About Darlena Warhurst & her Art
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Available Original Works and Limited Editions by Darlena Warhurst
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Darlena Warhurst-Metz AICPA Portrait Artist
Chemainus, British Columbia, Canada

About the Artist's View of Art

The expression of creative energy or art, to me, is an ever-changing gift. The imagination, of course, has no boundaries so there is no limit to the possibilities that await the artist. Only the physical, material, or psychological can inhibit this expression and even these, with effort and desire, can be overcome.

As an artist, it is essential to me to tap into this creative life-force, not only to express the presence of the soul, but to somehow capture part of the journey, that moment in time that says it all. So often in portraiture I see the soul or spirit of the individual, both past and present. Every soul has a story. Every soul has a journey. It is truly a privilege to express in some way, what I see, and more importantly, what I feel from that individual and their spirit.

Portrait of Darlena Warhurst by Photographer  Kris Kann
Darlena Warhurst AICPA
Mar 14, 1956 - April 28, 2002


Darlena Warhurst-Metz was born Darlene Warhurst in Calgary, Alberta on March 14, 1956. She was inspired early on at age three by characters like Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble, and by age six was cartooning these loyal subjects, as well as many others. For much of her teenage years she continued to practice and excel at her passion for art and decided to concentrate on drawing one of her greatest loves: horses.

By the early 1980's Darlena was working mostly with oil paints and was beginning her western art career by painting wildlife, cowboys and horses. Her inspiration to begin painting pastel portraits of the First Nations people of the North American West came when she attended a show by family friend Harley Brown “It really turned my head…I was once told by an art teacher never to do portraits, and I was enough of a rebel to do them anyway”. Fortunately her rebelliousness paid off and with Harley Brown's encouragement and criticism as well as other inspirational artists like Charles M. Russell, Fred Remington and Nicholas de Grandmaison, Darlena was able to perfect her art work and sail to a higher level and capture these moments in history.

In 1981 Darlena studied at the Victoria College of Art under Ivy Kent and had their first two-woman show which was very successful. She also studied art in Scottsdale, Arizona under Harley Brown, and later attained an active membership with the Federation of Canadian Artists and became involved in several Juried Shows.

By the mid-1980's Darlena had held several two-woman shows and a very impressive one-woman show at the Sooke Region Museum in November of 1985 which attracted a record crowd.

However, 1986 proved to be Darlena's year for high recognition with her incredible pastel portraits entered into Sooke's largest juried show known as Fine Arts '86. At the opening Darlena sold out of everything and was later honored with winning Most Popular of Show in three of the six categories presented.

By the early 1990's, Darlena had four of her original pieces transformed into limited edition prints and was honored to have her originals displayed in the Sooke Region Museum, the Sooke Public Arts Collection, government buildings, galleries, as well as to have sold pieces through The Calgary Stampede & Exhibition, auctions, and numerous private collections worldwide.

After many setbacks and overcoming many obstacles including the loss of her son, her diagnosis with Epilepsy, her battles with migraine headaches and permanent damage to her right arm as a result of two separate car accidents, Darlena slowly began to emerge again in the new millennium as the “come-back kid” who quickly proved that she never lost her touch when it came to capturing the heart and souls of the First Nations people.

Darlena reinvented herself by taking her creativity to a new level by choosing to work with clay, ink, charcoal and her traditional use of pastel with brighter and bolder colors than before. This new stage in her career did not come unnoticed her pastel portrait of an eagle for the Cowichan Valley Film Society was used in a documentary for local Cowichan artist Simon Charlie. As well in the spring of 2001 she was accepted into the Canadian Institute of Portrait artists, and was one in a handful to be recognized in the Institute by their High Standards Council.

In 2002, Darlena completed many original works of art before her death on April 28 th including four ink portraits completed on the morning of her passing.

Darlena always strived for the highest standards and accuracy in her pieces as well as the powerful feelings she felt from the souls of her subjects. With a professional career which spanned over 25 years, Darlena Warhurst-Metz will not soon be forgotten and is remembered as one of Canada's great Canadian artists.
© 2002-04 Site Designed & Maintained by Connemara
last updated January 28, 2004
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