Annaliese Phypers says the urge to create art is difficult to explain.
“I’ll just get restless and I won’t realize why,” she said. “Then I’ll start to paint and the feeling just disappears.”
Phypers, who lived her first 10 years in Creston and just returned a year ago, recently hung her first-ever show of mixed media pieces and paintings at Kingfisher Used Books on 12th Avenue North.
A familiar face behind the counter at Black Bear Books, Phypers’s work often begins with a portrait of a woman, to which she adds her own interpretation.
“I kind of like the surreal look,” she smiles.
Phypers grew up on Vancouver Island, but had a go at art school in Ottawa, lasting for a semester before realizing that the academic side of art wasn’t what she was looking for.
“The history and all the other courses was interesting, but I’m inspired by the prospect of creation rather than study,” she says. “I’m a big mixed media fan. I love the intricacy and lines of Art Nouveau. And I really admire certain graffiti artists.”
In high school, she got her first shot at making street art.
“I was with a group of people who set up a big concrete wall in the middle of town, right by a skate park,” she said. “People really put a lot of work into it. It’s a lot different when you can take your time and not have to keep one eye out, expecting to be caught!”
Returning to Creston after 12 years away was a pleasant surprise, she said.
“I was completely surprised at the change in the local arts scene. I was blown away — it was really inspiring.”
Phypers’s creativity isn’t limited to art. She is now partnering with artist/foodie Jen Hart to start MasterPathFoods, a raw food vegan catering business operating out of a food truck.
She got her start in the food business in Duncan, where she worked at El Centro, a fusion café that served gourmet sandwiches, soups, salads, specialty coffees, local wines and desserts, working closely with farmers in the area.
To her surprise, Phypers found herself in charge of the kitchen.
“The universe doesn’t give you anything you’re not ready for,” the owner told her.
“It was an amazing experience,” she said.
Phypers and Hart recently had a kickoff event for their business at Cranberry Manor and more are in the works.
One statement sums up her enthusiasm for creating art and food.
“I constantly surprise myself,” the 22-year-old admitted. “As I get older, I have the confidence to know I can execute a plan, and that’s really exciting.”
There will be an informal reception to celebrate Phypers’s art show at Kingfisher Used Books on March 22 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.