Mary-Jean Butler and Kimberly Kiel "Homage to Trees" March 28 – April 11

The Avenue Gallery celebrates nature with the upcoming exhibition, “Homage to Trees,” featuring new works by Kimberly Kiel and Mary-Jean Butler. Exhibition runs from March 28 – April 11 at The Avenue Gallery on Oak Bay Avenue.

Kimberly Kiel expresses herself through a wide variety of subject matter: landscapes & treescapes, figure pieces & florals. She loves the creaminess of oil, the opportunity to blend and the fact that it doesn’t dry too quickly. Looking at her work, it’s obvious that colour is a major source of inspiration. She greatly enjoys playing around with the surface of the canvas, creating different layers and textures.

“I paint as an expression of joy, of energy, of feeling completely alive. It is pure delight to squeeze out huge piles of oil paint, squish it around, have it blend, meld, combine. Wet paint, layer upon layer, morphing into a tangible and interesting surface – thick, creamy, an array of gorgeous impasto marks. I strive to leave much to the imagination, for the viewer to fill in the blanks. To go from a blank, white canvas to one filled with brilliant, glorious colour – there is a huge sense of satisfaction in that.”


Mary-Jean Butler is a West Vancouver, BC artist. Her oil paintings reflect the rugged landscape of British Columbia’s mountains and coastline. Her education in both fine art and graphic design play a strong role in the stylization of her work. Her artist studio is situated amongst the trees, cliffs and water shown in the landscapes she paints.

For all its physical suggestion of permanence, the landscape is susceptible to constant change. It’s the exploration of the seemingly endless variations that can occur within the years, days or even moments that Butler finds fascinating. The current focus of Butler’s work is the exploration of looking inward when interpreting the landscape, the opposition of different forms, lines and colour to intensify each element’s dynamic properties. The study of contrasts between massive trunks juxtaposing the most delicate of foliage, the blackness of a heavy handed shadow intensified by playful strokes of light.

Butler’s objective is to shift the focus from the broader landscape and rather explore the many subtleties that arise within small croppings, details, shifts between light and seasonal changes.