Judy Leila Schafers has an ongoing love affair with the country life. The Barrhead-born artist describes her rural upbringing as rich, wonderful and filled with beauty. She easily recalls her experiences on her Opa’s farm with great fondness.
Even now, she lives outside of the city and, when asked if she has any inclinations to reside in St. Albert, she quickly replies, “No, not at all.”
Schafers is not a city girl, so it makes sense that she spends her creative time striving to bring all of that beauty to us city folk. She does a splendid job too.
Country Charm is her new exhibit now on display at the Studio Gallery. There are dozens of fine paintings with crisp, picturesque images that make the viewer want to jump right in. Pristine ponds. Luxurious fields. Skies of the lightest blue. They look almost too perfect, too romantic.
“I might embellish the colour a bit, change the composition,” she explains. “It’s got to feel real to me, that I could be there.”
That feeling comes across very well. Although the pictures veer clear of portraits of people, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t see a lot of character in the places or objects she does paint. She talks at length about the inanimate life of objects and the stories they tell. According to her, even a decrepit and rusting old tractor has a tale. A mailbox knows your secrets. These are living things to her and she says it’s her job to demonstrate that.
“I just love bringing out their personality.”
Admittedly, the country life is one of endless toil and tasks more necessary to accomplish than artistic ones.
“It is very nuts. There’s always so much work to do. It’s exhausting,” she exclaims, adding that painting is necessary to her. “I make the time.”
Maybe she has two love affairs and she has just combined them perfectly in this one show.
From the description of one work, she writes, “Taking a hike in the back 40, leaving the hustle and bustle behind. What could be better than that? Just you and nature!”
Country Charm runs until June 27. The Studio Gallery is located at 11 Perron Street. For more information, call 780-460-5993.
By Judy Leila Schafers
11 Perron Street
Runs until June 27. Call 780-460-5993