At the age of 10, Joyce Evans moved with her family to Singapore where her father was posted with the British Air Force.
Every now and then, she would cycle to the market, where she would watch the hustle and bustle of the locals. "Right from a young age, I was looking at strange things. It piqued my interest," the Belcarra resident said.
Fifteen years later, with a year-old son in tow, she would call Ghana home.
Her husband gained a job as a quantity surveyor for a construction firm and Evans landed a gig as an art teacher at the Ghana International School, making use of her four-year diploma in art and design from the Southampton College of Arts and her art teacher's certificate from the London University Institute of Education.
The couple stayed in the African country for three years before moving - once again - to Jamaica. Two years later, they were in Castlegar and, in 1986, in the Tri-Cities.
Evans' travels to 20-plus countries are the inspiration for her latest artistic series, called To Market To Market, which will be shown at Coquitlam's Place des Arts until Aug. 6. Her solo exhibit in the Atrium Gallery opens tomorrow (Thursday) with a reception at 6 p.m.
Her 27 acrylic pieces depict lively scenes from Ghana, Tanzania, Egypt, Spain, France and Ecuador, to name a few. The Lincolnshire-born artist interpreted them from photos and sketches she made on her journeys.
The market, she said, is where the community thrives.
"It's so mixed up. The people, the patterns, the colours, the food, the smells: it's a wonderful experience. I love to wander around and take it all in."
There are also paintings of her last trip to Uganda, where the 68 year old spent a month in April on a Douglas College package.
Her favourite country to visit? "Ah, that would have to be India," she said. "It's the most interesting place. I could paint from anything there because there are ideas around every corner."
Still, the grandmother of five is unsure about her next destination.
"As you get older, you find it more difficult to get going and find excuses to do other things," she said.