This month in the Main Gallery of the Station House Daniel Pfister invites the lakecity to more closely examine some of the most basic parts of nature with his exhibit Wishing Stones.
The title of the exhibit comes from a “fairy tale” Pfister heard from a lady who viewed his paintings of rocks, antlers and feathers.
As the story goes, when you find a stone with a single unbroken line of white quartz on the shores of a body of water you should pick it up, make a wish and then cast it back into the water for the wish to come true. Whether you believe it or not isn’t important to Pfister, but one of the first rocks he picked for this project was like that and it or ones like it are featured prominently in many of his works.
Each piece was brought to life with acrylics on canvas with the subjects close at hand for Pfister to study and is a close up still life study of their respective subjects with clear care and time taken to do justice to each of them.
“Nothing more special actually, (I just) paint and listen to good music, that’s important,” Pfister said.
Pfister was born and raised in Switzerland before immigrating to Canada with his wife just over a decade ago. He now lives on a farm near Bouchie Lake with over a score of horses, a lifestyle he greatly enjoys.
One of the things Pfister has loved most about living in Canada is the wide open wild spaces of the country, which he enjoys hiking and walking in his spare time. While out and about he’ll often pick up rocks, antlers, branches, feathers and other interesting pieces of nature and take them home with him.
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He began painting these objects while in Quesnel mostly during the winter months when walking in the forest becomes more daunting.
“A small house and your guys’ long winters (makes me paint). Short days, more time spent indoors so I had to do something and I started spending more time painting on canvas than outside in the snow,” Pfister chuckled. “My mind turns off totally, that’s a big thing for me. I still have a day job, I work on the farm when everything is done with work in the evenings, or early mornings, I kind of paint. Other people watch TV and I paint.”
Over time, Pfister has built up a gallery of work, a selection of which occupies the Station House this month. He began by painting rocks he found while on his walks, remarking that his studio back home now resembles a dry riverbed because of it.
As he continued to paint these rocks Pfister became determined to bring these beautiful parts of nature to life, like a landscape artist. Unlike a landscape artist, however, Pfister seeks to expose the often overlooked components of a landscape like rocks.
For his own work, Pfister often looks to other artists for inspiration and motivation to fuel his own desire to create.
With Wishing Stones and all of his works, he hopes to do the same for fellow artists and young people looking to get into art.
“I don’t think I’ll be famous when I die, or whatever, but I hope I can inspire some new artists,” Pfister said.