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Sylvan Lake’s Metcalf to feature in Lacombe celebration of art

Sylvan Lake’s Metcalf to feature in Lacombe celebration of art
Sylvan Lake's Marg Metcalf

Sylvan Lake’s own Marg Metcalf will be the feature artist at this year’s Encore Annual Sale and Celebration of Creative Expression in Lacombe April 17 and 18.

Metcalf will display close to 30 of her own landscape paintings and speak about her love of painting as a hobby in retirement. She’ll also discuss various life experiences, such as traveling across Canada and visiting France.

Metcalf described being chosen as this year’s feature artist as “very special,” and said she’s attended the show every year since its inception.

“It’s a special acknowledgement,” Metcalf said. “You get some free advertising and you get to do a couple of presentations during the show. It’s good.”

Metcalf has been painting for the past 20 years after retiring from her full-time career as a nurse.

She spends time painting at her family’s cabin north of Radium, and said she loves being in quiet places that haven’t been disturbed by civilization. It is in these places that the majority of her acrylic paintings are brought to life.

“It's totally great,” Metcalf said. “I think it's great to have a passion to fill your time with and things you want to chase, explore and grow.”

When sitting down to paint, Metcalf said she can start and finish a smaller piece in the span of one to two days. Sometimes, she said, her paintings come together quite quickly.

But painting larger pieces take one to two weeks to complete as she sometimes takes time to plan and prepare them before hand. And she never spends six months painting one piece, as she feels the motivating idea behind the painting can lose its spontaneity in that time.

“You tend to over paint,” Metcalf said. “You stay at it too long, you pick away at it and eventually it loses its spontaneity.”

Metcalf’s price range of her paintings varies significantly as she paints a wide variety of different-sized canvas pieces.

She said she sells her smaller pieces for just under $100, with her bigger pieces going for just over $1,000.

Even though the money she makes from her paintings isn’t enough to live on, she says that the profit can allow her to do some things that she may not have otherwise been able to do, such as paying to stay at a cabin in the mountains for a few days to paint a scene.

As a painter Metcalf said she enjoys the challenges of making a painting look realistic and believable, which is why she said she doesn’t paint abstract.

“If you do abstract, you don't need to worry about that, but I can't get my hand around painting abstract,” Metcalf said. “It's a visual thing: you see things, and when you paint for a while you start to notice a lot more and you try to interpret that into paintings. It's a self-fulfilling thing — the more you paint, the more you see things.”

During her time as a feature artist, Metcalf said she hopes to convince people to preserve quiet places — a sentiment she feels strongly about.

“We should have some places that are left undeveloped where people can go to restore,” Metcalf said. “I'm aware that there is less and less quiet time periods in people’s lives, and I think we need that. We need to keep a good balance in our lives and have time for contemplating and meditating. If my paintings of quiet places can convince people that this is good, that would be good.”