Found poems: Station House Gallery October exhibit shines

Found Poems, oil on canvas, is one of the pieces in an exhibit of works by Prince George artist Corey Hardeman at the Station House Gallery in Williams Lake. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Found Poems, oil on canvas, is one of the pieces in an exhibit of works by Prince George artist Corey Hardeman at the Station House Gallery in Williams Lake. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Trace, oil on canvas, by Prince George artists Corey Hardeman. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Trace, oil on canvas, by Prince George artists Corey Hardeman. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Second Growth, oil on cradled birch panel, by Corey Hardeman. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Second Growth, oil on cradled birch panel, by Corey Hardeman. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Oracle, oil on cradled birch panel, by Corey Hardeman. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Oracle, oil on cradled birch panel, by Corey Hardeman. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

A Prince George artist’s love for nature is displayed in the October exhibit at the Station House Gallery.

It’s a gorgeous collection of pieces that Corey Hardeman created for the most part in the last few months.

“I already had a show touring this part of the province so I had to make a bunch of new ones and actually ended up hanging a couple of wet paintings, which I don’t love doing,” Hardeman said from her downtown studio in Prince George where the Final Chapter bookstore used to be. “They are all oil paints and they do take longer to dry.”

Titled Found Poems, the exhibit contains oil paintings on canvas, linen or wood.

“There’s a lot of ditch water and watery images in this show,” she told the Tribune. “Water is a uniquely challenging and fascinating thing to try and paint. There’s been so much of it this summer that’s made itself available. I spend a lot of time walking my dog or walking with my kids and just looking at things and figuring out how to paint them.”

As she created the pieces, she wanted demonstrate the tiny universes that exist in ponds, even puddles.

“It’s a really beautiful thing to take yourself out of yourself for a bit and contemplate the insects, the little fish and plants that are in water bodies all around us.”

Born and raised in Halifax, she studied biology at the University of Victoria, and said it’s her biology background that constantly inspires her to look for any signs of life.

Oil is Hardeman’s preferred medium.

“I find it very beautiful the way pigment is suspended in oil and makes the paint very luminous. And I like the fact that it stays wet for a very long time because it gives you some options as far as pushing it around a bit.”

There are so many things you can do with oil paints that you cannot do with acrylics, she added.

“There is a textural, sensual thing that goes on with oil paints that I just love.”

She moved to Prince George 16 years ago and then began dividing her time between there, Vancouver and Wells.

“I’ve been in Prince George full time for about a year now,” she said, adding she has four children.

Hardeman said she was approached by Station House Gallery executive director Diane Toop a few years ago to submit to the gallery jury to do a show.

“I didn’t and it took me a while to get around to it. This year I finally felt like I had some space and I did so I was quite happy to take a drive down to Williams Lake and hang a show there.”

Hardeman has a big following on social media and said it’s nice to get feedback.

“I’m a real introvert and I work alone a lot and tend to only socialize with my children and my partner so I feel like my whole social life happens on Facebook and because of that I have a lot of regular followers just because I post a lot.”

She said she has been fortunate with her artistic career and has had the opportunity to connect with lots of people.

In November, Hardeman and her artist friend Jan Little on Vancouver Island will do their annual 30 paintings in 30 days. They will paint and post a new painting every day at 7 p.m. for sale.

“They are little paintings and that is how we afford to get winter tires on our vehicles and have Christmas. It’s a pretty fun tradition and it’s good for my bigger practice,” Hardeman said.

The show closes on Saturday, Oct. 24.



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