Country roots

Artist Pat Bliss poses by two of his paintings featured in his latest exhibition at the On the Avenue Art Gallery. (Peter Lozinski/Daily Herald)

Latest Pat Bliss exhibition gives window into artist’s life

Pat Bliss is no stranger to the On the Avenue Art Gallery.

The local artist recently had a show featuring insights into the life of a penitentiary guard displayed at the downtown gallery. His latest exhibit, ‘A little bit country,’ is his second show at gallery this year, and it’s much different from his other work.

“The other work, at first, was something I had to get out because it was a part of growing away from that place,” he said. “With that body of work, I want to get that tory out. But this body of work is who I am.”

Prior to working as a penitentiary guard, Bliss was a rancher, and avid horseback rider. He has competed in just about every horse competition imaginable, and it’s clear he feels most at home out in the country.

“Ranching and farming has been my background. It’s been a long time, but it’s still embedded deep in my heart. I still live in the country. It’s a lifestyle,” he said.

“Horses are a huge part of my life, and now I’m painting them instead of riding them.”

The show not only deals with a variety of country-related themes, from horses to plains to cattle and predators, it also deals with a variety of styles.

“It all depends on how the mood strikes me and the feeling I want to portray with my painting,” he explained.

Some pieces are hyper-realistic. Others are more artistic renderings of cattle and landscapes. But others are a more abstract interpretation of a rancher’s life.

Bliss walked over to an interpretation of a sunrise over muskeg.

“For instance, this one here is more of an emotion than anything. It’s the sun coming up in a forest, and you know, in muskeg, everything is a little strange. The trees are different and the light is different,” Bliss explained. I wanted to experiment with that and make it more abstract.”

For more on this story, please see the September 20 print or e-edition of the Daily Herald.