BOLD – Norma Barsness stands with some of her more well-known wild grass paintings already on display at the Gallery on Main. Her new ‘Sunday Afternoon Drive’ collection will be available and featured in the Gallery from June 19th to July 10th.

BOLD – Norma Barsness stands with some of her more well-known wild grass paintings already on display at the Gallery on Main. Her new ‘Sunday Afternoon Drive’ collection will be available and featured in the Gallery from June 19th to July 10th.

Alberta artist featured at Gallery on Main

Once again, it’s time for the Gallery on Main to highlight a new Alberta artist through their feature gallery.

Once again, it’s time for the Gallery on Main to highlight a new Alberta artist through their feature gallery. Alberta artist Norma Barsness has brought her ‘Sunday Afternoon Drive’ collection to the Gallery on June 19th. The exhibit runs until July 10th.

Barsness also has a number of resident paintings in the gallery.

She first became well known for her spectacular use of lines and colour in painting wild grasses that seem to move with the breeze, even on canvas. Her work is influenced by her adventures with her husband throughout Central Alberta and the time they spend together searching for quiet, peaceful places to share with each other.

“It’s great to be an artist. It’s so fun to be able to paint landscapes from Central Alberta. Often on Sunday afternoons when we lived near Sylvan Lake, after our company left or at the end of the weekend, we’d throw a lunch in the truck, and grab my camera and my husband and I would jump in the truck and go up the back country roads. I’d photograph the swamps and ponds and groves of trees and the wild grass. It was just beautiful,” she said.

“We’d head out towards the mountains past Rocky Mountain House and it’s incredibly beautiful. All those beautiful streams and creeks – that’s what I call my ‘Sunday Afternoon Drive’ series. It’s just about being out there and getting to those quiet little spaces.”

Barsness knew at a young age she loved art. She said she has always maintained creativity in her life, although not pursuing art as a career until 12 years ago. Prior to that, she said she often did crafts and incorporated art into her life but in smaller concentration.

She raised her family in Calgary and eventually she and her husband decided to move to Central Alberta, settling in Sylvan Lake. It was there she pursued an interest in horses while she painted.

“I asked thousands of questions to local painters because I had no idea what to buy, what to use, how to start – I had no idea. I really didn’t know one end of a paintbrush from the other but I wanted to be a painter,” said Barsness.

“Over the years I think I practiced enough that I was becoming a painter. You wake up one day and can really call yourself that. The more you paint, the more you enjoy it and it just became a part of who I was.”

Barsness has a thick stroke style, with many layers of colour and thick texture in her work. She paints with an influence of impressionism – the style in which a painting up close is much less clear than when viewed far away. As a person moves into her paintings, they begin to lose sight of the bigger picture but can be drawn into the attentive and decisive strokes.

She moves between oil paints and acrylics depending on the style of painting and what she feels most comfortable with that day.

“I’ve come a long ways. I like to try new things. I’ve gotten into oil paints now, and used to focus on acrylic. I love oils though. I love how it moves on the canvas. You can’t compare. People ask which you like better but I love them both. Some days I wake up and I work with oils for a while, and put them away and work with acrylics,” she said.

“I love mixing the colours and just learning and mixing and saying that colour looks great. Or, I didn’t expect that to turn out like that. I also love just watching the painting evolve. Sometimes you struggle with a painting and not every painting turns out great but there are some where you get in a zone and you paint and at one point, it’s enough and you’re finished.

“I look at it and think, I didn’t know where that came from or how it came to be but I couldn’t do it again. It just flows out and you feel good.”

kmendonsa@lacombeexpress.com

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Police officers and their dogs undergo training at the RCMP Police Dog Services training centre in Innisfail, Alta., on Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Mounties say they are searching for an armed and dangerous man near a provincial park in northern Alberta who is believed to have shot and killed a service dog during a police chase. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
RCMP search for armed man in northern Alberta after police dog shot and killed

Cpl. Deanna Fontaine says a police service dog named Jago was shot during the pursuit

Alberta now has 2,336 active cases of COVID-19, with 237 people in hospital, including 58 in intensive care. (Black Press file photo)
Red Deer down to 73 active cases of COVID-19, lowest since early November

The Central zone has 253 active cases of the virus

The Sylvan Lake Gulls show off the home jerseys (white) and their way jerseys at the Gulls Media Day on June 17, before the season opener. Following the media day, the team took to the field for their first practise. (Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News)
Sylvan Lake Gulls ready to throw first pitch as construction continues

The Gulls inaugural season kicks off June 18 with a game against the Edmonton Prospects

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

The federal government says it wants to ban most flavoured vaping products in a bid to reduce their appeal to youth. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Craig Mitchelldyer
Health Canada proposes ban on most vaping flavours it says appeal to youth

If implemented, the regulations would restrict all e-cigarette flavours except tobacco, mint and menthol

The Montreal Police logo is seen in Montreal on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Some Quebec politicians are calling for an investigation after a video was released that appears to show a Montreal police officer with his leg on a young Black man’s neck during an arrest. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Probe called for after video appearing to show Montreal officer’s knee on Black youth’s neck

Politicians call for investigation after clip evokes memories of George Floyd incident

Flora Northwest was taken to the Ermineskin residential school when she was six years old. (Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)
Ermineskin residential school survivor: ‘It just brings me back to the cries at night’

Discovery in Kamloops of remains of 215 children a painful time for survivors

Thousands of protesters make their way through the downtown core during a Black Lives Matter protest in Ottawa, Friday June 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
MPs’ study of systemic racism in policing concludes RCMP needs new model

Chair of the House public safety committee says it’s time for a reckoning on ‘quasi-military’ structure

Most Read