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Painting the ultimate lifestyle

Artwork of Suzy Annick Raymond and friends exhibits snow to surf lifestyle



What: Lifestyle art exhibit

When: Sunday, Aug. 20, 7-10 p.m.

Where: Maxx Fish

Admission: By donation to Children’s Wish Foundation

From snow in Whistler to surf in Hawaii and sand in Panama, the life of the traveling artist-outdoor recreationalist is all about lifestyle.

This artist earth connection comes together in a celebration of lifestyle with the premiere exhibition of Whistler painter Suzy-Annick Raymond’s works, titled Lifestyle, on Sunday, Aug. 20 from 7 to 10 p.m. at Maxx Fish.

"Each destination left its mark and inspiration on her that you can find in her art today," said event organizer Tara-Lee Rodier. "Every one of her pieces has a little of Suzy-Annick’s story and tells a story of its own to the eye of the beholder."

The project has been six years in the making for the former competitive snowboarder.

While Raymond began painting palm trees in Grade 2 art class, it wasn’t until she blew her knee at a boarder-cross snowboard competition in Whistler that her artist side began to really flourish four years ago.

Even before leaving Whistler – a place she called home for seven years, to travel the globe to Japan, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Hawaii, Nepal and Panama – Raymond was painting exotic landscapes of ocean and sand, hills and mountains.

"After my knee injury I realized there was more to life than just snowboarding; there is so much out there," Raymond said. "I started imagining where I could be and a lot of these images that I created were done right here in Whistler. They were images of the places where I wanted to be."

If you paint it, it will come – or so it went for Raymond who began what she calls a five-year journey of "getting lost in the world". While the images were painted in Whistler, the paintings didn’t begin to take three-dimensional shape until she began traveling where she collected wood, sand and other found items and integrated them into her works.

"Over the years, her brush ventured from canvas to shells, which led to a jewelry line with the same creative texture as her paintings," Rodier explains.

A canvas illustrating a vibrant pink sunset was built up with a beach made from pink-coral sand, collected from a beach on the Bahamas. No two sands are alike, so Raymond’s works share with the viewer everything from spear-like sands from Indonesia to the fine white sands of Panama.

"I use real shells and pieces of wood from places. It’s all three-dimensional. It’s pretty cool because you can touch them."

Bold-coloured beach and ocean scenes dominate Raymond’s works. The avid surfer now spreads her passions over mountains and ocean, spending her summers in Whistler and winters in Hawaii.

Raymond’s surf to turf exhibition will also showcase the works of local artists Vanessa Stark, Brad Chornaby, Oli Roy and Mike Harvey.

"The exhibit is really about lifestyle," Raymond said. "Because we are all leading a way of life many people are envious of. We are all surrounded by this beautiful place. That is why I invited my friends to join in. I wanted a diverse showing with different forms of art."

The event benefits the Children’s Hospital Make a Wish Foundation, with 10 per cent of art sales going to the foundation. Admission is by donation to the charity.

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