A local artist has not only seen local success, but has also seen worldwide success as a number of her paintings have been displayed worldwide.
Enid Petherick is no stranger when it comes to creating art. Having been painting and drawing almost her entire life, she’s been able to see her paintings travel far and wide.
As a child, she loved to draw. During church she would make doodles, but things started getting more serious at age 13. At that time she started having problems with her back and had a short paralysis, but luckily she recovered. During her recovery she started to submit drawings to magazines and had a number of them published. That began a small interest inside her.
Years later she was working full time in Toronto and decided to start going to Art College as a night class. The office she was working at also offered a nighttime art class and it was one particular class that gave her the boost she needed to finally enroll in the Art College.
In the last class, her teacher lined up all the paintings on the wall and wanted the students to look at them. Their assignment was to take a picture and to copy it. Everyone had the same picture and so the entire class had a similar looking picture. Petherick’s was the only one that looked different. Instead of copying it, she created her own interpretation of it.
The teacher walked over and picked her picture up. “I wanted to disappear,” Petherick said.
She wondered what she had done wrong and what he was going to say. Instead, he picked her painting as his favourite one.
“It was a fantastic feeling,” Petherick recalled.
Shortly after that class she handed in her resignation at her job and decided she was going to Art College full time. Her job offered her a leave of absence instead and allowed her to work in summer which Petherick said was a huge blessing because it helped pay for her education.
Petherick attended the Ontario College of Art in Toronto and after graduating began creating all sorts of art.
Throughout the years Petherick has been able to sell her art throughout the world. She has paintings in Europe, Asia, Australia and North America.
She recalled one story of a couple from Holland looking for a Canadian wilderness to camp in. They found their way to the Blaeberry area and wandered into her open studio. Petherick had just recently finished a number of paintings for a show she was getting ready for and had her paintings all throughout the studio.
One painting in particular caught their eye and they asked her how much it cost. At this point Petherick said she hadn’t thought of a price yet, but soon came up with a price, and even though the couple didn’t come prepared to buy a painting, they ended up buying one and taking it back to Holland. Later on, she received a picture from them with her painting hanging on their wall.
“That was a big thrill,” Petherick said. “It was a highlight.”
Today, Petherick focuses more on issue oriented paintings. Currently she has a number of paintings in a Breastfeeding Art Exposition that’s been touring through BC. The expo is a unique project to celebrate breastfeeding, to educate and to raise awareness.
“I like the cause, there’s no reason why a woman should have to hide away in the washroom.”
Currently the expo is in Penticton but will go to Trail, Williams Lake and finally ending in Kamloops, but Petherick says there’s been interest from other galleries in Canada and it could continue on.
In 2014 she participated in a digital exhibition combating tobacco,“that theme really hit me because I’ve known a lot of people with nicotine addiction.”
While Petherick is more issue oriented now, she says she hopes her paintings can still bring people joy and can uplift others.
“I really prefer to do something uplifting, something that makes people feel good. On the other hand sometimes there are causes and issues I think should be touched on. I want to raise awareness. If I can’t get both I want to get one or the other, but if I can get both that’s fantastic.
To view her some of her work, visit http://www.enidpetherick.vcn.bc.ca and to learn more about the breastfeeding art expo go to breastfeedingrtexpo.ca.