Artists join together to promote their work

Art: Brushed with Flair show and sale to be held April 25-26 in Okotoks

By: John Barlow

  |  Posted: Tuesday, Apr 22, 2014 09:43 am

Jordan Verlage

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The stereotype of an artist is someone working on their craft alone and in solace, but for a group of foothills artists they see there is strength in numbers.

A new collection of foothills artists, Brushed with Flair, will be hosting their inaugural show and sale April 25-26 at the St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Okotoks. Not only will the exhibit feature the foothills members, but also invited artists from throughout southern Alberta.

Janet McCarthy, one of the members of Brushed with Flair, said they formed the group as an opportunity to organize shows and promote their work as a collective.

“What this does is it allows us to get ourselves known by the public,” she said. “As an individual you are not as exposed. As a group it is easier to attract more people.”

Brushed with Flair started off with the founding members including McCarthy, fellow Okotoks artist Marg Smith and Turner Valley artist Tina Winistock.

They may have started small, but their first show and sale in Okotoks will include more than 200 pieces from some of southern Alberta’s most accomplished artists.

McCarthy said they wanted to ensure they set a high standard for their inaugural exhibit, therefore, potential submissions went through a jury process to be accepted to the Brushed with Flair event next weekend.

“We had juried submissions to participate in the show because we wanted to assured we had high quality pieces and the quality is very strong,” said McCarthy. “We have everything from birch bark to ink drawings to landscapes on frames.”

McCarthy has been in Okotoks since 1981 and started working on her art seriously in 1989. She has worked in all kinds of media but focuses mainly on ink, watercolour and acrylic. Her main focus in landscapes and some of her stunning, intimate pieces will be included in the Brushed with Flair show.

“I am a tree hugger,” she said with a laugh. “I love to do landscapes of all kinds. I just love nature and I know the vista or the view I am painting may be gone in 10 years. I want to be able to capture some of these special moments.”

McCarthy travels with her camera and snaps hundreds of photos of the landscape around her. She then sifts through the pictures to find ones she would like to immortalize in her art work.

She said it is important she take the photos herself then it ensures the pieces she paints or draws are original from beginning to end.

Although she has been painting and drawing for 25 years, McCarthy said she has no intentions of slowing down. In fact, she said being an artist is integral to her staying vibrant and active.

“I believe we all need a passion of some kind,” she explained. “If you don’t have one our lives are less rich and our lives will be shorter. We need a passion, we need something that drives us, something you love.”

For McCarthy, it is also important to her she be known as an artist, it is the legacy she wants to leave.

“As I have grown older, I want to be known as an artists, maybe a bit flaky, but an artist,” she added with a smile.

The Brushed with Flair art show and sale will be held at the St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Okotoks on Friday, April 25 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and again from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 26.

The event is a fundraiser for the Foothills Country Hospice as 20 per cent of all sales will be donated to the hospice.


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