Pandemic fails to break up Vernon paint partners

Women connect virtually and produce colourful show at Gallery Vertigo

Penny Ketola, Linda Sellers and Judy Templeton’s art is featured at Gallery Vertigo until Feb. 26. (Contributed)

Penny Ketola, Linda Sellers and Judy Templeton’s art is featured at Gallery Vertigo until Feb. 26. (Contributed)

Three local ladies who had just started to connect over art didn’t let the divide of health restrictions tear them apart. Instead, their bond grew deeper, and so did their creativity.

The story began in February 2020, with three motivated and inspiring women: former nurse Judy Templeton, former teacher Penny Ketola and former dance instructor Linda Sellers. All three retirees had settled in Vernon with their husbands to enjoy the Okanagan.

The artists crossed paths at local art meetings and shows and they found that they had a number of things in common, such as the love of nature, helping people and enjoying watercolour painting. So, this time last year, they started meeting in each other’s homes to paint, share ideas and just visit.

By spring 2020, the ‘paint partners’ decided to give their meetings a focus and improve their painting skills. They signed up for an online, six-week mastery watercolour course with Angela Fehr, to start in April, with plans to work on the course together.

But when March rolled around, COVID-19 restrictions changed their plans for weekly paint meetings. Yet the timing of the six-week course was a blessing because it continued to connect the ladies with WhatsApp and online, and kept them creating and working together.

Out of this inspiring course, the trio could see each other’s art evolving in new directions.

Gallery Vertigo has put their abundance of colourful art on its walls, titled Over the Rainbow. It is on display until Feb. 26 at the gallery, located at 102-3105 28th Ave.

“Our theme, Over the Rainbow, describes our approach to art,” the paint partners said. “Each painting is an adventure, a journey to another place, a place where time can stand still and creativity takes over.”

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