Princeton artists Merrylin Huycke holds a portrait of a local singer and pianist.

Princeton artists Merrylin Huycke holds a portrait of a local singer and pianist.

Princeton artist draws inspiration from Okanagan landscape

Merrylin Huycke uses Princeton's interesting people and beautiful scenery to create her artwork.

Princeton painter and sculptor Merrylin Huycke looks to the region’s lush landscapes and interesting people for inspiration.

Although the veteran artist does “a bit of everything,” lately she’s been focusing on portraits and landscapes with people nestled in them.

Her most recent painting – a portrait of a local singing – is one of Huycke’s favourite forms of art.

“People are terrifically intriguing, so I really enjoy painting them,” she said.

Huycke became interested in portraits when she was asked to colour black-and-white photos in the late 1960s. The company she worked took mostly photos of people for events such as graduation.

She now sees herself putting people in her landscapes more and more often.

As soon as Huycke arrived in Princeton, she knew the area was home. Since then, she has seen her artwork transform.

“The landscape really starts to affect you wherever you are,” she said.

Huycke grew up on the Prairies, so everything she used to paint was long and flat. Since moving to B.C., she’s had to flip the canvas vertically to account for the dominant hills and trees.

There weren’t many artists in Princeton when she first arrived, which allowed her to focus more on her paintings and sculptures.

One of the challenges of working in a small town is having to travel for supplies, sometimes all the way to Kelowna, she said.

Huycke and her husband took a trip across Canada three years ago in search of a place that hadn’t been touched by people.

“I had an epiphany that the two had to be together, because you can’t recognize a place if you’re not there to see it,” she said.

“You can’t separate the two.”

She was amazed by the different landscapes and people across Canada.

“The landscape really changes the people. It’s like different little countries all the way across.”

Her current work-in-progress is a scenic painting of a girl sitting beside a lake and towering trees.

Her daughter posed for the painting beside one of Huycke’s favourite trees near Princeton.

She uses mostly water colour and acrylic, and has steered clear from oil because the fumes can be dangerous to artists’ health.

“They’re coming out with water-soluble oils, which sounds like an oxymoron. But it makes it a bit cleaner.”

Huycke likes teaching children art. Her most recent class made a colourful totem pole on display at the Riverside Centre.

“It’s hard to keep up with them, but it was really great to see them learn.”


Just Posted

(Black Press file photo)
EDITORIAL: Curtailing attempts at scams

The true total of losses from all scams and frauds could be much higher than the figures on file

People at the beach in front of Discovery Bay Resort on Tuesday, July 14. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Heat wave forecast for Okanagan-Shuswap

Temperatures are forecast to hit record breaking highs this week

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

The Pierre family, an Indigenous family, once lived in what is now downtown Summerland. Today, Pierre Drive is named in honour of the family. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)
Pierre family played role in Summerland’s history

Downtown Summerland was once Penticton Indian Reserve #3

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Former Kamloops security gaurd wants job back after kicking incident caught on video

Rick Eldridge quit when a video surfaced of him kicking a man outside a facility for homeless

People participated in a walk to honour the 215 children found at a former Kamloops residential school, as well as residential school survivors. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)
Kelowna marks National Indigenous Peoples’ Day with walk to remember Kamloops 215

“Let’s speak the truth and deal with the truth, and heal.”

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

A home on Cameo Drive sustained major damage due to an early morning fire Monday, June 21. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
UPDATE: Fire sparked during Vernon home renovation

Heavy black smoke from Cameo Drive home, no one inside

Most Read