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Love of science, surfing and the ocean inspires Salmon Arm artist’s explorations on canvas

Becky Luth preparing for two upcoming gallery shows in North Okanagan-Shuswap
Artist Becky Luth stands in front of several of her works on display in her Salmon Arm studio on Friday, May 19, 2023. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)

Vibrant blue and green hues dominate eye-catching canvases in Becky Luth’s workspace that reflect her love for the ocean and coastal B.C. landscapes.

Several of the canvases, each 12 by 12 inches, are paintings Luth has prepared for an August online show she’s taking part in at The Salmon Arm artist is also preparing for a pair of shows in July, when she’ll be the featured artist for the month at an Endery gallery, and will have an exhibition at the Armstrong Spallumcheen Museum & Art Gallery. You can also find Luth’s work on the walls at Shuswap Pie Company and TaylorMade Wellness (in August), and in the Shuswap Trail Alliance’s office at 481 7th Street SW – which happens to be next door to Luth’s studio where she continues to hone her craft while mentoring others.

Water is a common element in Luth’s work and a near lifelong fascination for the artist who, as a child born and raised in Montana, knew she would one day become a marine biologist.

“Growing up, I knew nothing about art. I had zero interest in art… I grew up more in sports and the love of science,” said Luth, who later left Montana to complete a degree in marine science and biology at the University of San Diego. It was there she also developed a passion for surfing.

In 1993, Luth married her husband Rick Luth, who is also an artist and an art teacher, and the one who inspired Becky to dip her foot into the art world.

“I used to watch him paint and create magic out of nothing, and it just fascinated me,” said Becky. “I would always get ideas in my head and go, ‘oh, can you just draw this for me…,’ and often he would say you should just try it yourself.”

Through Rick, Becky said she became fascinated by colours, discovering a science to colour and art.

“That’s what really fascinated me, and so, because of my science background, for me what I’ve learned is I love the science of art and I love the art of science, and they really are connected in who I am,” said Luth. “I would say I’m half artist and half scientist.”

In 2010, after living in Tanzania for some time, the Luth family – Becky, Rick and their four boys – moved to Salmon Arm. Soon after, Becky said she found herself missing the ocean.

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“I was kind of in a place of what do I do with my life now, because I have four boys and all four were now at the age of going to school, so it would have been the time in my life to get back into marine biology…,” said Becky. “I was an avid surfer as well for lots of years so I was just really homesick for the ocean. So when we moved here, that’s when I just started pouring my heart into painting and I started painting.”

Becky said she began painting beaches, surf scenes and coastal landscapes, “just because I always loved nature and when I saw a scene that struck me I would paint it.”

In addition to her husband, the ocean and nature, Becky draws inspiration from other sources including the Group of Seven and from the artists she mentors.

“I think working with other people has really brought out even more exploring because when you’re working with someone else, you’re constantly being inspired by them,” said Becky. “It’s kind of an interesting thing because you’re seeing what’s going on with them and subconsciously you’re doing some of the same things … it’s so different from painting solo.”

While bold blues continue to feature prominently in her work, Becky said she finds herself tapping into and exploring lighter, calmer colours on her palette.

“Green has been a new venture for me and pink, I’m not a pink person, and softer colours – I find it actually harder to paint lighter colours,” said Becky. “I typically paint bold, rich colours. I think as we grow as humans and we ourselves evolve and change, our painting, or whatever you work in, it has to match the age that you’re at. I think when I first started painting it was just really bold colours. I feel like my spirit is getting softer so I can paint softer colours.”

Becky opened her current studio space in 2020. At that time she made a decision to focus less on the business side of her art and more on developing as an artist.

“It’s a real faith journey, honestly, because I don’t know if I ever have enough to pay the rent every month, but a painting always sells and I always have enough…,” said Becky. “I feel it’s more of an educational time for me to just quietly work in here and develop and not focus on the whole business side of it. And if stuff sells, awesome!”

To learn more about Becky Luth and explore some of her work, visit
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