Courtenay artist Christine Boyer presents Alongside My Path: Native Wildflowers of Canada at Gallery Merrick from April 9 to 23. (Photo courtesy Christine Boyer)

Courtenay artist Christine Boyer presents Alongside My Path: Native Wildflowers of Canada at Gallery Merrick from April 9 to 23. (Photo courtesy Christine Boyer)

Island painter shows off the wildflowers of Western Canada in first solo show

Courtenay’s Christine Boyer presents floral exhibit at Nanaimo’s Gallery Merrick

Courtenay artist Christine Boyer has set out to document on canvas the native wildflowers of Canada and she’s unveiling the first paintings in that series in Nanaimo this month.

From April 9 to 23, Boyer presents Alongside My Path: Native Wildflowers of Canada at Gallery Merrick. It’s her first solo show and the first time she’s created a body of work connected to a theme. She said she’s normally “all over the place, subject-wise.”

“I really just allow myself to be influenced or inspired by anything that I see and I go for it,” Boyer said. “So this is the very first time that I have forced myself to do a series and that was scary but the product has been great and it’s been a really good learning experience.”

For the series Boyer had to educate herself about Canadian flora, and in her research she discovered that flowers she grew up with and loved and remembered from her travels were not actually native to Canada at all.

“A lot of the flowers that you see along the side of the road or a lot of the ones that you consider wildflowers were actually brought over by ships,” Boyer said. “So there’s a very interesting dialogue that can happen around indigenous plants and a whole conversation that can happen about colonialism.”

This portion of the series will feature flowers from B.C., Alberta, the Yukon and Ontario. While they aren’t normally seen blooming at the same time, the flowers in the show will be bunched together geographically in five-by-five-feet bouquets. As a trained theatre scene painter, Boyer is used to working large-scale and said some of her other paintings are as big as 10-by-12 feet.

“When you paint sets, everything is very big and dramatic,” she said.

Boyer said the larger canvases allow viewers to get a better look at some of flowers and experience them differently than they would in nature.

“A lot of the prettiest wildflowers are so small. They’re very, very tiny,” Boyer said. “So I was able to really play with scale, so make the tiny ones as big in the bouquets so you could really see what they are.”

Boyer said her floral paintings have evoked feelings of nostalgia and childhood memories in some of the people who have seen them so far.

“A lot of that is because we’re not allowed to touch the plants that are in our mom’s garden,” she said with a laugh. “But as a kid you’re allowed to touch and you’re allowed to experience the wildflowers.”

WHAT’S ON … Christine Boyer presents Alongside My Path: Native Wildflowers of Canada at Gallery Merrick, 13B Commercial St., from April 9 to 23. Virtual reception on April 9 at 7 p.m. on the gallery’s Instagram and Facebook pages.

RELATED: Collage artist presents arctic glamour in live-streamed Nanaimo exhibit

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Just Posted

Victoria police are looking for a 38-year-old man after he allegedly assaulted and choked a missing 15-year-old victim in Beacon Hill Park Tuesday night. (Black Press Media file photo)
15-year-old choked in Beacon Hill tent, Victoria police assaulted while intervening

Police searching for 38-year-old suspect, two officers injured in altercation with park residents

Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district teachers’ union, and its counterparts from Mount Arrowsmith district, seek stricter COVID-19 rules. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith teachers’ union asks for stricter COVID-19 measures

Teachers ask for vaccine, more online learning, mask mandate for primary students

Some Saanich firefighters have expressed concerns about first responders in the Island Health Region not being prioritized to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as an outbreak at a fire station would make service delivery a challenge. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Saanich firefighters not prioritized for COVID-19 vaccine despite working on frontlines

Saanich members express frustration, department calls on Island Health to take action

A total of 10 flight exposures have affected the Victoria International Airport in April so far, making it the highest monthly total since the start of the pandemic. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria hits record-breaking number of monthly COVID-19 flight exposures

As of April 21, 10 flight exposures reported for the month

Former University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Rowing Canada sanctions former head coach of UVic varsity women’s team

Suspension of Barney Williams would be reversed if he complies with certain terms

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards the accused, judge says

Kai Palkeinen recently helped a car stuck on the riverbed near the Big Eddy Bridge. While the car could not be saved, some of the driver’s belongings were. It’s common for vehicles to get stuck in the area due to significantly changing river levels from Revelstoke Dam. (Photo by Kai Palkeinen)
“I just sank a car’: Revelstoke resident tries to save vehicle from the Columbia River

Although it’s not permitted, the riverbed near the city is popular for off roading

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, walks down the street with an acquaintance after leaving B.C. Supreme Court during a lunch break at her extradition hearing, in Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, April 1, 2021. A judge is scheduled to release her decision today on a request to delay the final leg of hearings in Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rich Lam
B.C. judge grants Meng Wanzhou’s request to delay extradition hearings

Lawyers for Canada’s attorney general had argued there is no justification to delay proceedings in the case

B.C. Premier John Horgan announces travel restrictions between the province’s regional health authorities at the legislature, April 19, 2021. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sees 862 more COVID-19 cases Wednesday, seven deaths

Recreational travel restrictions set to begin Friday

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson is photographed following her budget speech in the legislative assembly at the provincial legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. budget lacks innovative drive, vision during uncertain times, say experts

Finance Minister Selina Robinson’s budget sets out to spend $8.7 billion over three years on infrastructure

Using panels kept cold by water circulating within them, B.C. researchers compared thermal comfort in 60 of the world’s most populous cities, including Toronto. (Lea Ruefenacht)
B.C. researchers use air conditioning to combat spread of COVID particles

Dr. Adam Rysanek and his team have proven a new worthwhile system – a mixture of cooling panels and natural ventilation

Police road checks are coming for people travelling between regions while COVID-19 travel restrictions are in place. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. clarifies COVID-19 travel restrictions, Lower Mainland a single zone

Vehicle checks on highways, at ferry terminals to start Friday

(Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich calls for non-police security for mental health patients at hospitals

Saanich police spent nearly 1,200 hours waiting with patients at hospitals in 2020

Most Read