Twelve years after hosting her first exhibition inside Ucluelet’s Black Rock Resort, Carole Finn has returned to where her journey as a professional artist began.
Finn’s solo exhibition, titled ‘Trails and Beaches of the Pacific Rim’ is currently on display at Black Rock and will run until Oct. 17.
An Ontario native, Finn had recently retired and says she was visiting the west coast of Vancouver Island often when she became inspired to capture Ucluelet’s “rugged rock sharpened by power and force of ocean waves” onto canvas during a trip in 2009.
“When I was there, I was walking the trail and I just fell in love with the rocks, the logs and all the wildness of the ocean and I still love it,” Finn told the Westerly News. “All those wonderful things that come from living beside the water.”
She said the Wild Pacific Trail Society was gaining traction at the time and she reached out to Black Rock to host her first exhibition in an effort to raise awareness of the trail and the society behind it.
“It’s just a beautiful spot and the trail ended up being a real plus,” she said.
She added those first works “were at the trailhead of the rest of my life” and the series of paintings she showed at her first exhibition at Black Rock catapulted her into an art career that’s included multiple awards and a membership with the Federation of Canadian Artists.
In 2020, she moved from her Ontario home to Oak Bay, B.C., and set up a studio where she paints from photos she’s taken that she feels best represents an area’s unique landscape, adding Tofino and Ucluelet are her favourite muses.
“It’s a great place for artists to come. I’ve always believed that. The place should be an artist mecca,” she said. “Being beside the water and sitting right at the ocean’s edge, there are so few places where you can do that…I love the way the people are connected to the water too.”
During a visit to Ucluelet in April of this year Finn reached out to Black Rock to see if she could host another show and was delighted to hear she could.
Her ‘‘Trails and Beaches of the Pacific Rim’ exhibition includes 10 pieces with a focus on wildlife and West Coast landscapes.
“The works you will see will delight your senses. You will feel the dampness and fog in the air as the sun sets over the trees; and the waves of the incoming tide lap over rocks draped with kelp. A trip down one of the trails will be a new adventure as you look at the forest canopy of branches above and remember the work that made you aware of the intricacies of their patterns. You will be looking for the blue in the paths and pink in trees,” reads a media release announcing the exhibition.