The Kootenay’s Hidden Gem: A Workshop In Kimberley

I had the real pleasure of doing a workshop in Kimberley last weekend.  I was sworn to secrecy (jokingly) not to reveal how interesting a town Kimberley is but really is a gem.  It has a population of about 6700 and is located about 20 minutes north of the the main highway which goes through Cranbrook.  Originally a mining town it still maintains a very strong German cultural heritage in the buildings and names.  It also has a unique feel to it.  It’s a little bit less regimented in the layout and houses then a place like Calgary and it seems like a place where people can also feel very comfortable.

This is example of the backyard that one resident created.

Rex Beanland, Roland's yard

Rex Beanland, Rolands yard detail

Also it is positively inspiring in that, due to the efforts of many people, they have a wonderful, thriving arts centre, Kimberley Arts at Centre 64.  It houses a theatre, a wonderful art gallery, and a dance studio/classroom.  It seems to be a thriving enterprise.  What a facility!

Rex Beanland, Kimberley Arts at Centre 64

The workshop itself was wonderful.  For the past few years I always say each workshop is wonderful  because they always are but there were a couple of ways that this one was different.  We had participants covering the full range of experience from complete beginner to advanced yet I think this workshop had the best level of success that I have experienced.   The quality of everyone’s paintings was striking.  In fact for the first time I photographed everyone’s painting to include in this post.

One of the most interesting and satisfying part of a workshop is the show and tell where we look at everyone’s painting and comment.  In general the artist tends to devalue their work and the others tend to be super positive so it’s so helpful to get out of our mind for a bit and see our work from other’s point of view.  Artists tend to be so  kind with each other in situations like this.

Show & Tell

Show & Tell

Here are all the examples of the main demo.

We did a second painting  on the last afternoon which is from the ‘Experimental Watercolour’ genre.  It really amounts to playing with water and seeing what happens. Most of my paintings are carefully planned out and time consuming so it’s very relaxing  to completely break with that process and just have some fun.  Here are some examples of works in progress.


So thanks to the Arts Centre for inviting me and thanks to everyone for making it such an enjoyable and rewarding workshop.

Rex Beanland, the class normal

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