Local artist Annerose Georgeson captures a side of the Nechako region many people may not have seen. She gets into the quiet and forgotten spots, takes in the natural scene on an intimate level and then turns those unique perspectives into art.
Georgeson is presently showing a new collection of paintings at Prince George’s Two Rivers Gallery called Field Notes.
She says the paintings in the Field Notes collection are about observing a place over a long period of time.
“I’ve lived in the same place a long time, and when you visit the same locations over and over, you see how they’ve changed,” Georgeson said.
She said a lot of the inspiration for the works comes from how the places recover from what seem like catastrophic events that take a toll on the natural surroundings.
“Places have endured lots of changes in the time I’ve been here – logging, forest fires, Mountain pine beetle … also farming changes land a lot,” Georgeson said, “and yet little trees keep growing, and nature can be quite resilient.”
She explained how the 2007 Kenny Dam fire was really huge and a lot of people fought that fire all sumer, but now, only a few years later she sees places where it has begun to grow back.
“Among the charred stems of old trees, a carpet of small green trees is coming up everywhere,” Georgeson observed.
She mentions the Greer Creek fire last year had places that aren’t recovering because it was so hot and fierce, but that still some scorched patches have spots that are greening up.
“Seven months later it was full of fireweed … some growth is almost immediate,” Georgeson observed.
That’s why her latest collection, Field Notes is about regeneration against a backdrop of death.
“It’s about unbelievable growth, and how hugely inspiring it is to see that colour contrast – it just smacks you,” Georgeson said with enthusiasm.
Another way this contrast effect can be seen, she shared, “is the regular patterns of trees against the snow.”
Georgeson has been painting landscapes for a few years now. She notes it’s is a big change from the abstract paintings she had been working on, though many of those were inspired by the natural world. For instance in some of the abstract paintings, what seem like birds convening on a sky, then upon reflection reveal themselves to be outlines of pine cone segments.
Georgeson is also going to give a class in March and a talk at College of New Caledonia to students of fine arts and the general public on the pros and cons of being an artist working in the North.
“Northern artists have each developed a unique style,” Georgeson said, “their styles are very distinct and that is a good thing.”
Being rural and in the North can come with real advantages and disadvantages, she said, noting northern artists often work in isolation and yet are very supportive of one another.
A few years back, Georgeson curated and travelled with a collection of works united in theme by the Mountain pine beetle. The works in various mediums had been created by a variety of artists from the Central Interior.
The collection was very diverse and included poems along with visual art, and featured works of mature artists as well as school children.
Georgeson names B.C. artists Jack Shadbolt as being an influence for her, along with Arnold Shives, whose use of pattern she notes has affected her artistic point of view. She presently works out of a studio in the Vanderhoof campus of the College of New Caledonia.
Georgeson’s Field Notes collection will be showing at Two Rivers Gallery in Prince George until the end of March. She noted the gallery admission is free on Thursdays.