Clearwater artist Petrina Gregson is once again entering the Art Exposed Regional Exhibition in Kamloops, where she’ll be entering a sentimental piece to stand among the various paintings, sculptures and pottery the show offers to art enthusiasts.
Gregson’s artwork this year depicts a family member’s old pet feline, Cleo, perched in front of a painting by famous artist Salvador Dali.
“This is my son (Jesse’s) cat; Jesse had just been diagnosed with cancer that summer and had to move out of his house and had to part with his cat,” said Gregson.
“He said he was going to pay someone to paint him a picture of Cleo for $300. I said, ‘Jesse you don’t have that kind of money, I’ll paint you one. And that’s the story of Cleo.”
Gregson added it was Jesse’s idea to compose Cleo in front of Dali’s work, saying her son has varying interests, which include the famous surrealist’s psychedelic paintings.
When it comes to the Art Exposed Regional Exhibition, Gregson is no stranger, having entered in the event several times over the years, taking awards like People’s Choice and receiving honourable mentions for some of her oil paintings.
She said she enjoys the event because it offers a chance to get the opinions of other artists and gives the opportunity to enjoy art in all its forms.
“It’s nice to find out what other people think of your work and it’s a wonderful exhibition because it’s very eclectic,” she said.
“There are 3D sculptures, clothing and jewelry and then there’s water colours, oils, pastels, acrylics, so it’s a wide range of talents.”
Gregson became interested in art because of her father, who used to paint for its relaxing effects, she said, though she didn’t get into painting until 2006 when she’d retired from work, due to the time it takes her to create her pieces.
She used to teach music and English as a Second Language in public schools and when she finished teaching, began taking art courses and exploring various media until she settled with pastel, watercolour, acrylics and oils.
“I realized I could take courses at university, though I didn’t really want an art degree, but I took an introductory to art class; I also took a wonderful class on drawing and I took another course on painting where I learned a lot from other students. Then I had to do a sculpture course I had no interest in, but they want you to jump through the hoops (to get a degree),” she said.
“I didn’t want to jump through hoops and I had no interest in sculptures; if you want an art degree you have to go through all these things and I don’t really care about whether or not I have a piece of paper, so from there I just joined this local art group and if there was a workshop I was interested in I’d check it out.”
Since then Gregson has been able to sell some of her work and has been approached to do commissioned pieces, as well as winning various awards based on the skill of her work.
The Art Exposed Regional Exhibition is taking place from March 8 to 16 at the Old Courthouse Cultural Centre in Kamloops.