Yesterday, Margy and I attended the opening, The Land and and painted by artist and musician, Herald Nix. I have been following Herald’s work, both music and art, since some time before staying at his refurbished Heritage home the summer of 2002. We were heading for Comox, B.C. and time with my brother Cliff, and I was really interested in stopping over in Salmon Arm.
I had previously met Herald at art openings and loved the rich quality of his landscapes, seeming to have their inspiration in the light and water of his home in Salmon Arm.
When I phoned to book a couple of rooms, he was in the midst of a huge transition and unbeknownst to me, so was I….I just didn’t know it at the time. His home was absolutely beautiful, but definitely enjoying the flux and change reflected back to it by Herald. This created all the more magic because floor boards were creaking. Outdoors, an old meditation pond…cherry trees heavily burdened with ripe fruit and a breath taking view of the water.
“The SAGA Public Art Gallery is featuring Herald Nix’s Railroad Bridges and the Lights of Town, a series of 40 oil paintings from the Sicamous Lake area of British Columbia. Painted between 1967 and 2012, the images capture the lakes, bridges, towns and massed hills around Salmon Arm with large, deft brushstrokes.
Herald Nix was born in 1951 in Salmon Arm, in the interior of British Columbia, and continues to live in the farmhouse where he grew up. In his youth he went to the Vancouver School of Art (now Emily Carr University of Art + Design). Nix makes almost daily trips into the bush around Salmon Arm or takes his rowboat onto the lakes to paint small landscapes en plein air using oil on board. His painting has been described as being “as much about the paint as it is about the places.”
Nix is a singer, songwriter and guitarist, and one of the most respected artists in the Canadian underground scene. ReverbNation (reverbnation.com) reports that he “sings like Hank Williams, writes like Steinbeck and paints like nobody else”. Variously called “alt country” or “Americana”, his music – like Chicago blues – is simple, warm and beautiful.”
Herald spent time with us in his studio…excited about the pigments that he had and showing us bits of his process…his panels, his framing. His eyes lit up in this space.
Equally as beautiful was the fact that he sat with us on the porch…shared a beer with us…and played a whole number of songs on his guitar as the sun set. It was a magical experience. When I hear his music or see his paintings, the memory of this time spent in his home, echoes back to me. It was a blessing-time.
If you haven’t enjoyed the work of Herald Nix, stop in to Jarvis Hall Fine Art or hit the Ironwood Stage and Grill tonight.