TYSON WHITNEY PHOTO The back wall of Café Guido has been filled with beautiful pieces of art made by Yvonne Maximchuk.

Maximchuk artwork on display at Café Guido in Port Hardy

“I built a life which encompasses an extraordinary body of knowledge.”

Painter, potter, author, naturalist, gardener, carpenter, pioneer, deckhand, wife, friend, teacher, mother, grandmother… Oh, the hats I wear are many. And the one hat I never take off is painter.

Always and forever, inside my eye and mind I am painting what I see and feel.

This December, Davida Hudson- the mind behind the most varied and satisfying collection of small storefronts under one roof (art, books, coffee and clothing) – has hung a display of my acrylics and watercolours on the large wall in Café Guido, which covers more than thirty years of my painting explorations, travels, topics, and techniques of interest.

It could be called a mini-retrospective because the paintings span a timeline from the 1985 plein air watercolour painted in Monet’s garden in France to the most recent large acrylic on canvas of Hope Island (Xumdaspe), an island near Port Hardy where the ghosts of past lives haunt and enrich the present.

I began painting early in my life, as a way not only of expressing self and living out a natural part of my skill set of talents and strengths, but eventually to see if I could actually make a living being an artist.

No-one ever said to me… “Go for it! Artists make tons of money and you’ll do well, no problem, people LOVE to buy paintings!”

Generally people ‘knew’ that artist’s lived in garrets and starved and struggled to make ends meet and then eventually if you stuck to it long enough through sheer bloody-mindedness, eventually someone discovers you (like the National Gallery discovered Emily Carr) and you make it to the big time.

Well, some of this is true, and some is not.

What has happened for me is I put my attention on the quality of life that I desired and that quality of life was experiential.

I found I was always able to immerse myself in the joy of art-making, to travel and learn, practice and discover more and interesting ways to express the world as I lived it, to share in the community of artistic endeavours.

By focusing my attention on the thing which gave me the most satisfaction, painting; I built a life which encompasses an extraordinary body of knowledge.

Through art I’ve learned the natural world… Whales, starfish, salmon, cloud formations, trees, geology, history.

I’ve seen First Nations constructions and pieced together ancient and modern practices of existing within this landscape.

I’ve observed wildlife population shifts within the current habitat; from fewer humpbacks to more, from more salmon to less, from fewer cougars to more and on.

And beyond the visible, painting has given me a means to delve into concepts of the human psyche through images such as “Shapeshifter; Raven Woman”, about the many paths we take to a spiritual connection with all that is.

The artist notes the small details of life and sees the big picture. Art continues.

Expressing my life energy as artist has enabled me to observe, record, support, describe, and promote ideas I believe to be important, and to find my own voice within a dizzying array of others attitudes, opinions and choices in this modern world.

I hope you will go to Café Guido and take a close look at each of these artworks and note the variation and differences in what feeling you might experience from each of them.

Perhaps there’ll be new insight, new thought or inspiration and if so, I’ll feel like my work, (beyond the satisfaction of my production of it) has brought to you, the viewer, a meaningful and worthwhile moment in time.

Yvonne Maximchuk, born in Bralorne B.C. in 1952, has been a working artist her entire life. Her subject material and style vary due to the vast array of subjects to paint and ways to paint them. The magical and infinite material found in the inlets and islands of the Broughton Archipelago has created a lifetime of landscape, seascape, wildlife and garden painting opportunities.

Check out www.yvonnemaximchuk.com for more info on Maximchuk’s artwork and writings.

Just Posted

Community support keeps girls hockey alive on the North Island

“A successful program depends on community engagement and support.”

Proposed public art installation sparks debate in Victoria

$250,000 sculpture compliments an interactive sound element of First Nations drumming and singing

#MeToo at work: Employers play a role in fixing culture of harassment

B.C. workplaces are getting ahead of being the next MeToo debacle, calling on experts to train staff

Wilson recognized by Port Hardy Council for commitment to thrift store

Marg is a true leader for Port Hardy’s auxiliary and her nominators feel she is unstoppable.”

#MeToo at work: How reporting sexual harassment works – and how it doesn’t

British Columbians have four options to report harassment or assault, but none of them are easy

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

B.C. anti-hate campaigner finds Google search on his efforts redirects to porn

Text from online news article about Cran Campbell being used to link to suspect websites

‘The Last Jedi’ opens with $220M, 2nd best weekend all-time

As anticipated, the movie fell shy of the opening weekend for J.J. Abrams’ 2015 franchise reboot

2 couples tie the knot in Australia’s 1st same-sex weddings

West Australian couple Anne Sedgwick, Lyn Hawkins have been together for 40 years

B.C. concert promoter bans Nazi symbols at shows

A man was witnessed making a Nazi salute during a heavy metal show at Pub 340

EDITORIAL: Putting #MeToo to work in your workplace

Workers from top to bottom need to stand together against the bully of sexual harassment

Owl found dead after eating rat poison leaves B.C. woman concerned

After finding the owl on her Surrey property, Christine Trozzo says the poison is a concern for kids

Change to CPP death benefit panned as insufficient to cover funeral costs

Funeral Services Association of Canada lobbied governments to raise the value to $3,580

INTERACTIVE MAP: Follow the 2017 Tour de Rock

Follow the Tour de Rock, as they pedal more than 1,000 kilometres fundraising to combat paediatric cancer

Most Read