Nfld. & Labrador

Check out these charming Corner Brook postcards, courtesy of a Colombian artist

Nathalia Alvarez couldn't find any city scenes she liked at local souvenir shops, so she made her own.

Grenfell Campus student painted scenes to send home, and now sells them online

Alvarez captures slices of Corner Brook life in her postcard series. (Submitted by Nathalia Alvarez)

When Nathalia Alvarez left Colombia to study in Corner Brook last fall, it didn't take long before she wanted to send a few postcards back home.

But what she found wasn't exactly what she was hoping for.

"I didn't find creative postcards," Alvarez said. "I only find pictures, like you can take with your cellphone."

So alongside studying English as a second language at Grenfell Campus, Alvarez, a visual artist, went to work painting a whole set of her own, of her favourite places and things in and around the city.

The park, nestled in the centre of town, is one of Alvarez's favourite haunts. (Submitted by Nathalia Alvarez)

"For example, Margaret Bowater Park is my favourite park in Corner Brook. I walk almost every day in this park."

Alvarez turned those daily walks into a watercolour portrait of the park complete with the Glynmill Inn Pond and its swans, snowcapped mountains, and even the Sir Richard Squires building peeking out among some trees.

Also in the collection are watercolour depictions of Marble Mountain, James Cook, a moose, and the popular saying "Whatta ya at?"

'They love my postcards'

Alvarez said her international classmates and friends on campus were excited to buy her postcards for the same reason she wanted to make them. 

"They were looking for these type of postcard but they couldn't find [them]," she said. "Only normal pictures. So maybe they are looking for something a little more creative."

The painted postcards have become a bit of a hit on campus. 

"They love the postcards. They say there are amazing art and they give me beautiful comments." 

Alvarez is a visual artist who came to Corner Brook to study English as a second language. (Submitted by Nathalia Alvarez)

So far, Alvarez says she's been selling them mainly to classmates and teachers on campus, as well as online, but hopes to find a shop or two willing to sell them as well. 

Heading eastward

Alvarez has now completed her ESL training in Corner Brook, and said she's planning to head to St. John's to look for work, and continue developing her English skills.

But she might return to Corner Brook — she hopes to get her master's degree in visual arts at Grenfell Campus — despite the difference from Colombia's climate.

"My first time enjoying the snow. But then I feel excited for summer!" she said.

No Corner Brook scene is complete without a moose. (Submitted by Nathalia Alvarez)

In the meantime, Alvarez said she'll continue to turn her love for Newfoundland into postcards for friends and family.

She's already started on a few paintings of St. John's. 

"When I give them my postcards, they know it is a beautiful place to travel."

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