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Coquitlam artist passing down her talents to son, granddaughter

Pam Burnell's "Old Quebec City" is the featured work for the next Coquitlam Art Club show and sale, Nov. 26 and 27.

Pamela Burnell had not painted before.

In fact, she admits, she was not artistic at all as a child.

But after the Coquitlam resident retired from early childhood educating, she thought she would give the activity a go.

Friends invited her to Dogwood Pavilion, a 50-plus facility that includes the Coquitlam Art Club, to try tole painting.

And she quite liked it.

Now, 15 years on, Burnell is the “poster girl” for the club as it hosts its fall show and sale on Nov. 26 and 27 in the Centennial Room.

Burnell’s piece, titled “Old Quebec City,” is the featured work on the marketing materials for the show, which runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days.

“I was thrilled to be selected,” she told the Tri-City News. “It’s quite an honour.”

Wednesday is Art Day

Burnell enjoys spending time with the club members on Wednesdays.

In the morning, she drops in to the centre to work on her pieces with about eight people; after lunch, the club sessions start for the 30-member group.

“It’s mostly all day there,” she said, adding, “It’s great because we get to learn from each other and socialize. There is never any criticism. Just advice”

Often for the sessions, the club brings in guest artists to provide demonstrations in various media such as watercolour painting, coloured pencils, inks and Chinese drawings.

For Burnell, though, she prefers to work with acrylic paints.

“They’re more forgiving,” she laughs. “Watercolour, if you’ve screwed it up, you start again.”

Besides “Old Quebec City,” Burnell plans to display 10 paintings in the show plus Christmas-themed cards.

Typically, her scenes showcase landscapes from her travels, highlighting the mountains and sea, as well as flora and fauna.

Being out in nature is what she loves the most, the gardener said.

Still, while the English native didn’t grow up in an artistic family, Burnell is passing down her talents: Her son paints as does her granddaughter, who comes around every couple of weeks to paint portraits with Burnell in her home studio.

Burnell hopes Tri-City residents will pop in to the art show and sale to check out the dozens of original pieces and talk with the artists about their creations.

Entry to the Coquitlam Art Club show and sale is free. The event takes place Nov. 26 and 27 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Centennial Room at Dogwood Pavilion (1655 Winslow Ave.). Cash and credit card will be accepted and draws will be held for several works.

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