Bowden resident Trudy Eikerman-Mills is the featured artist at the 2018 Olds Art Club's fall show and sale.
This year's edition takes place at the Evergreen Centre Saturday, Nov. 3 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 4 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Eikerman-Mills paints in a variety of media.
"I used to paint in oils, then I went to watercolour and I do acrylic and alcohol ink. So any media will suffice," she says. "I like the brightness and colours of alcohol inks."
A retired biology and math teacher, Eikerman-Mills says she's been doing art for about 60 years.
"All my life I've been doing art; since I've held a pencil," she says.
Her art is driven by two passions: patterns and colour as well as nature.
"(I) like the patterns, the patterns in the trees. I do have a passion for nature; how animals are surviving in this world," she says.
"Even as a small child I spent all my time outside, because I grew up on a farm in Central Alberta. I spent all my time outside."
Sometimes those passions are combined in her paintings, for example, she'll paint a stand of trees with an animal hiding behind them.
People -- especially her two granddaughters -- love to look for those animals. She also paints various scenes of the farm where she grew up for her 91-year-old father.
Eikerman-Mills likes to tell her granddaughters stories about various animals that live in an abandoned house on the farm. She calls it "the house that isn't."
"The routine is when we go to bed, my granddaughters, I tell them a story and then they tell me a story," she says.
"In the house lives Wendy the weasel with her kits. They live in the oven, which is an overturned old stove. The oven door has fallen off. We talk about how she lives in the oven and what she's packed it with.
"Snowy and Snowflake the skunks live under the old settee and then they use stuffing and we talk about that.
"And Pauline the porcupine is the star of our story. She's the one who lives in the old cellar with her three babies in an apple box filled with straw amongst the old broken Mason jars.
"Missy the moose lives out on the ridge in the forest, and then her adventures."
"And then I tell sort of a biology lesson. We go through how they live, the life cycle, what they eat, whether they're nocturnal or diurnal, whether they're herbivores or omnivores.
"So it's also sort of teaching my grandchildren to appreciate the nature around them," she says.
"Just because you have a skunk, doesn't mean you have to shoot it, it just means you have to respect it and understand it and you will live happy together.
"And whether it's on the ocean or whether it's just on a river or a lake or they're walking through the forest, it's alive around you. You just have to observe it and respect it."
Eikerman-Mills tends to paint in the winter. She uses the summer to travel and pick up ideas for her paintings. She figures that when she creates her art, she spends about eight to 10 hours a week on it.