Artist seeking landscapes for Canada 150

Allison Robin Smith is looking for landscape pictures of Canada to help create 13 paintings of Canada’s natural beauty.

Artist accepting submissions until June 17

Artist Allison Robin Smith wanted to drive across Canada to paint, but life got in the way. (Allison Robin Smith)

A Quebec based artist is asking Canadians for help in creating art to celebrate Canada 150.

Allison Robin Smith is looking for landscape pictures of Canada to help create 13 paintings of Canada's natural beauty in a project she's calling Canada East to West.

Smith said the idea was originally to travel across Canada herself, something she's always wanted to do, but that wasn't possible for her.

"I've always just been too busy at work or with other stuff, having kids and stuff. At this point I realize that while my little one is so small it's not really feasible to [travel cross country]," said Smith.

Seeking photographers

So if Smith couldn't go to the landscapes, she figured the landscapes could come to her. Besides the gas money she will save taking this stationary route, there are other benefits to the artistic community as well.

"Why don't I make it like a contest where photographers can bring in their work and the top few photos that I select for each province could go to a vote. This way I'm actually helping photographers gain exposure," said Smith.

Branwyn Harper-Lee's entry for P.E.I. — lupins in bloom. (Branwyn Harper-Lee)

Smith will choose three photos from each province and territory. The chosen three will then be voted on. The winning photo from each province will be painted, displayed and then sold with the money going to charity.

While the project has only been in motion for three weeks, Smith is so far pleased with the results.

Beauty is key

"I've had excellent feedback and stuff so far," said Smith.

There are a couple of rules however; the photographer has to own the rights to the picture, they must agree that the photo can be used in publicity material, and landscapes only please.

"I want to talk about Canada's natural beauty and I think that's something Canada is so well known for," said Smith.

Melissa Lemieux shared this photo of the Island for the project. (Melissa Lemieux)

Also, the landscape doesn't have to be well known, beauty not popularity is the key.

"I would really like to have a bunch to choose from and maybe of places that are little hidden gems," said Smith.

Work to be unveiled in fall

With 40 entries already coming in Smith is a little concerned of becoming swamped with entries, but she's up for the challenge.

"It could happen. I might have to get some help," said Smith.

Photographers have until June 17 to submit photos to the contest. Smith hopes to announce the winners on Canada Day, spend July and August painting, and unveil her work in the fall.

With files from Laura Chapin