends with a lot of the artists who were here before, and they’re coming again, so it will be nice to see them.”
Rennie appreciates having the Sidewalk Gallery — located in the Rolgear building on Railway Avenue across from Safety Mart — as a venue for art.
“It’s exciting to have it. Artists really appreciate that Angela [Bandelli] allows us to put our work there. She’s always enthusiastic about having people’s art in the windows, along with her own art, and I think it’s a great thing for the town to show there’s art here. I’ve already had a few people comment on my display and say they enjoy seeing it.”
Rennie’s biography in the window of the display notes that she does commissioned pieces, and that she can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or (250) 457-6334.
“I wouldn’t so no to anything new. It’s whatever gets my creative juices going.”