Glen Valley artist Barbara Boldt is a teacher and a painter, and one of B.C.'s most respected artists. But more importantly, Boldt is a mother. She has a strong bond with her daughter, but that doesn't make her unique.
It's the way she keeps connected to her daughter, Dorothy Forbes, who passed in 2000, that makes her extraordinary - and their connection eternal.
Through a new-themed series of evolving paintings entitled Daughter's Eyes, Mother's Hands, Boldt lovingly honours Forbes's life through oil on canvas. And that tribute, in part, will be on display during Boldt's fall open house this weekend, both Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 19 and 20, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at her studio, 25340 84th Ave., Langley.
Also an artist, Forbes took photos of the beauty she saw in the world, and after she died, Boldt inherited her daughter's photographs. Daughter's Eyes, Mother's Hands, begins with those images from Forbes' collection, glimpses of the beauty she saw in the world.
"This is one of my mantras with my students," said Boldt. "Paint what you see, because two people looking at the same thing see something different; we are very individual in what we see."
She said it "is very important" to her.
"And this is why I love doing my daughter's work," she said, "because I put myself in her place at the time, 'Oh! That's what you saw' kind of feeling."
From this start, and with her "mother's hands," Boldt moves forward on a journey of interspersing her own technique and vision with her daughter's world - to create paintings that blend the artistic vision of the two women.
If Forbes were alive today, Boldt believes, her daughter would approve of her personal tribute.
"I think she would say, 'Go for it, Mom!'" The photos had been left in an envelope with the words "To Do" in Forbes's handwriting, and that's what Boldt has been working from: "I'm painting what she would have painted."
Boldt recently finished a painting entitled Canola Fields from Forbes's photo taken around her home in St. Albert, Alta. "It's important to express, what do I see, what do I know, what do I feel, and she was the same."
The series is a work in progress. Boldt is working on painting number 10. She wants to finish 45 paintings by December 2014, when her daughter would have turned 60.
"She lived for 45 years, and I want to paint a painting for every year of her life," Boldt said.
Her favourite painting so far is called Wood Art, a piece of drift wood, beautiful in its living form, and something that has become even more special as time goes on.
Boldt's coffee-table style art book, Places of Her Heart: The Art and Life of Barbara Boldt - written by award-winning Langley writer K. Jane Watt - will also be on display. It contains more than 200 of Boldt's paintings of the Fraser Valley and the south coast of B.C.
@ Copyright 2013