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.



patrick.davies@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Williams Lake Stampede poster contest winner unveiled at dinner, dance and auction

Amy Piquette was named the poster winner of the 94th annual Williams Lake Stampede

EnGold acquires property option in Lac la Hache

The Tam Property comprises 875 hectares of mineral claims

School District 27 staff eyes disposal of several district-owned properties

McLeese Lake and Bridge Lake schools could be on the market

SURVEY RESULTS IN: School District 27 staff report recommends trustees vote to do away with fall break

2020/2021 draft calendar shows no fall break and two-week spring break

First annual Ian Pinchbeck Memorial Pickleball Tournament coming up this Saturday, Feb. 29

Pinchbeck, who passed away this past December, was an avid member of the WLPC

VIDEO: Illicit drug overdoses killed 981 in B.C. in 2019, down 38%

Chief coroner says figures were down about a third in the province’s fourth year of the opioid crisis

VIDEO: B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

B.C. takes over another Retirement Concepts senior care home

Summerland facility latest to have administrator appointed

RCMP pull office from Wet’suwet’en territory, but hereditary chiefs still want patrols to end

Chief says temporary closure of field office not enough as Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute drags on

Prescription opioids getting B.C. addicts off ‘poisoned’ street drugs

Minister Judy Darcy says Abbotsford pilot project working

Royals, Elvis, Captain Cook: Hundreds of wax figures find new life in B.C. man’s home

Former director of Victoria’s Royal London Wax Museum still hopes to revive wax figure tourism

Teck CEO says Frontier withdrawal a result of tensions over climate, reconciliation

Don Lindsay speaks at mining conference, a day after announcing suspension of oilsands project

Okanagan man swims across Columbia River to evade Trail police

RCMP Cpl. Devon Reid says the incident began the evening of Thursday, Feb. 20

‘Hilariously bad’: RCMP looking for couple with forged, paper Alberta licence plate

Mounties said the car crashed when it lost a wheel but the duo ran away as police arrived

Most Read