September 16, 2010

Every artist — as they create, paint and develop their talent — goes through a transition period.

At least that’s what Jackie Ziehe, lover of landscapes and the Yukon scenery, says of her series of artwork that appears, at first glance, to be a collection from many different artists.

“I’m a scenery artist, but as I further my skills, I take different approaches and get looser, more relaxed,” she says. Her work goes through a shifting landscape of detailed acrylics to soft abstract watercolours.

Ziehe’s current show,Transitions, is an interesting cross-section of her own transitional period.

Away from the art show scene for eight years, Ziehe’s work moves from the very detailed to the abstract — indeed at times appearing as though different artists are displaying their work in her space.

“I didn’t mean to be away from the art scene for so long, but as a manager for Yukon Artists @ Work and heavily involved in creating a space for artists, well, my own work seemed to fall by the wayside,” says Ziehe.

No longer the manager at YAW, she has the time and creative space to go back to her landscapes, lush with the angled light of the Yukon glittering on canvas.

As a landscape artist, Ziehe experiments with mixed-media: “Any water-based media, I’m into using,” says Ziehe.

Her pieces with Transitions range from watercolours, to inks and acrylics, with some gold and bronze glittery paints blended in.

The reason Ziehe uses many water-based mediums is to accurately represent the way the light in the Yukon amplifies the beauty in the landscape.

“Everything that is ordinary becomes amazing. A slough by the side of the highway becomes a pond, with light that bounces off the gently rippling water. There’s something extraordinary in the Yukon landscape that just looks amazing,” she says.

Light down south is higher, and beams down on the land, which creates a different perspective for artists, which is why many in the art community favour the lower light of the North.

And her favourite places to paint? Well, everywhere. She has pieces from Miles Canyon, Skagway, Fish Lake, Kluane and all throughout the Yukon.

There is no lack of inspiration for Ziehe, and she never suffers searching for a gorgeous scenic area. Her show is a self-proclaimed “mixed bag” of pieces, 30 in total, in fact, accidentally matching the number of years she has lived in the Yukon.

“That’s funny how that worked out, but yes I’ve been here since 1980 and working as a professional artist,” laughs Ziehe.

As Ziehe works through her transitional period of extremely detailed works to more abstract, she hopes to continue showing her work.

While Transitions doesn’t have a strict theme, acting as a collection of her favourite pieces created throughout the years, she hopes to hone her skills in the future and present highly thematic pieces.

Transitions shows at the Copper Moon Gallery at 3 Glacier Drive until the end of September.