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Three Whistler artists featured at Millennium Place

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What: Whistler Artists Exhibit featuring Sharon Jensen, Gavin Livingstone, and Marielle

When: Jan. 24, 5 to 8 p.m.

Where: Millennium Place

A new exhibit showcases Whistler artists this month and promises wildfire for the imagination.

The opening reception for the Whistler Artists Exhibit takes place this Thursday, highlighting acrylic washes and pen and ink intricacies.

The trio of Gavin Livingstone, Sharon Jensen, and Helga Ruiterman will be on hand for the opening of their second show at Millennium Place, Jan. 24.

If a painting could smile, that would be Gavin Livingstone’s art.

"I love to take my canvas and watercolours outdoors and paint, although in the winter time paint freezes at —5, and I usually do too after about half an hour!" he laughs.

"Living up in Whistler has convinced me of the impact we have on the land. I continually paint to keep up awareness of the specialness of the land up here," says Livingstone.

His glittering bold landscapes, on display currently at the Pony Espresso café in Pemberton, scream colour. Bold purple and green dots of paint create valley peaks that range from album size canvas to large triptychs, one work measuring 5" by 9".

"From a chance (I was given) to be all that I am now, and not holding back, since that time painting is all I have done," says Livingstone.

He recently opened a studio at Sacred Space in Mount Currie and displays regularly at Whistler’s Farmer’s Market. These live art installations, as per the market displays, are part of his art ideal, "Where audiences watch an acrylic piece come to life."

He began painting three and a half years ago, part of a personal journey to emphasize the wild beauty of landscape. Originally from the U.K., Livingstone practised the healing arts for 12 years, and emphasizes the continual process of self-discovery.

"There’s an artist in everyone, it’s a matter of creating that space and environment for someone (to express themselves)," says Livingstone. "Rather than just diving into the process, I consciously chose not to rush the process. I usually work on two to three pieces at any one time," he adds.

For Sharon Jensen, the fluidity of water is transcribed in sketch. Jensen specializes in water media, which includes watercolour, pastel, and pen and ink. Tom’s Tree and Bouqet are two watercolour images of plant life that give off a dreamy hue, as though they are a photo taken with condensation on the lens.

By contrast, her pen and ink sketches, like Singing Pass, draw on realism through attention to small detail, where treetops in the far distance still outline the waving arm of a fir branch. Jensen recently completed sketches for a new parks and trails brochure produced by the Resort Municipality of Whistler that highlights different hiking and mountain biking trails in the area. Her latest work in progress is an installation piece that will hang over Village Gate Boulevard. She’s working on a three foot painting that will be enlarged as a vinyl sign to weather Whistler winters.

Colour theory remains a major focal point in her artwork, and she recommends Jose Paremon’s Colour Theory as a useful tool.

"In this show I use acrylic with pastels, which creates beautiful colour washes, and you can create interesting textures this way as well," says Jensen.

Her future art plans include running workshops, with a community slant.

"I’m interested in gathering people of like interests together, in an artistic space," says Jensen, who operates her own studio.

Ruiterman, who paints under the name Marielle, operates a studio out of Blueberry Hill where she paints likenesses of people.

"I’ve been painting for a while, but I used to run a boutique under the same name in West Vancouver and people always thought that was my name. A lot of people called me Marielle, so the name sort of stuck," she says.

Ruiterman is strongly interested in portraiture, and belongs to the Canadian Institute of Portrait Artists.

The exhibition continues through February .

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