Life on the land enhances Hope artist’s work

New show at Back Room Gallery features pine needle projects, paintings

Debbie Dixon’s work will be shown at the Hope Arts Gallery for the month of November.

Debbie Dixon’s work will be shown at the Hope Arts Gallery for the month of November.

Holly Smith

Special to the Standard

Nature inspires most artists in some form. For Debbie Dixon, having a friend show her how to form the first circle for a pine needle coiled basket, lead to years of experimentation with pine needles, fungi, driftwood and gourds. Her creations have been on display in Clearwater and Jasper, and the Hope Arts Gallery is thrilled to be staging this first exhibit for one of our own local artists.

One of Debbie’s original mentors, Minnie Carlson, showed her different stitches and colours that could be incorporated into baskets, trivets and all the other items that she ingeniously created. Unlike Minnie, Debbie prefers more muted natural colours and her work shows off the fabulous patterns she makes using light, mid-tone and dark needles and raffia.

The process is time consuming and begins with the search for pine needles. Luckily Debbie has relatives in Merritt who help replenish her supplies. Needles have to be cleaned, dried, dyed and sorted before she can begin a project. Forming the baskets quickly became a passion for Debbie, leading her to much larger projects such as baby carriers and end tables.No two items are ever the same and there seems to be no limit to what can be imagined and then created with this versatile medium.

Debbie and her husband Greg have carved out a 20-acre paradise in the forest above Kawkawa Lake. This idyllic setting has provided much of the inspiration for her needle projects and her painting. Her paintings are for her grandchildren so they will know their roots. The hours she spent working on their property and gardening gave her lots of time to dream, and evenings without television gave her time to create. You will witness the results when you come and see her show.

Debbie would like to encourage everyone to come out and celebrate the local talent in our community. She also wants to thank the Hope District Arts Council and all the volunteers at Hope Arts Gallery for providing an outlet for artists to show their work.

Nature’s Treasures runs from Nov. 3 to Nov. 28 in the Back Room Gallery of the Hope Arts Gallery, 349 Fort Street, Hope BC and is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. from Wednesday through Sunday.


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