By Jaclyn Hayward
On weekdays we tend to stick close to home and go about our days within our neighbourhoods. Venturing out only to work, eat, or walk our dogs. Our time is regulated by the concept of “working hours” and our sense of adventure feels like it’s focused mainly on whether it’s a Monday or a Saturday. We drive, we bus, we park, we work. We get happy when it’s sunny, and disappointed when it’s raining. We can spend a week planning our next weekend adventure, especially around the weather, even if it’s just deciding whether to cross the bridge in or out of, let’s say, North Vancouver – because time is precious and planning every moment of our “time off” helps us feel in control of it.
It’s easy to forget where we are, what we’re already surrounded by, and how all the elements of nature play together around us.
With his current show, “Looking at Local Nature” in New Westminster, artist Erik Hotz captures this essence and reminds us of the beauty in our surroundings. He paints everyday elements and familiar scenes that we might walk or drive by regularly, and encourages us to look again at these beautifully lush scenes. The rain, though uncomfortable and unpredictable – brings full-bodied streams that echo songbirds in our forests. Seasons change from summer to autumn, bringing vibrant leaves that add a colourful backdrop to our lives.
Hotz’s skill for depicting local elements and scenery offers us a new way to appreciate our physical surroundings, (regardless of what day it is) with paintings acting like hyperreal photos capturing the beauty we pass by in our everyday lives. This exhibit is both a great reminder to savour the scenery, and also a fantastic display of appreciation for what’s around us – here and now.
View “Looking at Local Nature” by Erik Hotz at The Gallery at Queen’s Park until February 27.