Roberta Grewcock is in the process of booking a flight to Paris.
Like many tourists who visit France’s largest city, the West Kelowna artist plans to visit the Eiffel Tower. But she’s not just there for the sight-seeing.
A painting of Grewcock’s, which she has named Passion, will hang on a wall in the Eiffel Tower’s first floor Oct. 23.
“I called it that because, when I painted it, it was really heartfelt,” said Grewcock.
“I cleared everything in the studio before I started and I was just totally in the zone. It felt good.”
Being personally invited to display work in Paris is icing on the cake for Grewcock, who has watched her success snowball over the past two years.
“Through social media I was discovered by Salvatore Russo—an art critic (and) writer,” said Grewcock.
“It’s funny, because I used to actually be a little bit shy about showing my work…(but) from my own experience, you really have to get your art out there.
“Who cares if it doesn’t appeal to everyone? If it can touch one person, that’s amazing.”
In July, Grewcock’s art made its international debut as part of a group show in Milwaukee. Two of her pieces have been selected for the 2nd International Biennale of Art of Palermo and another piece will appear in Florence from Feb. 21 to March 19, 2015.
This September/October edition of Effetto Arte—an Italian art publication—will also feature Grewcock’s artwork.
“It just seems to good to be true,” she said.
Grewcock’s passion for art was nurtured during summer lessons at an art gallery in Edmonton when she was a child.
In high school, she knew she wanted to make art a regular part of her life, so she made the decision to study fine arts at Okanagan University College.
She’s been a working artist since then, sometimes having to balance her artwork with other jobs. But with her 18-year-old daughter, Sinead, about to move to Vancouver for school, and her son, Riley, nearing his teenage years, Grewcock has had more time to focus on her art lately.
One of her paintings destined for Italy—Into the Belly of the Beast—was created three months after Grewcock was in a serious car accident.
“I wasn’t allowed any stimuli or anything. I had to wear dark glasses because I was really light sensitive.
“I was doing a lot of thinking in that time and when I was able to paint again, I painted…Into the Belly of the Beast.
“It’s quite dark compared to my usual work.”
Describing her artwork as her “guts coming out onto the painting,” Grewcock never wants to just paint something pretty. She wants the viewer to receive an emotional reaction.
“I want to have my paintings everywhere around the world.
“I want to make people feel something.”