While Caroline Anders doesn’t say much about the thought processes that go into her work, her work does show promise for an emerging artist.
Though the paintings on display as part of her exhibition, Chelmsford, lack the maturity of a master impressionist like Jack Shadbolt, the vague, soft shapes combined with vibrant colours, used with childlike simplicity, are evocative of trying to recapture old memories.
“Chelmsford is this small little Canadian French community. We had a farm, a little hobby farm. There are just a lot of realizations and memories from that time that have stuck with me today, which was kind of a sore spot of things, but I kind of painted them away,” said Anders. “We lived there until I was eight years old.”
Anders’ exhibition, on at the Penticton Art Gallery until March 18, is the result of a partnership between the gallery and the Toni Onley Artist Project to provide an exhibition opportunity for an emerging artist. This past summer, mentors Harold Klunder of Montreal and Libby Hague of Toronto selected Anders to be this year’s exhibiting artist.
“The work that Caroline created while she participated in the Toni Onley Artist Project progressed from day 1, initially with some hesitancy, but then quickly gained a quiet confidence and a certain charm, a personality,” said Klunder. “She works very hard and is committed to doing her work her own way.”
Anders describes herself as “frantic, almost manic” when she is painting.
“The process is very fast and the painting is pretty much generated in the first hour, what it will look like and then I just keep pulling and pushing,” said Anders. “If you go really close to my paintings, there is lots of tiny strange details, which I take a lot of pleasure in doing. Even though you can’t see it, they’re still there. There is lots going on.”
Anders admits that she hasn’t been back to Chelmsford (in Ontario) for many years, instead drawing on her own memories and photographs her mother had saved from that time of her life.
“I don’t really know if these landscapes are really what it looks like. But in my memory, that’s what I remember,” she said. “Some of these particular pieces are happy accidents. I could work all of my paintings forever, they are never finished, I don’t think.”