A detail from Sundown Solitude, an acrylic painting by Red Deer artist Marianne Harris. (Contributed image).

Red Deer artist presents Rock of Ages exhibit at library

Marianne Harris has long been fascinated by stones

If rocks could talk, what tales they’d tell.

That’s the thought that sparked a new exhibit by Red Deer artist Marianne Harris, who’s painted everything from garden stones to mountain vistas in her show Rock of Ages, at the Kiwanis Gallery in the Red Deer Public library downtown.

The show, presented by the Red Deer Arts Council, runs to Oct. 11, with a First Friday opening on Sept. 3 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Harris said she finds rocks and rock formations fascinating — both as a subject and as a challenge to represent in her paintings.

Stones have been around longer than mankind, silent witnesses to the Earth’s history, and her Rock of Ages exhibition demonstrates their value in a landscape.

While rocks have the power to change a river’s path, they can be worn away by a trickle, and as Harris notes in her artist statement, they can also stand as metaphors. They can represent the solid, reliable people in our lives, but also the words that can be flung to hurt us.

Rocks represent all aspects of human strength and frailty, said the artist, who admitted that learning to paint them expertly has been a journey of persistence and frustration.

Harris experimented with different styles, techniques, and media to represent small nuances of colour, shape, and texture. She hopes viewers will appreciate the many perspectives in her exhibit — from pond-size rocks to mountain formations, close-up cracks to distant vistas.


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