September 26 to October 28, 1990
Esther Darlington was born in Winnipeg in 1930. She was considered to be “gifted” as a child and was encouraged to participate in a variety of art activities and courses. She was not encouraged to finish high school, however, and left school to work. She married at an early age as well. Demands of family became a priority and her early ambition to develop a career in commercial art was soon forgotten.
Darlington did not, in her own words, discover herself in the fullest sense until she was in her 30s and 40s, though she feels that since then she has “certainly made up for lost time.”
In 1959, Darlington moved to British Columbia and met a group of painters on the West Coast. Her early interest in art rediscovered and she learned to paint in oils. Throughout the 60s and 70s, she continued to paint and moved back and forth between the Interior and Vancouver. She also becaoe involved in newspaper work and in the mid-70s and in 1979, she became the owner, publisher, and editor of a thriving weekly newspaper in Ashcroft.
When Darlington began to paint her primary interest was in figure painting, but around 1983 she turned to the landscape of the Thompson River Valley. She has recently returned to figure and portrait painting.
Darlington has taught numerous adult extension courses in oil painting and drawing and volunteered to teach art in Clinton Elementary School. Her poetry has been published regularly across the country. One of her short stories was read over CBC Radio and another was published in the Wascana Review.
Over the years Darlington has had numerous solo exhibitions and participated in a variety of group shows in the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Vancouver Arts Club, the University of Western Washington, the Burnaby Art Gallery, the Kamloops Gallery, William’s Lake and with the University of British Columbia Folk Festival.
Darlington likes to work in natural light and her paintings reflect that light. The works are characterized by clarity and freshness of colour. While her work is representational, it is certainly not photographic, and has been described as expressionist. The forms are simplified and the works are filled with the light of the Southern Interior.
These intimate landscapes, still lifes, and portraits are part of long art historical tradition of domestic genre dating back to the 17th century when paintings began to be created for the home rather than the church. Throughout this century many artists from cubists to pop, have used still life to explore a variety of aspects of their culture and society. Darlington like many other artists whose subject matter arises from working in the home, brings her own approach to intimate domestic items and her personal landscape.
Darlington describes the drafting of a composition, the paint itself, and its application as a sensuous experience.
Click here to see what's currently going on!