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Updated: Mar 28

The Art of Painting the Great Outdoors

“In the Mountains - En Plein Air” Retrospective!

Longtime Southeastern BC resident and emerging artist Anne Aitken Anderson is excited to announce her upcoming solo art exhibit "In the Mountains - En Plein Air - Retrospective!” set to inspire visitors at Art Gallery Kimberley in BC’s Best Small Town from March 21 to 31. 

For Anne, hiking and painting in the great outdoors is where true happiness lives. Each piece within this exhibit originated from intimate oil sketches created in the open air of the Purcells and the Rocky Mountains. These initial drawings were then transformed in her studio, evolving into larger artworks that capture the emotion and breathtaking beauty of the landscape.

Anne grew up on the East Coast of Canada surrounded by artists and eccentrics and was strongly influenced by the wackiness of her childhood home. Her mother, a watercolour artist, painted  a giant colourful mural of Noah's Ark and all the animals across the front of the family house. Her father built the house  around his family of five children, following the architecture of Frank Loyd Wright. Anne fondly remembers many moments spent with her neighbours, renowned Canadian war artists Molly and Bruno Bobak.

Anne spent the first half of her working life in the left-brain focused world of mathematics and computers. Following a life altering experience, she started exploring her right brain with a little help of an artist friend who showed up at Anne’s door with paints and a simple invitation: “Let’s get started.” Since then, Anne has become a full-time artist pursuing watercolours and oils through workshops and mentorship under artists such as Doug Swinton, Charlie Easton, Sharon Lynn Williams, Melanie MacVoy, and online artist mentorship platform Mastrius.  

The idea of Anne’s exhibit emerged from a trip to International Basin for the Alpine Club of Canada artist week where Anne joined a group of artists and hiked in the Northern Purcells. The group painted together for five days straight. The weather was fantastic, the wildflowers were spectacular, and the food was amazing. Anne says, “We carried our backpacks full of pochade boxes, tripods, paints and brushes into the alpine to capture the beauty before us and enjoy each other’s company.”

Reflecting on her artistic process, Anne says: “There is something unique to painting “En Plein Air” (in the open air). Beyond the bugs and the weather, there is an emotion of place and of being truly present that doesn’t exist when painting from a photo.” Anne describes an exhilarating “endorphin high” that comes with the completion of a plein-air painting. For her, painting outside in nature is an addiction. 

The exhibit opening reception will be held on Saturday, March 23 from 3 to 5 pm. Anne's exhibit welcomes visitors from Thursday to Sunday, 9:30 until 4:30 and from Monday to Wednesday by appointment. For more information and event updates, please visit or reach out to the gallery at 250-432-9225 or

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