“We have a little lunch and invite our family and friends and anybody who’s interested to come around and see the work,” long-time member Judie Relitz said. “If they want to purchase (a work), that’s fine, and if they just want to talk about it, that’s also good.”
Watercolour and acrylic paintings, as well as charcoal sketches, adorned the walls of the gallery as nine of the group’s artists turned out for the occasion.
“We must have done about 12 shows together,” Relitz said.
The group of about 18 members meets Monday afternoons at the Prince Albert Arts Centre to offer each other motivational support and creative advice.
Sometimes social get-togethers and other times sessions of serious artistic expression, the meetings always serve a purpose as they unfold organically, according to Relitz.
“You bring your work, you work in the medium you want and you set up your table,” she said. “If you want a little help with something, you can ask and other people will say, ‘Maybe try a different colour or combination of colours.’ It’s very informal -- very casual.”
Most of those who attend the sessions are retired. Artists working in a variety of media are welcome, as indicated by the presence of those producing in charcoal and pastels.
“We’ve gotten to be a really tight group,” Relitz said. “And sometimes if there are issues in your personal life that are driving you crazy, we’ll talk about it and laugh about it. It really ends up to be a laughing at your problem day.”
There is no set theme for this month’s exhibit, but the artists only entered a maximum of three pieces each. Most of the works depict landscapes, animals and fruit.
Relitz said she was unsatisfied with the way watercolours were blending at one point in her career and decided to use acrylics for a piece depicting two multi-coloured cats.
“I had the gold paint on my brush and I didn’t want to waste it,” she said with a laugh, pointing to the outline of the cats’ bodies.
She used shards of glass that were collected from a broken windshield to create a triangular gloss in the cats’ eyes.
“I was out with my son one day, and we were scavenging around and there was this wrecked car,” she said. “And so I took a hunk of the windshield -- and the windshield kind of comes off in little diamond shapes -- and peeled a bunch of the diamond shapes off and used them in my art.”
The group’s artwork has been on display since Feb. 1 and will continue to stay up until Feb. 26. The drop-in sessions are held on Mondays from 1-4 p.m. at the Arts Centre.