Meet Clare Singleton, a full-time artist who has travelled from coast to coast over the last 30 years documenting life in small towns.
If you live in Burns Lake, you have probably seen her around town with a canvas and a brush. The artist was chosen to paint three panels of Main Street for the new Lakes District Hospital and Health Centre in Burns Lake.
In order to purchase art work for the new facility, an arts committee opened a competition for local artists.
Singleton proposed three 28” by 36” panels of Main Street in Burns Lake. The panels included historical buildings such as the old George Brown Memorial, which used to be the first hospital in Burns Lake and is now used by the Burns Lake Native Development Corporation.
Although Singleton has travelled extensively all over the country, she said her experience in Burns Lake has been quite unique. Locals invited her into their homes and even took her swimming in the lake several times.
“Burns Lake is truly one of my favourites,” she said. “I would like to retire there.”
She said a local resident brought her a “freezie” on a hot day, and that the Burns Lake Library has been helping by letting her use their premises to paint.
“I love interacting with locals,” she said. “Sometimes I will let a child add a stroke here or there.”
Singleton was born near Victoria, B.C., and she currently lives in Endako. She has a bachelor of fine arts from the University of Victoria, and defines herself as an expressionistic story artist. Her multi-media work includes acrylic paint, canvas, muslin, hand-sewn and machine work, stuffing, fishing wire, reused objects, string, waterline pipe and velvet.
Wayne Brown, owner of the Process 4 Circle Arts Gallery in Burns Lake, has known Singleton for a long time. He said her art is reflective of her personality.
“There’s a joy in her work; it’s colourful and it puts a smile on your face.”
Brown said her style is actually a combination of styles.
“She has a way of seeing everything, simplifying to the point where you recognize what you see while at the same time adding all these little details,” he said. “It’s way more complex than what you first perceive.”
“She’s dynamic,” he said. “She loves painting and she’s very good at it.
Art work of selected local artists, including Singleton’s panels of Main Street, will be displayed at the Lakes District Hospital and Health Centre starting September 2015.