Artico Biota Studio
Artist Ann Timmins
January 24, 2011
I remember that feeling as a teenager, earning enough money to purchase my first real camera, and composing images with the tiny viewfinder. Taking the film to be processed and then waiting impatiently for the photos to come back from the processing lab, and as we lived in rural B.C., going to the local general store, and waiting in line at the postal window. Finally the precious photos arrive, quickly rifling through the envelope to see which photos caught the moment in time, the colours and miniature views captured on photo paper.
On our farm near the Shuswap Lake, we had a herd of goats, several dogs, a cat, some chickens and cows, as well as wildlife passing through our fields and gardens. My mother Sheila Timmins, paintings captured the colours and inspiration of our life on the farm.
When I finished high school, I went to work in a local orchard, and in my free time became absorbed in detailed pen and ink drawings from my imagination. I happened to get my eyes checked, and was not happy to learn that I would need to wear glasses. The ugly glasses arrived, but I soon became absorbed in all the incredible depth and clarity of trees, branches, leaves and the field of depth that opened before my eyes. Even my visual dreams seemed to be more intricate.
Capturing images on my camera became simply a visual study of composition, the natural world, colours, perspective or the intricate details of close up. My pen and ink drawings evolved in a separate amusement of drawing connected shapes, patterns and creating a story similar to my visual dreams. Emergence by Ann Timmins
At NSCAD in Nova Scotia and later at the Ontario College of Art and Design, I became absorbed in threads, weaving and surface design in textile media. Upon graduation I was happy to find applied design work in a carpet firm. Designing with pen and ink continued to be the natural flow to visualization.
Initially moving to Rae-Edzo, NWT in 1991, my visual world was changed by absolute cold, inky black nights and the energy of the Aurora as it painted itself across the heavens. I remember childhood memories of my mother reciting the entire poem by Robert Service…’there are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold; The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold; The Northern Lights have seen queer sights’….
Silk Aurora 3' - painting on silk Ann Timmins
My colour perception leans towards the cool turquoises, midnight blues, dioxazine violets and wintry pale ultramarine. Inspired by the abstract flowing display of northern lights, my silk media with its shimmery highlights and subtle woven texture, absorbed my washes of pale dyes, building layer upon layer to hopefully interpret the movement of the aurora. The largest of these pieces, is in the Great Hall in the new Legislative Assembly of NT, in Yellowknife. 12 silk panels each 45in. x 100in titled ‘The Web of life’ a reminder that we are all connected by invisible threads to a caring and compassionate human community.
In 2002, I had the opportunity to return to Prince George in B.C., and have a show of my northern paintings at Two Rivers Gallery. The Gallery symbolizes the cutbanks and riverbed of Nechako and Fraser Rivers. Having lived and painted along the Nechako River in Vanderhoof, and inspired by the mighty Fraser, this trip home to BC, was a chance to connect with my roots.
"Birthing Glacier" by Ann Timmins
My passion for colour and movement emerged from the depths of a long cold winter in 2004-05, after a summer trip to the Yukon. The cancan dancing in Dawson City reminded me of my teenage days in central BC, where I learned and danced the cancan for a community event.
'Dancing Sisters' by Ann Timmins
The silk threads of the cancan dresses the energy of the dancing, the amazing stories of the women traveling to the North, inspired a series of paintings and a show ‘In the Limelight’ at Birchwood Gallery in Yellowknife.
'Winter Morning Walk' - acrylic on canvas by Ann Timmins
Currently my acrylic paintings on canvas or board are derivative of techniques I used in creating pen and ink drawings, and the transparent effects of dye washes on silk.
My themes are diverging along several channels, making my life invigorating and fulfilling.
From 2008 to 2010 I have been painting a series called ‘The Caregiver’s Journey’ this series is my emotional release to the challenge of caring for my daughter, as she battled cancer from 10 months old.
The Caregiver’s Journey’ by Ann Timmins
In September 2009, Margaret Peterson invited me to their Lodge at Point Lake, to participate in a photography workshop with Robert Berdan. There is an incredible moment of truth as one realizes how the caribou inhabit and survive on the tundra.
Caribou Bay by Ann Timmins
Just as I was getting into the painting of the caribou and the colours of the hills around Caribou Bay, I was invited to paint a mural for Northern House at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. This in turn has led to my series of paintings ‘Arctic Winter Dreams’.
Arctic Winter Dreams by Ann Timmins
'Outcrop Rocks' original oil painting by Ann Timmins
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