Location: Fernie

Beanpod Chocolate…mmmmm!

Our stop in Fernie to seek out and interview artists fortuitously led to seeking out some of the best chocolate I have ever tasted! If you have ever enjoyed Bernie C’s chocolates like I have (on a few occasions), I would have to say that Beanpod‘s is a notch or two above.

While showing us around the various art venues in Fernie, our artist tour guide Janice Edwards had skillfully guided us to Beanpod across the street from the Fernie Arts Coop, where chocolate is made and coffee beans are roasted on site. We played hard to get at first, but after we said our goodbyes to Janice we hurried back to pocket a bar of chocolate for ourselves. Our choice of the day: the Gnarly Bar. If you are ever passing by Fernie don’t make it an option but rather a must to stop in to Beanpod for a taste of what they have to offer; you won’t be disappointed!

Painter Janice Edwards

Painter Janice Edwards

Fernie was always one of those “passing through” towns for me that was usually just a coffee and gas stop along the way from here to there; that is until our ArtsQuest business slowed me down enough to find out just how charming and beautiful Fernie really is. Not only does the rugged terrain, pristine rivers and deep snow attract the outdoor enthusiast, but it also brings artists (cultivates artists?) to capture those surroundings on different mediums.

One such artist is Janice Edwards, who has been painting for the last twenty years in mostly acrylics and some watercolours; favouring the impressionist style. Janice generously played tour guide for us and gave us a look at the different venues, shops and representation outlets for Fernie’s art community.

Janice’s own artwork, displayed and for sale in the Fernie Arts Coop, jumps out at you in rich and vivid colours, defiantly ignoring the often drab and paleness of the photograph from where the painting originated; the photo acting more as a research tool rather than the benchmark for the finished painting. That is not to say that Janice’s photographs are not a work of art in itself, but comparatively Janice has taken the painting to another level altogether. Therein lies Janice’s gift with her artwork. To take an otherwise ordinary photograph, extract the shapes from it and transform it into a painting with vibrant colours and depth. I like Janice’s approach of “no fear”; willing to detract from convention and stick true to what resonates with her, creating a work of art that will resonate with others as it did with us.

Enjoy the photographs below of some of Janice’s creations.