JENNY LONG graduated in 2003 from the Bachelor of Fine Arts program at what originally was Okanagan University College in Kelowna. Before her studies at OUC, Long lived in Denmark for a year as a Rotary exchange student, which allowed her the opportunity to absorb a foreign culture and in travelling, realized her desire for visual expression. For years after her studies Long showed commercially with the Art Ark Gallery in Kelowna where she gained a strong reputation for her abstract portraits. A series of steady commissions followed + Long has since continued creating custom artwork for a multitude of clients whether in the form of portraits or pure abstraction. Her passion for painting extends to her students she teaches at BeeLong Studios + Gallery, at Legend Distilling in Naramata and within the school system in the Okanagan. She is thrilled about nurturing the growth + development of the exciting group of artists who rent studios as well as show in her bustling downtown art space.
Carla O’Bee was born in Vancouver and raised in Penticton, BC. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Education with Art Specialization from the University of British Columbia. She currently lives in Penticton with her husband Teddy and their two young children. O’Bee is known for her deep blue-and-white Cyanotype prints, as well as for her ethereal oil paintings, mixed media, and collage. Whether through stark, bright colours or soft, ghostly blends, O’Bee’s prints and paintings draw from natural landscapes and experiment with shape—she features circular canvases among her square and rectangle pieces, and she frequently incorporates cedar wood and copper into her mixed media works. O’Bee also crafts nature-inspired bronze and copper jewelry. O’Bee paints from home and from her downtown studio at BeeLong Gallery & Studios, of which she is co-owner. At BeeLong, O’Bee curates the Makers Shop as well as several rotating art shows every year. She also facilitates numerous art workshops.
I have been pursuing art ever since childhood. I have taken tons of art related classes over the years. I was able to be creative in – graphic art, photography, interior design and Montessori directress, just to name a few. My choice of medium is acrylics – they are so forgiving and playful. and my inspirations come from nature – I love to garden, take long strolls through the woods, stop and check out all of the insects and take lots and lots of pictures.
I am so grateful to be here at BeeLong Gallery + Studios and share this amazing space with such lovely and talented artists.
Being an artist for me is about Experience, Creation & Connection. I paint to connect – to the world, life, experiences, feelings, visions, thoughts, places, memories, the visible and the invisible. When another person connects to or is touched or excited by a piece I have created, I am happy to resonate in the shared experience.I work with my photographs and paints to explore why visual experiences create excitement, awe, emotion, mystery, magic, or ah-ha moments. Creating art is an expression of my experiences; of the obligation to unfold and to be available to the creative forces; and to court the muse into open conversation.
My abstract paintings are an exploration of texture and color inspired by nature. My first art making memories are from when I was five years old and involve my father. I took the sawdust from his table saw, mixed it with flour and water and created a series of duck sculptures. Later my paternal grandma, an accomplished painter, would inspire me with her art and her being. My first adult foray into producing art was functional pottery in the 1970-80’s. Painting is an experiential journey that I began in my mid 50’s. Like the ducks that are my first remembered art pieces, birds and natural habitats are my underlying themes.
Born in Exeter, England in 1957 after a largely uneventful childhood, Graham studied medicine and science embarking on a career in research science. However the arts proved too great a pull and in a change of direction he abandoned his science career and took up photography whilst holding down a series of regular jobs. At the same time Graham became a student of Zen and to this day Zen has a huge influence on all of his work. In 2002 Graham and his wife Julie moved to Canada so that Julie could pursue her career in science. Living in Calgary Graham opened an art gallery along with two other artists, selling a mix of photographs and digitally created images. Another change of direction took Graham and Julie to Oliver in the South Okanagan where they designed and built a pet boarding kennel, which they run very happily to this day.
On the art front, although still doing some photography, Graham has moved into mixed media, principally pastels and graphite combined with digital imaging. In addition to this Graham has written two books of Zen poetry, currently available on Amazon.
“I can’t emphasize enough the influence Zen has had on my work in the visual arts, it really is the wellspring from which all flows.”