Back Home Artist Statement

Back Home Claresholm, Alberta

Back Home 2005 is a series of approximately eighty watercolours that reflects town, village, and hamlet life in rural Alberta at the turn of the century.  These paintings are vignettes of everyday life and everyday people in “urban” rural gathering places in Alberta, with an emphasis on the central/southern part of the province.

Back Home By Karen Brownlee Artist

The Back Home watercolours capture the sense of time and place of Alberta’s small places, symbolic of a way of life that is disappearing as the province shifts further from a rural populations base (100 years ago) to an urban base today.  People interacting with their environs are the basis for these unique views.  Scenes include main street and back alley glimpses of everyday life:  people getting their mail/walking/shopping/bike riding/walking their dog/roller blading, etc.

Back Home Collection Coaldale #2 1998
Back Home Collection Coaldale #2 1998

The common iconistic thread in these paintings is that there is a grain elevator somewhere within the composition.  The grain elevator, sometimes occupying a minuscule one inch high background spot in the composition, was the anchor for the community, and the historical, economic thread in the development of communities within Alberta and the western Canadian plains.  These paintings focus on the social community and architectural milieu views of the modern moment of rural Alberta’s places and spaces.