MACKIE LAKE HOUSE ARTIST IN RESIDENCE
Vernon, B.C. September - October 2017
I was honored and thrilled to learn that I had been selected as the 2017 Artist in Residence at the Mackie Lake House in Coldstream, B.C.. My husband and I moved into the house September 24th for 4 weeks. Stepping through the front door was like stepping back in time. The house is furnished with period pieces and antiques, steeped in history, and the walls covered in famous paintings.
The Mackie Lake House was built in 1910 in the Arts and Crafts style, by local Vernon builders. The Mackie family were the third owners of the house, and Paddy Mackie, the youngest son, lived at the house until his death in 1999. Before he died he set up the Mackie Lake House Foundation to run the house as an arts and culture centre.
The first morning I set up my studio on the screened -in veranda, moving it inside later in the week due to colder temperatures. I wandered around the gardens, took a path to the beach area, and explored Fylton Forest behind the barns. I took lots of pictures that first day, and hundreds more over the residency, recording the light and mood of each day at the house.
My goal for this residency was all about capturing the different light on the property every day – and to reproduce that light in my paintings. I have not been disappointed – the cloudy days, sunny days, stormy and windy days have all provided me with a stunning collection of photos to choose from. Some of the paintings created from this residency are of the same subject matter, different angle and light, different time of day.
It has been a wonderful, creative and inspiring residency for me. I ended up with 17 paintings completed during the residency, and a camera full of future paintings. And as an added bonus, I am now well versed in the local history, from the beginnings of the Coldstream Ranch to the legacy that is the Mackie House. I discovered that Mr. Churchill’s secretary, Elizabeth Nel, was a Layton, and lived in the Mackie House prior to the Mackie’s moving in. You can feel the history in this house, it is a breathing, all-encompassing entity. And no-one could leave a residency here without somehow being affected by this well-preserved grand old mansion.