Unsung Beauties in My Garden celebrates blooms of a different type

Cathie Allen is the artist behind the latest show at the Station House The Unsung Beauties of My Garden, which depicts a wide range of flowers found on various vegetables in her garden. Patrick Davies photos

At the Station House this month take a tour through a vegetable garden as you’ve never seen it before with Cathie Allen’s colourful pastel paintings.

Allen has lived in the Cariboo for close to 40 years and said she’s been doing some type of art all of her life. However, she owns a five-acre market-garden, Mackin Creek Farm, along with her husband so art has largely taken the back seat until now.

Growing up in North Vancouver, Allen said her artwork and love for art was really influenced by her family as her great uncle was an artist in Ireland during the 1920s while another grant uncle did stained glass in the Philadelphia area. This led to her being interested in art from a young age and picking up the pen throughout her school career, though she added that she’s received no formal training outside of workshops.

“It’s something I think I just started doing and I’ve always had a real love and passion for it,” Allen said. “I find it a challenge, especially in the medium I work in and I just love creating what’s in my head and then my will comes out on paper.”

Primarily, she enjoys painting with watercolours for their “magical” effect they have when they mix together and the skill involved in getting the painting right the first time. There is no white paint to fall back on, Allen said, which provides her with a consistent and enjoyable challenge.

Read More: Station House building turns 100 this year

Now that she and her husband are slowing down on their garden some, she is hopeful she’ll be able to devote more time to pursuing her art.

This show took three years to put together and is called The Unsung Beauties of My Garden, Allen said, and was somewhat born out of envy. Some of Allen’s neighbours have these absolutely “drop-dead gorgeous flower gardens” with eye candy everywhere you look. As Allen tends to more of a working garden, she’s unable to plant such colourful floral arrangements.

One day, however, while she was weeding a row of carrots, Allen noticed a beautiful flower on the potato plants. Upon closer inspection, she realized they’re absolutely gorgeous up close and started looking for similar flowers on her other vegetables. As she found more of them she became inspired to start painting these seldom noticed spots of natural beauty.

“Working with green was the most challenging because I really have trouble with that when it comes to paints,” Allen said. “I’m kind of happy how it turned out. It’s kind of a happy show, like all my job has been with gardening and it’s a happy job. It reflects my life and that’s a really cool thing.”

She hopes this show encourages people to take a closer look at hidden beauty in their own lives and gain an appreciation for all things. Art, Allen thinks, really helps liven up life as without it existence would be all gray and focused on work.

“Art can say a lot about what’s happening to you or your community. It’s a way of communication and I think it’s really important,” Allen said.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

New museum staff undertakes new cataloguing project

The Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin has had an incredibly exciting and busy year ahead

Williams Lake ranked ninth on ‘Canada’s Most Dangerous Places’ list by Maclean’s Magazine

Williams Lake has once again cracked the top 10 of Maclean’s Magazine’s… Continue reading

Dave Dickson granted Award of Distinction from B.C. government

This comes in recognition of decades of tireless work on Dickson’s part to benefit the lakecity

Williams Lake doctor gets top marks in Canada

“It still kind of feels like a dream.” — Dr. Ghaida Radhi

VIDEO: ‘Climate emergency’ is Oxford’s 2019 Word of the Year

Other words on the shortlist included ‘extinction,’ ‘climate denial’ and ‘eco-anxiety’

Canucks erupt with 5 power-play goals in win over Nashville

Vancouver ends three-game slide with 6-3 triumph over Predators

65-million-year-old triceratops makes its debut in Victoria

Dino Lab Inc. is excavating the fossilized remains of a 65-million-year-old dinosaur

B.C. widow suing health authority after ‘untreatable’ superbug killed her husband

New Public Agency Health report puts Canadian death toll at 5,400 in 2018

Changes to B.C. building code address secondary suites, energy efficiency

Housing Minister Selina Robinson says the changes will help create more affordable housing

Security guard at Kamloops music festival gets three years for sexually assaulting concertgoer

Shawn Christopher Gray walked the woman home after she became seperated from her friends, court heard

Algae bloom killing farmed fish on Vancouver Island’s West Coast

DFO says four Cermaq Canada salmon farms affected, fish not infectious

Most Read