Through her long association with accomplished artists across Canada, Ainslie knew there were a "surprising number" of renowned artists who had chosen to live in the Okanagan and continue to work internationally.
Sifting through the names and works of numerous artists, Ainslie whittled her list down to 13 outstanding artists. She then created a visually stunning coffee table book compilation of their works and their studio environments.
The book is called Okanagan Artists in their Studios.
"I realized there are many good books on the wine and the food of the area, but there wasn't a recent book with a focus on local artists," Ainslie said from her Kelowna home.
"There is a lot of art here, a lot of very good work is being done here, and these artists have international careers. They have chosen to live and create in the Okanagan."
Her book highlights a "diverse range and concentration" of artists, from painters to sculptures and photographers, who have solid reputations throughout the international art community, but are less well-known for their artworks in their own towns and cities.
Ainslie compiled her book to shine the spotlight on these "professional Canadian artists who have great originality and imagination."
"These artists create here and live here for different reasons and some have extraordinary studio space that many have designed and built to reflect their work," she added.
The studio spaces are as creative as the individual artists, and create a particular world, a place of thought, work and also a place of spirit.
Featured in the book are the works and studios of Jock Hildebrand, sculptor from West Kelowna; Byron Johnston, installation/sculpture, Kelowna; Daphne Odjig, painter from Penticton; Bryan Ryley, painter from Vernon; Joice Hall, painter from West Kelowna; Ann Kipling, drawing from Falkland; John Hall, painter from West Kelowna; David Alexander, painter from Lake Country; Briar Craig, printmaker from Kelowna; Julie Oakes, painter/drawing from Vernon; Gary Pearson, painter/videographer/writer from Kelowna; Jim Kalnin, painter from Oyama; and Fern Helfand, photographer from Kelowna.
Their creative abilities and their creative spaces are each given due notice throughout the book, each artist has several pages dedicated to their own artistic vision and raison d'Ãªtre, all delivered in an easy-to-read format by the author.
"The artistic community in the Okanagan is a unique creative resource for Canada, that demonstrates the quality of work produced here and also its diversity," Ainslie noted.
The highlighted artists have made a contribution to the development of the visual arts in Canada
Far beyond the Okanagan through their own exceptional art, as well as teaching, mentoring young artists and exhibiting their work.
Some have lived ion the Okanagan most of their lives and have taken their inspiration from the beauty of the environment.
The range of media, style and intention in the book is diverse, with some artists drawing on the landscape for inspiration, while others delve deep within themselves for guidance, and still others continue explorations begun elsewhere.
The finished product took Ainslie some three years to compile, and there will be book launch events held at the Kelowna Art Gallery on Sept. 19 from 5 to 7 p.m. and also in the Penticton Art Gallery on Nov. 22. Everyone is welcome to attend.
What: Okanagan Artists in their Studios by Patricia Ainslie; a book launch.
When: Sept. 19, 5-7 p.m.
Where: Kelowna Art Gallery, Water Street
Cost: No entrance fee.