Vernon artist Laura Ashton is showing her wildlife and botanical paintings in the exhibition

Vernon artist Laura Ashton is showing her wildlife and botanical paintings in the exhibition

Get a taste for flora and fauna at Ratio in Vernon

Laura Ashton shows her botanical and wildlife paintings at Ratio Coffee and Pastry.

Those who have a taste for gourmet pastries and freshly-made coffee likely know of the new establishment, Ratio Coffee & Pastry, in Vernon.

However, among the cakes, galettes, éclairs, strudels and donuts, the establishment is about to feature some flora and fauna – of the inedible sort.

Wildlife and botanical artist Laura Ashton is about to open her solo exhibition, Flora and Fauna, at Ratio Friday, June 24 and will be showing her paintings that focus on plants and animals found in the North Okanagan.

Both large and small mammals will be on display.

“Ratio Coffee & Pastry is pleased to have Laura Ashton’s work on display for our next artist showcase,” said Andrew McWilliam, Ratio Coffee and Pastry owner.  “Customers will be able to enjoy great coffee and one-of-a-kind pastries along with Laura’s unique and beautiful array of botanical and wildlife artwork. Our upstairs customer seating space will be a real highlight with a number of her pieces on display in our gallery-like café space.”

Originally from Victoria, Ashton studied botanical painting at the London (U.K.) Art College as well the U.K. Society of Botanical Artists (SBA) Distance Learning Course.

Along with her exhibition, Ashton will offer two workshop sessions on how to paint wild roses and basic floral wreaths in watercolour.

All of Ashton’s original artwork and prints will be for sale at the opening reception, and throughout the show, with 10 per cent of sales going to the Humane Society of Canada (HSC).

The HSC works across Canada to protect dogs, cats, horses, birds, rabbits and small animals, livestock, lab animals, wildlife and the environment.

“It carries out hands-on programs to help animals and nature, mount rescue operations, and expose cruelty through hard-hitting undercover investigations,” said Ashton. “It also works to pass laws to protect animals, support animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centres, and spread the word about how to help animals and nature through humane education.”

The opening reception takes place Friday, June 24 from 5 to 7 p.m. There will be free punch, with coffee, tea and pastries available for purchase.

The workshops take place Monday, June 27, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m., at Ratio’s meeting room upstairs.

All materials are included and the cost is $45 per person. As space is limited, those interested must pre-register by calling Ashton at 1-250-997-7332, e-mail lashtonart@gmail.com or register online via www.lauraashtonartist.com. All levels of watercolour painters are welcome.

Ratio Coffee and Pastry is located in the old train station at #4-3101 29th St.