In some ways a new art exhibit at the Station House Gallery is a lesson about grief.
Three years after her husband Steve Capling unexpectedly died, Williams Lake artist Lynn Capling has created Moments of Joy Captured, a collection of paintings exhibited in the upstairs of the Station House Gallery.
Lynn said she used the word captured because moments are often captured quickly with a picture on somebody’s cell phone.
She noted she and Steve were together 43 years and since he died it has been a bit of a struggle to get back into painting and doing things that she likes to do.
In her artist’s statement she noted grief has allowed her to see the world differently and some things have become more important to her and others less so.
“With time, I have learned to accept the bittersweet combination of pain and joy.”
She purposely searches out things that give her joy, she told the Tribune.
Lynn began working on the pieces in December 2022 and knowing she had a show coming up gave her incentive to paint.
Working from photographs as a reference for her paintings, she used several that were taken by family members, including Steve’s younger brother Jamie, whose wife Donna died of cancer eight months after Steve.
“Because of that we tend to text back and forth pictures of things we normally would have shown our spouse,” Capling said.
One of the photographs from Jamie was taken from a beach just before sunrise when he was going for a walk on Vancouver Island where he lives.
Other photographs he sent were of flowers from his garden.
Her daughter Jodie Capling lives in Williams Lake and has two children – Ellie, eight, and Finn, five-and-a-half.
Some of the paintings in the show are based on photographs the three of them shared with Lynn.
“The painting of the kitten peeking out from her mom’s legs was inspired by a photograph. Jodie was folding laundry and the cat was trying to help and Ellie saw it peeking out and went and got her mom’s cell phone and took a picture.”
When asked if she has a studio at home she chuckled loudly and responded that she paints in her kitchen, which has some nice light.
If people come to visit she asks them to give her two minutes so she can box up her painting supplies to make some room.
A painting in the show titled The Cat in the Hat, is a study of a painting done by Finn when he was in Kindergarten.
“It came home in his backpack somewhat crumpled so I asked if I could make a copy of it. Like painters study the masters, I studied his and did it as exactly as I could. It was fun.”
Lynn retired from teaching eight years ago to become a full-time grandmother, but one of the courses she taught and a love she shared with Steve was astronomy.
Space X Successful Launch is based on a few photographs she saw on Facebook.
“That was something Steve and I were really keen about – watching the sky. He had really wanted to go down to Florida and see some of the launches. We never managed to do that, but that’s OK. They are hard to predict because you can go down to watch a launch and the weather changes.”
They would often watch them live on Facebook or TV.
An opening was held Thursday, July 6 for Lynn’s show and the curated group exhibition Feast for the Eyes in the main gallery.
Both shows go until Aug. 26.
The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the historic train station at the west end of Oliver Street.