Opa got a big surprise.
Grandson Weston Stevens took a bit of a risk, considering Erhard Unger, better known as grandpa or Opa, is 92 years old.
Stevens wanted to inspire his grandfather to take up painting again by surprising him with an art exhibit filled with Unger's own paintings.
Unger recently moved to the Prince George Chateau and they provided a suite where Stevens set up the display of about 32 pieces of original artwork. Stevens then enticed Unger to come see the display by telling him the paintings were by other residents of the Chateau.
Unger said he would be very interested to see other people's work.
"I come into the room and here are all my paintings," said Unger, who has several family members in Prince George, while others are scattered across the country. "That was a lovely surprise."
Unger is self-taught and has been painting since he was 10 years old but stopped when he lost his beloved wife, Ursula, seven years ago.
"I lost all my ambition when my wife died," said Unger. "We were married for a long time."
Ursula and Erhard had been married for more than 60 years.
Stevens said he thought it was important for Unger to take up painting again.
"I'm going to start again this fall," said Unger.
He went from water colours to oils because it's easier to correct a mistake. It's more forgiving, he said. And oils give you more vibrant colour, he added.
"Nature always inspires me," said Unger, who has traveled the world. His paintings are mostly of different parts of British Columbia. Vancouver area woodlands and Stuart Lake is a popular topic as Unger had a cabin there.
"I take pictures and paint from them," said Unger. "I don't want to be sitting there being eaten by mosquitoes or frozen to death."
It took a bit of coordination to get all the paintings from Unger's home studio to the Chateau suite.
"Two Rivers rented me the easels at a discount and between the Chateau offering the suite to hold the exhibit and the gallery helping with the easels, it all came together for Opa," said Stevens. "My Oma was my Opa's shining star and when he lost her it was like he was in limbo almost. I thought he needed a boost and I think this exhibit of his art has really lifted him up and he will paint again."