Since moving to Whitehorse, Amber R. Walker’s creative energy has resurfaced.

“I thought acting at first, because I kind of wanted to try acting, but then when I started getting back to my original background it was more of a ‘oh well I want to do art. I want to keep doing art,'” she says sitting cross-legged on the floor of her bedroom.

The room is like a pale blue shoebox, with enough surface area for little more than a full bed. But it’s not just a place for slumber; it doubles as Walker’s impromptu watercolour studio.

“It’s really my stress reliever, my time to myself. It doesn’t matter if it’s an hour a day, it’s enough,” she says of her craft. “If I’m by myself, I tend to like to be in small places.”

California-born Walker was most recently living in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She made the move to the Yukon last September.

It was around then she began creating the series, A Tree In Time, which debuts at the Yukon Arts Centre Community Gallery on April 19.

“When I started creating it, the main goal behind it was to gather some sort of healing. Along my journey to this point, I’ve had extreme ups and downs,” Walker explains.

A Tree In Time is Walker’s first exhibition. She says the 13-piece series reflects her life and incorporates artistic techniques she learned from her mother.

Although she begins each work with a wash, Walker then uses a strong application of the medium to create deep, dark hues and strong lines.

As the series’ title suggests, each work includes a tree. That subject is meant not only to convey nature, but familiar feelings.

One piece in particular is titled, Closing Your Eyes To Open The Door. It’s an outlet for Walker to discuss the struggle she’s had in finding her own path, not just following what others had in mind.

Visual art has always been in Walker’s sights. She says she searched for a challenge beyond finger-painting at five-years-old and hasn’t looked back.

And the embrace of Whitehorse’s artistic community motivates her to continue.

“[Maya Hirschman, then-assistant curator at YAC] started inking my name in and it was just like a dream because it’s something I’ve really wanted to pursue. It was almost like hearing her say ‘your career here has started.'”

A Tree In Time is on display at the YAC’s community gallery April 19 to May 12. Walker also has a piece in the Wildlife Art exhibition at the Marsh Lake Community Centre until May 12.

PHOTO: MORGAN WHIBLEY morgwhib@gmail.com