The show Altered Perspectives, the artwork of Tim Francis, is on now at The Vic at 4th and Victoria, downtown Kamloops through May 1.
Francis is no stranger to the residents of the North Thompson as he and wife Janice owned property at East Barriere Lake for 15 years before relocating to Kamloops in 2004.
For the first few years in Barriere Francis painted full-time, exhibiting in galleries in Kamloops, Vancouver, Victoria, Chemainus, Calgary and Montreal.
“Living the dream was fulfilling enough but provided a meagre hand-to-mouth living,” tells Francis in a bio on his website www.timfrancis.ca.
So when his previous employer on the Lower mainland made an offer he couldn’t refuse, Francis agreed to commute every second week to North Vancouver to act as marketing director for the newspaper where he had previously been employed as the advertising director.
“This arrangement allowed me to pursue my painting in the weeks in between, but after four years of commuting we decided that if I was going to continue in the newspaper business, we might as well purchase our local paper in Barriere.”
The paper was the North Thompson Star/Journal which mainly served Barriere and Clearwater. Francis spent the next five years developing the newspaper and then sold it to a large newspaper chain.
“I managed to produce three or four paintings a year during that time,” said Francis, “Due to the every day influences of living at East Barriere Lake my focus began to shift dramatically, as did my subject matter.
“Having spent countless hours fishing and sight-seeing on local lakes, the fascination of light reflecting on the moving surfaces of water became the dominant theme of my work – it became kind of an obsession trying to figure out those ever-changing patterns – in a way I could translate to canvas.”
Something about those water paintings definitely worked, because in 2001 Francis was featured as a ‘Master Painter of the World’ by International Artist Magazine.
“My latest works pretty clearly reveal our move to Kamloops in 2004. I have been deliberately loosening up my style on the new landscapes because I’m more interested in atmosphere than I am in representation these days. I want to convey on to canvas my feelings for this incredibly diverse region. I also want to remind viewers of the magic inherent in any landscape – what we neglect to see as we go about our busy lives.
“I’m aware that, in many cases, people tend to see the Kamloops area as a dried-up, brownish expanse of rocky hills – with a pulp mill. That was my first impression too. On closer inspection however I think most people would agree that Kamloops is a sunny semi-arid region where sage, pine, and cactus covered desert contrast starkly with converging rivers. It’s where the sometimes turquoise, sometimes emerald waters of the glacier fed North Thompson River merge with the clear waters of the South Thompson River; where wide-open skies might reveal several different weather systems at once – freezing rain spouts to the north, rainbows and dark clouds to the east and nothing but sunshine and warmth to the west; where wind-swept limestone cliffs throw sharp, deeply saturated shadows from outlandish, ghostly hoodoos; where Mount Peter and Mount Paul form the southern-most humps of the Monashee Mountains and where the northern-most tip of the Mojave Desert meets the unique and unusual Grasslands Provincial Park, right behind our house.
“In my view, all art is subjective. Its relevance is subject to the interpretation of the viewer. The deeper the viewer’s emotional engagement, the better.”
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