With sweeping brush strokes, a rich colour palette and a painterly style reminiscent of the great Canadian Group of Seven, Annerose Georgeson’s paintings in the Station House Gallery this month are an honest and commanding representation of the logging industry in northern B.C.
At first look one gets the impression that the show simply titled, Logging, is a criticism of the industry, but this would be as far from the intention of the artist as one could get.
“All of my family, my husband, brothers, sister, all four of my kids, both parents, uncle, cousins, nephews, and I have worked in the forest industry, most of us for all or most of our working lives,” Georgeson says in her artist’s statement.
During the show’s opening night, June 2, she said she spends a lot of time in the wilderness picking berries and enjoying outdoor activities.
“My family loves the bush and even on their days off they go back to hunt and fish.”
Her show is part of a series of landscape paintings about the various changes in the forest industry including logging, forest fires, farming and pine beetles.
As one viewer at the pening last week who has worked in the bush said he could feel the intensity and urgency in the paintings to get the beetle killed timber out of the forest while it is still salvageable.
Another viewer, Peter Kruse reflected on the power and beauty of the paintings.
“No matter what you are looking at there is beauty in it,” Kruse said. “She has captured the chaos. The feeling of the paintings is real.”
While tree planting isn’t part of this exhibition, Georgeson says she has explored tree planting in another series.
‘I want to honour the work of forestry with my art and to show the changes that forestry and nature bring to the forest landscape that surrounds us on all side.”
Born in Switzerland, Georgeson came to Canada with her family when she was three years old and still lives on the land where she grew up in Vanderhoof.
Working primarily in acrylics, Georgeson has had work in 15 solo exhibitions in public galleries in B.C. and Alberta.
She holds a degree in visual arts from the University of Victoria and is a part-time art instructor in Prince George and teaches painting workshops in various locations around the province.
Summers, Georgeson says she worked in a sawmill to make enough money that would keep her all winter at art school. But she says summer work these days won’t keep a student in school for the whole university year.
On Saturday, June 25 Georgeson will host an advanced painting workshop titled Painting Landscapes Using a Brightly Coloured Undercoat.
The workshop will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Artists interested in taking the workshop can contact the Station House Gallery. The fee is $45 per person. Artists bring their own art supplies.