Wild love, artistic expression | Squamish Chief

Wild love, artistic expression

It's easy to deduce that fun-loving, outdoorsy Sea to Sky artist Vanessa Stark is inspired by nature and life in the mountains. Her acrylic and mixed-media painting creations combine image, wild colour, lines, free brush strokes and underlying maps to build depth and reveal the visual story of wild and free spirits that inhabit our vast surrounding wilderness.

With a graphic feel, Stark's descriptive pieces Joffre Bear, Pemberton Owl, and Duffey Lake Fox (to name a few) enhance the walls in playful character.Some of the natural and spontaneous paintings expose actual pieces of topographic maps from local areas which, ironically, somewhat mimic her style of painting. Stark admits that her work continues to evolve, although it has not been entirely intentional.

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When I started this project last spring, I hadn't planned on doing something so different than my regular style. The paintings all happened very naturally and did end up evolving into a different feel than my usual work, she says.

Stark allows her instinctive creative process to shape the creation of the final result.

I've always loved the full spectrum of the arts. Throughout my life, visual art has been the most accessible form. I can't remember a time when I wasn't drawing or painting, says Stark, who considers herself a mountain style intuitive artist a type of genre art presenting scenes from more remote recreational life frequently showcased in mountain and beach towns.

Not surprisingly, Stark is a passionate snowboarder and mountain biker, with a love of yoga, food, friends and family!

She can be contacted at (604) 902-4246 or on her website, www.vanessastark.com

A diverse display of crochet and boho-chic jewelry by Gaelyn Escobedo fill the cases under her brand label Love G and J. The collection includes colourful, beachy seed-bead bracelets, leather feather earrings, Bohemian arrowhead pendants of semi-precious stones along with crocheted whimsical animal hats and playful toques embellished with felt or buttons.

With a hippie heart, Escobedo admits that she has been creating for as long as she can remember and has always loved making jewelry. Then about seven years ago she put jewelry aside and picked up a crochet hook and from there she was hooked, literally! Now she switches back and forth between the two crafts.

For my jewelry this fall/winter, I have fallen in love with gold and lapis rich colours that make you feel good. I have a hard time working with colours and designs that are not my style, says Escobedo, referring to her creative stimulation for the current series.

Her process starts with looking at colours, matching different yarns or different beads as well as making her own patterns. After merging all of her preparations and planning, finally Escobedo creates the finished piece.

Like many creative explorers, Escobedo's artwork is inspired by observation along with continued evolution that comes from not focusing on one particular style. Versatile and artistically adaptable, she says, As much as my passion right now is crochet and jewelry, that could change. I am always interested in other arts and would love to take the time to start another craft maybe pottery?

Escobedo also loves running, skiing, cooking and being with her family!

For more information about Escobedo, call (604) 935-9378 or email lovegandj@yahoo.ca.

Vanessa Stark's Into the Wild display of acrylic and mixed-media paintings and Gaelyn Escobedo's Love G and J exhibit of crochet and jewelry are on display at the Library Foyer Gallery until Feb. 3.

Toby Jaxon is the curator of the Library Foyer Gallery. She can be reached at toby.jaxon@shaw.ca.

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