Displayed across the windows of the art wing at the Community Centre are Ryan Reynolds, David Suzuki and Margaret Atwood – all adorned in acrylic paint by Vanderhoof-based-artist Merle Turner.
What began as practice work for Turner soon became a series when she painted over 40 famous Canadians of which, 24 are on display at the community centre.
“I can expect to carry on painting more as time goes by,” says Turner about her art. The first Canadian celebrity she painted was Celine Dion but her all time favourite from the list is Buffy St. Marie.
When she first started painting she was using a lot of watercolours. But then the artist says she discovered acrylics. I doubt I will ever bother with watercolours again.
She was first asked to display her work at the Community Centre before the COVID-19 pandemic hit and then after hesitating many times, Turner finally went ahead and agreed to have her artworks displayed.
Turner says she was always interested in art but did not do much about it until a hip replacement surgery left her with time on her hand.
While waiting for a hip replacement surgery for almost two years, Turner used the time on hand and do some art.
“I decided I have to do something to keep my mind off of it. So I got my son to pick me up a cheap set of watercolors and some paper and then I just started painting and it helped with the pain management,” she said.
Since then she has followed her passion and continued to paint.
” I just paint because I love to paint and if I get a commission here and there, which I have been getting, or sell some of my work then that all makes it worthwhile and I enjoy it.”
Turner’s work was displayed at the Community Centre till Nov. 1