Finding camaraderie with artists in Trenton
By Lin Parkin
Fine Arts, Quinte West
When Paulette Kinmond moved to Trenton in 1999, she was shifting careers to the nonprofit sector: “I loved the area, so I decided to stay.” Over the next couple of decades, she spent hours every day commuting from Trenton to Toronto in her roles with World Vision, Gideons International, and Crossroads Christian Communications.
The work provided ample opportunity to travel abroad: “I’ve been to the Philippines, Colombia, Africa, Australia, Cuba, and all down the southern hemisphere. I’ve been to India, China and the UK.”
For Kinmond, travelling meant trying new things, meeting new people and making a difference in their lives, and looking beyond what’s immediately visible. When working in a remote area of Ghana in West Africa, she learned the Zulu greeting “Sawubona!”
She explains, “It means ‘I see you.’ But it’s not just I see you. It is: I see your family, I see your work, I see your gifts, I see your talents. I see everything that is about you.”
That sentiment inspires many of Kinmond’s paintings, which often include older people: “I see the story on their faces, and so, I attempt to tell their story. Even a vase of flowers has a story. What I’m trying to do with my art is express the story of that person or object, or that landscape or animal, what I think they would tell if they could speak or what they would like to share.”
She says, “I started getting into it more about three years ago. Then during COVID, I really got more serious about my art, and now that I’m semi-retired, it’s become more than just a hobby. It’s a life passion. I absolutely get lost in it.”
Kinmond has found camaraderie within the Arts Quinte West community. “When we get together, it’s like we’re talking our own language and connecting,” she says. “Everyone wants to learn how to do that or what inspired you to paint this. You move into this community of like-minded individuals who are inspired, motivated, and love what they do.”
Kinmond encourages people to take a leap of faith and stretch themselves. “Go take an art lesson and catch the fire of what it means to explore something new.”
Encouraged to keep challenging herself creatively, Kinmond recently displayed three new paintings at These Four Walls Gallery in Trenton that use mixed media. “I incorporated cloth material into my paintings,” she explains. “One is of a sunflower. I used coffee grinds for the centre, using glue and paint to change up a bit of the element. You can just take and incorporate so many things into your work in different ways. And why not?”
Kinmond’s artwork can be seen in the Arts Quinte West (AGW) showcase at City Hall. This summer, she plans to turn her “she-shed” into an art studio where she can exhibit her work to visitors. Paulette annually hosts AQWs en Plein Air during the month of June in Frankford.
Sponsored by Arts Quinte West