Growing up in Port Alberni inspires Merritt painter’s work

Memories of growing up in Port Alberni and on the west coast form the root of artist Cassandra Dolen’s “Wild British Columbia” paintings.

‘Sweet Desolation’

Memories of growing up in Port Alberni and on the west coast form the root of artist Cassandra Dolen’s “Wild British Columbia” paintings, currently on display at Blue Fish Gallery in Port Alberni.

“Much of my work contains elements of my childhood…the ocean, arbutus, forests, birds,” Dolen writes on her Facebook page.

Now living in Merritt, B.C., Dolen states the Alberni Valley is “one of those rare places left on the planet that still feels like wilderness.”

Dolen paints in walnut oil rather than linseed, as it maintains colour depth without forcing an artist to work with toxic solvents, she explains in her bio.

Her paintings evoke thoughts of Emily Carr, the bold colours and broad brushstrokes reminding one of the Group of Seven.

“I like the emotion; that her work is emotionally driven,” Blue Fish Gallery owner Cheryl Iwanowsky says of Dolen’s work.

“She works in large strokes. She’s got really good technical skills but I like the looseness in her painting. She reminds me of Van Gogh and the Group of Seven. You feel something when you look at her artwork.”

Dolen left the Alberni Valley when she was 17, Iwanowsky explains, but still has family in the area.

The two met via the Worst Place to Live Facebook site: Dolen noticed Iwanowsky’s gallery, and Iwanowsky in turn checked out Dolen’s artwork online.

“I remember being completely drawn in by her website pages,” Iwanowsky recalls.

“I said if you’re ever in Port Alberni would you consider having your artwork on display in my gallery?”

Dolen’s Wild British Columbia will be on exhibit at Blue Fish Gallery until the end of June.

Blue Fish is located at 2907 Second Ave. in Port Alberni.

 

editor@albernivalleynews.com

Twitter.com/AlberniNews

Just Posted

Wedding plans derailed following City of Port Alberni’s train announcement

Five wedding parties are scrambling to find alternate transportation arrangements to McLean… Continue reading

Kids help Alberni Aquarium build rockfish luminary for next exhibit

Swimming For Change takes over in time for spring break

Spring fishery closures mulled for south coast

Fewer fish are returning to rivers and more conservation needed, say feds

One dead, two seriously injured in Hwy 4 crash west of Port Alberni

A man has died following a single-vehicle collision west of Port Alberni… Continue reading

Risk of ‘deadly avalanches’ leads to warning for B.C.’s south coast

Weak layer of snow on Vancouver Island, Lower Mainland could trigger an avalanche

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

Skier dies at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Cause of death for young man has not been released

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R&B star has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years

More sailings coming to 10 BC Ferries’ routes

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said the sailings were originally cut in 2014

Cryptocurrency exchange CEO who suddenly died leaves Kelowna house in will

Gerald Cotten, holding the keys to money tied up in his virtual currency exchange, died in December.

Regulator’s report, coming today, unlikely to settle Trans Mountain pipeline battle

The Trans Mountain pipeline will remain a controversial topic both in the political ring and out

Most Read