By Jerelyn Craden
Artist Rose Pearson’s latest exhibit, The Art and Craft of Garden Making, brings the wonder of nature into the new Corner Gallery located in the historic Lucas House in the heart of Haliburton village. With nine pieces described as high realism and photo realism, ranging in size from 30” x 30” to 4 x 4 feet, her much-anticipated exhibit runs from Saturday, May 21 to Thursday, June 16.
“My new exhibit was inspired by a book of the same name, The Art and Craft of Garden Making, written at the turn of the century by British landscape architect, Thomas Mawson,” Pearson said. “You could read a passage and see allusions to living life in the way he described things. There was a treasure trove of information in the writing.”
She also drew inspiration from the hand-written, ornamentally embellished illuminated manuscripts from the Middle Ages, “especially those with flowers.”
“It was my dream to one day have doors off my studio into a garden,” Pearson said.
Now, after 15 years of digging dirt, digging up roots, moving rocks and making gardens at her house near West Guilford, her dream has become reality.
“I can spend the rest of my life painting flowers.”
Pearson has been photographing and documenting wildflowers growing along the road on her morning walks for several years.
“I have reams of photographs of what was blooming. I became more interested in the shadows than the flowers themselves,” she said. This can be seen reflected in her piece, Illuminated Manuscript, Lily, Columbine & Violet.
With an Honours Bachelor of Fine Arts, Visual Arts degree from York University, Pearson taught art for many years, then chose to focus her time on being a mother of two boys and making art full-time, which led to numerous art exhibits including at the Rails End Gallery in Haliburton, the Agnes Jamieson Gallery in Minden, and the Lindsay Art Gallery.
“I have nine pieces in my new exhibit and they’re all images of flowers. For five of the paintings that will hang together, I used a multi-layer elaborate process on wooden panels. Then I chose flowers that were blooming at the same time, and painted them on top, so it looks like real flowers are laying on top of this old weathered surface.”
Pearson’s sensibilities are like those of an historical archaeologist of art searching for and finding those who came before her who strike a chord of kinship. One such artist is Maria Sevilla Merian whose work goes back 300 years.
For ardent art enthusiasts, Pearson teaches drawing and painting at Haliburton School of Art + Design, Fleming, as well as private classes at her home studio.
Pamela Brohm, manager of the Corner Gallery is excited about the opening.
“Lucas House was already beautiful, especially the main floor. Now, with the addition of special lighting, refreshed walls, and the extraordinary work of Rose Pearson launching the official opening, we feel confident that the gallery will be a real boon to the community.
Following the Pearson exhibit will be the work of Canadian artists, mostly all who are from Ontario: John Lennard, landscape artist; Charles Pachter, internationally renown Canadian artist who drew much attention for his painting of the queen on moose-back; Byron Hodgins, landscape artist, and Andy MacLean, Nova Scotia landscape artist.
Corner Gallery is located at 123 Maple Avenue, Haliburton. For more information: www.cornergallery.ca or call Pamela Brohm, gallery manager at 705-457-7518.