Blurring the lines of reality and creativity

Maria Davis with one of her creations. Photo supplied

WRITTEN BY Perri Digby


If you’ve been in Sun Peaks for more than a day or two chances are you’ve seen some of Maria Davis’ photography. Her photos depict the beautiful landscape around Sun Peaks— and are edited in a unique way, to create special Sun Peaks-only art.

Davis has been taking photos while travelling since just after high school. At one point her dream was to be a photographer for National Geographic Travel.

More recently she started trying to manipulate these photos, and eventually settled on her own editing style known as “painterly.” The combination of her landscape photography and editing makes for dreamy, surreal images.

Davis said she believes it’s possible part of the reason she likes her editing style is due to its link with painting. She wanted to be a painter in the past but found she never had the specific skills for it. Her photos allow the chance to connect both worlds.

There is no formula for her photography but there are certain things she looks for in a photograph. They are almost always landscapes and she believes that photographs with clouds, trees and depth work better.

Sometimes she will know straight away whether or not a photo will edit well, but other times it is a matter of trial and error. However, she said, she enjoys the process of editing.

“When I sit down at the computer it seems like ten minutes went by and I have been there for an hour just creating,” Davis admitted.

With several jobs and a family at home Davis leads a busy life, but her art allows a sense of balance and freedom. It’s mostly due to others that she sells her art, she said. It was initially a surprise when friends asked her if they could purchase some to hang in their homes.

As for inspiration, Davis nearly always carries a camera whether she is skiing, hiking or just being around the village. While her daughter is a fan of her work she is not always a fan of Davis’ habit of stopping during ski runs to take photos.

“She’s constantly getting mad like, ‘No camera today! No camera today!’,” said Davis.

Like most other photographers Davis said she would like to have more equipment, but she admitted it probably isn’t necessary. She loves what she does and the equipment she has for it works. While she has considered expanding to other areas she believes her art is unique to Sun Peaks.

“It is something different for a tourist to leave with; it’s not a photo and it is not a painting but it is realistic of what they see or they experience,” said Davis. “I think it is successful because it is specific to Sun Peaks […] It brings back something from their trip.”

You can find Davis’ art on her website, www.mariadavis.ca, or in the Lone Wolf Gallery in the village.

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