Patrick Davies photos Keith Prestone poses with Chea, a portrait of a red-tailed hawk of the same name he cared for as a young man, which inspired him to create the Birds of Prey exhibit years later.

Birds of Prey celebrates the beauty and power of raptors in Station House’s Upper Gallery

Hawks, ospreys and eagles are brought to life this month

Fittingly located in the Upper Gallery this month is Birds of Prey, the passion project of lakecity artist Keith Prestone.

Born in Williams Lake, Prestone is a sheet metal worker by trade who lived in the lakecity for many years before moving away several years ago, though he has since returned to his grandparents’ homestead in between Williams Lake and McLeese Lake. Prestone said that since he was a young child he’s always had a love of art and creativity, doodling and drawing throughout his life in his spare time.

“I mean, all my schoolbooks were filled with drawings and stuff, notes and drawings on all of them and it’s always been my first love, but I had to raise a family and support them. It’s hard to do that on an artist’s budget, so I’ve raised my family so now I’m putting more of my extra time into art to fulfill that part of who I am as a person,” Prestone said.

Art provides a certain balance to who he is, Prestone said, as without it he feels like he’d be “missing a leg.” Whenever he gets “in a mood” he’s found the best way to deal with it is to simply be creative and work out whatever he’s dealing with that way.

Read More: Potters take over Station House this month

A man of faith, Prestone credits God with his talent and the opportunities to use his abilities to create art. He describes his faith as a “quintessential part of who I am,” which shows in many of the titles of his paintings like His Majesty.

Prestone said that he’s always wanted to be a painter full time and as such has been focusing on that medium primarily. In the past, when not painting, he’s also taken part in snow, sand and ice sculpting competitions.

His latest exhibit, Birds of Prey, began with one painting he did of a red-tailed hawk the painting is named after called Chea. When Prestone was a young teenager, he acquired Chea from a university student and cared for her for several years before releasing her back into the wild. This relationship ultimately inspired his love for raptors and birds of prey of all kinds and his desire to paint them.

Using a mix of pen and inks, oil paints and acrylics, Prestone brought each stunning piece to life, sometimes by using his hands to rub or scrape the colours in to give the pictures a photo-like texture. His subjects range from golden eagles to hawks of all kinds which have become such a point of fascination for him that his wife now points them out in the wild wherever they go. In his personal time, he said he reads up on the biology and behaviour of these birds to better understand them.

“I find them just fascinating. Their power and their beauty — they’re incredible,” Prestone said. “The natural world and the different parts of it I find absolutely fascinating.”

Read More: Station House building turns 100 this year

All the paintings on display for this show were created in the last eight months and are part of his ongoing mission to leave a legacy. As both an artist and a person, Prestone feels it’s important to leave a part of yourself behind imbued with your ideas. He strives to create a body of work that inspires people and makes them think about what messages, or parts of his identity, he’s weaved into each painting and how it might impact them.

For Birds of Prey, Prestone hopes that everyone, those who chose to take home one of his paintings and those who do not, come to gain an appreciation for what we have here in this part of Canada. Having access to wilderness right outside our back doors is special, he said, and feels his exhibit embodies the power, beauty and intricate detail of the natural world.



patrick.davies@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Eye Contact with a Predator is perhaps one of the most visually striking pieces in the Birds of Prey exhibit and is a colourful, vivid depiction of a hawk.

His Creation depicts two golden eagles flying over a mountain range providing a sense of scale and wonder.

Just Posted

Dreams come to life in Spirit Awakens at the Station House this month

This month the Station House invites patrons to an exhibit involving the spirit

Blue Fins making final preparations for respective provincial championships

“This was the last competition for any ‘Fins not yet qualified for provincials,” Webb said.

Lakecity youth performers acquitted themselves well at Provincial Festival

The Cariboo Festival Society was proud to see two of its attendees recognized for their work

PHOTOS: Families take to the street at annual Cariboo GM Soapbox Derby

A record number of participants showed up for this event organized by Cariboo GM and the Hooligans

Toosey family ‘heartbroken’ over loss of young mom

RCMP have released no new information since the June 8, 2019 homicide

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

No business case for Trans Mountain expansion, says former environment minister

Cabinet is expected to announce its decision on the expansion of the Alberta-to-B.C. pipeline by Tuesday

Most Read