Elizabeth Delgatty is helping bring a bit of the forest to the city.
The Glenelm resident’s new art show Trees, Trees, Trees! Paintings of Peaceful Places was slated to open at the Wayne Arthur Gallery at 186 Provencher Boulevard on Jan. 2 and will continue until Jan. 22. The show, which Delgatty said is her first themed exhibit, will feature nearly 40 of her pieces, all of which were created during the last four years.
Trees have been an inspiration for Delgatty ever since she was a child.
"I love trees," said Delgatty, adding she sees trees as representing strength, personality, and calmness. "I try to capture the sound of the wind and the chirps of the birds."
Delgatty used several different types of paints to help create representations of trees, including watercolour, acrylic, pastel and encaustic (coloured beeswax). She explained using watercolour is useful to paint trees that are more translucent to give the sense of the sun passing through the leaves, while using encaustic paint helps give trees a burlier feel, adding texture to the work.
She has painted trees from all over the continent, having recently explored the forests of B.C. for a month. Other trees featured in the show were painted around Manitoba and in Minnesota.
"I paint any kind of trees," she said. "I paint whatever strikes me."
Delgatty taught at several schools in the River East Transcona School Division until retiring in 2003. She taught science at the high school level and a broad-base curriculum to elementary students. She didn’t begin taking art classes until she retired from teaching.
"Painting was something I always wanted to do," she said. "But I was working 12 to 14 hours a day."
Delgatty, who grew up surrounded by trees in Flin Flon and at her family’s summer home at Big Island Lake, is using the show to help out the environment. A portion of proceeds from it will be donated to the Manitoba Forestry Association.
She plans to help the association’s education programs which include discovery centres and in-classroom presentations. She was inspired to bring students to nature when a new student from Africa mistakenly thought the class would go to a field for its field trip instead of a museum. Delgatty said the class later planned an excursion to Oak Hammock Marsh, which the student basked in.
"Students these days need to get into the country," Delgatty said. "Some of them, all they know is the concrete of the city."