For 35 years painter Vaughn Butland has called the grasslands in and around Kamloops his studio away from home.
Unlike some painters, he doesn’t take a photograph of the rolling hills and big sky back to his Barnhartvale studio to paint. He brings his brushes, canvas and easel to Lac Le Jeune, Goose Lake Road and Knutsford and creates on location.
“I am physically out there painting,” he said Wednesday. “It’s a painter’s paradise.”
He’s been visited by deer and grouse while painting, and wishes more people took the time to appreciate the peace and tranquility of an environment that’s just a few short minutes from most people’s homes.
Sure, outdoor enthusiasts rip around on their ATVs and in their trucks, but how many stop and enjoy the scenery in silence, he wondered.
If more people don’t take the time to appreciate the grasslands, Butland is convinced the complex ecosystem will become a thing of the past.
“It’s teeming with wildlife,” said Butland. “And I think that’s worth protecting.”
Which is why he’s partnered with the Grassland Conservation Council for an upcoming show at St. Andrews on the Square from Oct. 25 to 27.
About 30 of the 40 oil and watercolour paintings on display and up for sale are new, he said, and include such majestic vistas as Lac Du Bois and Sun Peaks.
“I painted most of them in May and June,” he said, adding the show and sale came together earlier this year.
Butland provides the paintings, frames and advertising. The majority of the proceeds from the sale of any painting go to the grassland council so the group can protect these critical areas.
The paintings are small and suitable for hanging in someone’s home, said Butland. He hopes people will come out, buy a painting, and support what he considers to be a worthy cause.
“I want people to be aware of the grasslands,” he said.
The show and sales takes place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Oct. 25 and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 26 and 27.