Grove’s connection with animals awakens artist’s spirit

Artist Kindrie Grove has her latest work showing at the Penticton Art Gallery.

Artist Kindrie Grove gives a walk and talk introduction to her latest show at the Penticton Art Gallery

Artist Kindrie Grove gives a walk and talk introduction to her latest show at the Penticton Art Gallery

Kindrie Grove’s lifestyle comes alive in her artwork.

The Alberta-born artist, author and illustrator, who maintains a studio in Penticton, has an exhibit at the Penticton Art Gallery called Pegasus Awakened until Nov. 4.

“When I began to paint and sculpt horses, it was because I no longer had a horse present in my life. My connection to the animal, Equus Caballus, shifted from a solid knowing to a much deeper and less definitive relationship,” said Grove. “Unlike many of my wildlife and animal subjects, horses opened a doorway for me that released an intense urge to redefine the way in which I put paint to canvas, or molded clay.”

The artist said her first memories were of horses. She lived on a farm among them as a child learning everything from their nature and gaits to sounds and care of them.

“There is a clarity of essence that lies beneath the surface of a subject. More often it is sensed and felt rather than seen. In order to allow the inner essence or spirit to come through into my work, I had to stop painting the surface and look past it to paint what I felt,” said Grove.

Form, shape, colour and light became her descriptors rather than the hairs of mane and coat or the gleam of an eye.

“Like a statue waiting to be released from stone, my paintings and sculptures wait to be made manifest. My role as an artist is defined by how well I can get out of the way and allow the work to come through with the clarity that I sense,” she said.

Grove said artists continually evolve, shift and redefine what they do. That growth is reflected in her work, even if it is sometimes subtle.

“The image of horse is my muse, a catalyst that brings me deeper into myself. It is a symbol for my truest connection to the divine,” said Grove.

The local artist is very active in a number of community projects and was one of 50 artists to participate in the Art for Oil Free Coast Project organized by renowned artist Mark Hobson and the Rain Coast Foundation to travel via the Columbia III to the Great Bear Rainforest.

Grove has studied animals in their natural habitats across much of North America and southern Africa. She is best known for her extraordinarily large, original oil paintings which explore the beauty of the animal kingdom, often emphasizing the complex connections to humans.

The artist is also the author of A Field Guide to Horses. Her artwork is featured in a number of galleries and in international private and corporate collections including the Kindrie Grove Wing of the Toronto Congress Centre. Grove makes a practice of donating a portion of the proceeds from the sale of her works to the conservation organizations and environmental charities.

An artist walk and talk with Grove is scheduled for Oct. 31 at 2 p.m.