Recent History – 2000
Feb. 17, 2000
By Christine Podmore, Daily News Staff
Local artist Hilde Bittman will be featured at the Dawson Creek Art Gallery in a moving retrospective reflecting on her life in Canada.
The Czechoslovakian born Bittman moved to Canada in 1948 with her husband, Ernie, and daughter, Christl. The couple had come to join Hilde’s father who was part of the Sudeten Germans forced to flee Adolf Hitler’s German forces in 1939.
It was not until the late ‘60s that Bittman — or rather her daughter, she says — discovered her talent for painting. She possessed a natural talent for visual artwork and explored the media of oils, acrylic, water-colour and ink through the years and was voted 1976 Artist of the Year in Dawson Creek.
Attending countless art workshops, summer school sessions and Northern Lights College art classes, Bittman is continuously learning about her craft.
Inspired by nature and specifically the Peace country, Bittman has created masterpieces that capture the mood, feeling and beauty of a scene with vibrant and brilliant colours.
Bittman and her husband loved living in Dawson Creek and year round explored the area. Skiing in the winter and camping, fishing and hiking in the summer, their family ventured into the most remote regions of the Peace.
“I would like people to see what a beautiful country we live in,” said Bittman with enthusiasm in her eyes. “It’s right here.”
Often inspired by scenes while driving, Bittman would have her husband pull over so she could take a picture that later she would transfer onto canvas. Other times she stares out the windows at the colours of the landscape and mentally calculates how she would recreate the same colours with her paints.
Bittman says the Peace country is excellent to paint and that it is a pleasure to paint God’s planet. She does not want to receive photos of areas to paint, all she needs surrounds her in the Peace.
“When you live by the ocean, you paint the ocean,” Bittman said. “When you live in the Peace River country, you paint the Peace River country.”
The opening for Bittman’s Northern Retrospective will be on Sunday, Feb. 20 from 2-4 p.m. at the newly-renovated Dawson Creek Art Gallery. Bittman will be present at the show and everyone is encouraged to attend. The exhibition will be on display until March 4.