Finding freedom in expression through painting

Annerose Georgesen at her studio that is located above the Men’s shed in Vanderhoof. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Georgesen is doing a mural at the Stuart Nechako Manor. While she was working on the mural on Friday, July 10, a nurse and a senior living at the Manor were enjoying the live painting. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Georgesen’s studio is located on the second floor of the Burrard Market building in the centre of town. Her studio is the third door to the right. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
The local painter makes sketches of the environment she is in. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Georgeson at her studio in Vanderhoof. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
“I enjoy oil because it dries slowly and it smells a lot nicer,” says the Vanderhoof based artist. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)

Annerose Georgeson sits in her studio that is brightly lit by a glass window on the second floor. A quiet presence for being in the centre of town, and a room filled with paintings, sketches and artistic aura.

Painting for Georgeson is her canvas of expression, as she defines herself as a ‘fairly quiet’ person. Her work is mostly abstract, and mainly from nature.

“I think it is a real privilege to do art. A society has to be fairly wealthy to allow that, and if people are struggling to buy food, there isn’t really room for art,” Georgeson says while in conversation about the significance of art in history and culture, including the financial struggles artists endure in getting funded and their difficulty in finding spaces to display their work.

As a painter, she came to the conclusion that art is important, but first went through her own “existential angst”.

“I used to think – what is the point of doing any art, it’s not as essential as nursing or something like that, which is obvious, you are helping people who are dying. So art seemed a little frivolous.”

“But then I think, every day music is a big part of my life. I can’t imagine a day without any music and if I was in a place without any music, I would just sing.”

“Then I think yes – somebody had to make the music, and somebody had to make the images, this is an important thing.”

Georgeson did her Bachelor’s in Fine Arts in drawing mainly, but also studied photography, sculpture and more. She realized she couldn’t make a living solely selling her art, so she picked up a teaching career.

A majority of her earnings comes from teaching and putting up exhibitions of her work.

By not solely relying on the sale of her paintings, Georgeson has managed to find some freedom in her expression.

“If I only sell, then I try making things that people would like to buy and then they don’t really buy it anyway, so this way, I make what I want, because then if they don’t buy it, then who cares!”

One reason her paintings don’t sell that quickly is because they are fairly expensive, as they involve a lot of hours of work. She says she just likes to paint and that’s one of the main reasons she has another profession which helps in supporting her passion.

Currently, Georgeson is getting inspiration from the forest floor. She usually spends time in her environment, observing, and sketching. She uses her sketches as the inspiration for her paintings at the studio.

In terms of style, the Vanderhoof painter is using oil and has worked with acrylic in the past.

“I enjoy oil because it dries slowly and it smells a lot nicer. I love the smell. Oil is more responsive to what I want to express right now.”

Georgeson moved to Canada with her parents from Switzerland at the age of three. Her parents were farmers and found good farm land with an agricultural lease in Vanderhoof, so they moved here from Alberta when Georgeson was 6.

In terms of what she would like to see developed in Vanderhoof for the wide variety of artists in the region, Georgeson says, “it would be really nice to have a little venue where people could sell art and generally those things don’t work well in the north. They are usually attached to something else, either a frame shop, a tourist centre or something. There is no reason we can’t, its just that its not going to pay its rent.”

She says it would also be nice for Vanderhoof to have a Performing Arts Centre for that group of artists. Currently most performing artists use the Nechako Valley Secondary School stage for their performances.

But there are more pressing issues for Vanderhoof’s leaders to deal with, Georgeson said, which makes the arts fall to the bottom of the stack.

“Housing is a huge issue in the community and I agree people should not be searching for housing. There are people who are turning down jobs here because they can’t find a place to live. And for seniors, there are some who are living in really difficult conditions other than being in seniors housing, which is also difficult to access. That is more pressing for leadership than the arts. There will always be things like that”

Lastly, in terms of some advice for artists, Georgeson says, “I think just keep making art and keep making it, and keep making it, and get better.”

“Do it and do it more, and do it for yourself.”

“If you need to do something else to live, its okay, make art in your spare time. You don’t have to do it all the time. If you work a little bit every week, you will get better.”

In a new series, the Express is going to be featuring a local artist every week. The idea is to promote the several artists and art forms in the region. If you know any local artist and would like to see them featured, send the editor an email at

READ MORE:COVID-19: Create some art while at home and isolating

Aman Parhar
Editor, Vanderhoof Omineca Express

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘GoFundMe’ page created for Vanderhoof women who were in a brutal accident last month

Sasha Mortensen and Jessica Raymond were hit by a pick-up truck July 29, while in an embrace on Keith Road next to Plateau Mill.

Vanderhoof sees a surge of scam callers

Residents have received multiple unknown phone calls from a person claiming to be a representative of the CRA or law enforcement, local mounties said.

Brucejack mine fatality identified

Patrick Critch was from Newfoundland

Pretivm Resources reports fatality at Brucejack mine

The isolated incident occurred last Friday, and the employee passed away on Sunday in hospital

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

B.C. would not send students back to school if there was ‘overwhelming risk’: Horgan

Plan has left many parents across the province worried about their children’s safety

Face masks will be mandatory for customers at all Walmart locations

Requirement goes into effect on Wednesday, Aug. 12 across Canada

Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

Both BC Transit and TransLink made the announcement in separate press releases on Thursday

Penticton homes evacuated due to wildfire northwest of city

Emergency vehicles are at the scene near Sage Mesa, evacuation centre set up in Penticton

British Columbians worried as end of COVID-19 rental supplement looms

Single mom struggles as supplement was her saving grace

Arson suspected in several wildfires lit near Kootenay town

RCMP making progress in arson investigation of Marsh Creek fires

Three screening officers at Vancouver airport test positive for COVID-19

The public is not believed to be at risk of exposure

VIDEO: B.C. conservation officers free not-so-wily coyote with head stuck in jar

Poor pup was found with a glass jar stuck on its head in Maple Ridge

Most Read