Meet-and-greet with local artist at Nicola Valley Art Gallery on Friday, April 12.

From 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Linda Suzuki will showcase her artwork at the Nicola Valley Art Gallery.

Dubbed ‘My Journey to Finding My Voice’, Suzuki showcases her watercolour art throughout her three decade long career.

Suzuki is former teacher at Merritt Secondary School (MSS), teaching painting, sculpture, pottery, and more at the secondary school for 29 years.

“It actually made it more complicated for me to actually find myself as an artist because I taught so many different techniques and in different media,” said Suzuki. “All my students wanted to have different experiences and so I would cater to what was wanted, so that kids were learning what they actually wanted to learn in art, so at the end, I was like ‘gosh, I don’t even know who is me.’”

Suzuki got into watercolour landscapes from her grandparents who were hobbyist painters. “One painted mostly with watercolour and the other one was mostly an oiler painter, but both were landscape artists.”

Suzuki is heavily inspired by American painter Georgia O’Keeffe and Canadian painters, Emily Carr, Ted Harrison, and The Group of Seven. She has also been greatly influenced by landscapes throughout her travels around the world.

“If you look at my show, it’s all from experiences travelling the United States, Canada, (Vancouver) Island in particular,” said Suzuki. “I was born in Victoria so I go back there and I love the island, it’s beautiful; and I love our surrounding area, you’ve got some beautiful scenery.”

Suzuki describes her style as “very colourful with lots of movement and it has a graphic quality to it.” Whilst Suzuki specialises in watercolour landscapes, Suzuki has also dabbled in abstract art and has been doing metal jewellery.

The My Journey to Finding My Voice exhibit will walk through Suzuki’s journey in life and as an artist. “I had to play for a while to figure out what was me and so I tried lots of different things,” said Suzuki. “I had started out a number of years ago doing more realistic stuff but it never felt right. Now I feel that I’m in my place with showing lots of movement in the skies, I love when I got water in a piece because that’s very peaceful and my graphic design style of trees and things like that.”

Suzuki’s exhibition at the Nicola Valley Art Gallery will run from April 4 until April 27.