Erin Fernie normally just paints for herself, so opening an exhibit at the Grace Campbell Gallery is a bit out of the ordinary.
Fernie was born and raised in Prince Albert, but has traveled across Saskatchewan on canoe trips and hiking exhibitions with her family. She’s put those experiences to good use with her first art show, but said she’s a little nervous about the whole affair.
“I just hope it brings people joy. That’s all I want,” Fernie said with a laugh during an interview Tuesday morning.
“I don’t paint to show off, so this is very exciting and nerve-wracking.”
Fernie’s paintings feature forest images from her travels, which took her across Northern Saskatchewan, out to Vancouver Island, and down to Big Muddy in North Dakota. She was inspired by the colours and beauty she saw in her everyday travels, and hopes that gentle approach and respect for nature comes through in her paintings.
“It’s just so peaceful to me,” she said when asked about her landscapes, many of which were inspired by Saskatchewan’s northern forests. “It brings a solace where … I just get lost in it. It’s something I connect with, and from a very young age.”
She began painting at age 13, but really developed her love for landscape painting as a student at the University of Saskatchewan under painting and drawing instructor George Glenn. She took a brief break from painting when her children were toddlers, but has returned to her art in recent years.
She views it as a way to slow down and relax in world that seems to move quicker every day.
“Painting for me, it’s more of a healing process,” she explained. “Anything creative, any outlet I find very meditative, that quiet focus that it takes helps me get out of my busy brain.”
Fernie’s first exhibit runs until Oct. 25 at the Grace Campbell Gallery in the Prince Albert Public Library’s John M. Cuelenaere branch. The exhibit is viewable during normal library hours.