One in a series profiling local artists, in the run-up to the Ashcroft Art Club’s 50th anniversary show. Incorrect dates for the show were given last week: it runs from April 21 to April 25, 2017.
“I’ve been painting for years,” says Sharon Rennie, president of the Ashcroft Art Club. “I was self-taught, but took classes over the years, and have worked in all mediums. Right now I’m concentrating on acrylics.”
Rennie joined the club when she retired to Ashcroft 11 years ago. “Retirement gave me a chance to really get into painting more. I do a small number of watercolours, but I seem to be really drawn to landscapes with figures in them.” A favourite subject is the workers at Desert Hills Ranch busy in the fields during the growing and harvesting season.
One of Sharon Rennie’s paintings of workers at Desert Hills.
“I get drawn to a subject, and think ‘This is something I want to paint.’”
She says she plans on displaying the maximum number of paintings—10—at this year’s show, and still has a couple to complete. The Journal editor owns three of Rennie’s paintings of crows, and asks if there will be any crow paintings amongst this year’s offerings. She laughs.
“No! I think this is the first year I won’t have any bird paintings there. They’re all of different subjects, and cover a wide spectrum.”
A painting of crows by Sharon Rennie.
She says that when it comes to completing a painting, the time required varies. “The subject dictates the length of time it takes. Some works are very quick, and are done in a day, while others can take two months.”
One of the paintings in last year’s show was entitled “Joy”, and was done from a picture she took of her dog, Billy, romping on a beach in Oregon. “I felt so much joy doing that particular painting,”
She notes that one of the stipulations for each year’s show is that all the works must not have been displayed there before, and been done within the past year.
“It keeps the show very fresh. One of the main successes of the show is that it’s very current.”
She confirms that a retrospective display covering the 50 years of the club will be set up in a room off the hall at St. Alban’s Anglican Church where the show is held, and will be open to those attending the show. “It will cover some current members of the club, but mostly past members from the early days.” There will also be a display about the club, with photos and paintings, at the Sidewalk Gallery on Railway Avenue in Ashcroft throughout April.
Members of the art club meet to paint together at the hall at St. Alban’s Church from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the first and third Wednesday of each month. “We’re always looking for new members,” says Rennie. “People who are interested can call me [at (250) 457-6334] or just drop by.”
Rennie says that it’s never too late for people to take up painting.
“You have to start somewhere. If you have a passion for it, just go for it.
“The club members are very supportive. We’re very fortunate to have a great art club that’s been going for 50 years.”