Shirley Sauviat, a resident of Merritt since 1983, has only recently considered herself an artist. She has always been interested in art, but didn’t have much time to concentrate on it until a few years ago.
Growing up, she was an avid sketcher, and upon the instruction of a high school art teacher to never be without a sketch book and pencil, she took up the habit of drawing wherever she went. Her first sketch books are all filled with wildflowers because they were the easiest and most colourful.
The sketch books from the early years of her marriage always had fall scenes. She would go on hunting trips with her husband and pretend to look for animals, but really She was sitting quietly drawing the scenery, the plants and the trees.
Her family used to draw together on camping trips and holidays. They would all sit together around the table in the evenings and draw things. Now, with both her boys grown and gone, and after the unexpected death of her husband several years ago, Shirley has much more time to concentrate on her art.
She has been able to build an impressive portfolio. “I love art for art’s sake,” she exclaims. In regard to her source of inspiration, she says “I hate still life, and would always prefer to work from a scene I’m looking at in nature. I really admire the work produced by The Group Of Seven; those paintings are all the sort of work I enjoy the most.”
Shirley’s work is a collection of different mediums that include watercolour, pastels, acrylic and even a relief wood carving. “I’ll try just about anything. Working with acrylics is my latest challenge. I’m really enjoying it, as it’s very different from any of the other work I’ve produced.”