According to a release for the show, Bottomley was born in Tokyo, and after finishing high school, she attended the Nippon Design School to study fashion design, an industry in which she worked until immigrating to Canada in 1969. And yet, Bottomley’s continuous interest in art compelled her to pick up a paint brush and further her fine art career. “Influenced by a series of paintings of hanging baskets by fellow artist Mary Ann Fleming, she was drawn to the round shapes and bright colours of the blooms. And had an ‘ah ha’ moment to paint round, luscious apples,” read the release.
A gallery in Nanaimo dedicated to apple art. ‘Songs of Apples,’ by Keiko Bottomley, is on display at Art 10 Gallery through May 31. During the month of May, the Nanaimo North Town Centre will be hosting an exhibit titled “Songs of Apples.” Keiko Bottomley, or Kay as she is known among her friends, is the featured artist at the Art 10 Gallery and will be exhibiting her still-life series on apples through May 31. She joined the museum in 1990, seven years after it had opened its doors in 1983.
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Bottomley only works from life, which led her to grocery stores to buy apples and apple pies to take back to her studio. She then found baskets and pieces of fabric to use as reference for her apple painting series. Her expressive and colourful paintings cover a wide range of still-life subjects, such as flowers and apples, influenced by her Japanese heritage, noted the release. Japanese patterns, colours and shapes are common in her paintings. She is inspired by Japanese artist Munakata Shiro’s art and a rendition of ‘The Flower Hunters,’ gracing a still life of apples, is a feature of her most recent art series.
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