Southwestern art in Qualicum
There was something intriguing about Southwest pottery that lured Nancy Jansz back into painting, and now her own finely detailed still life artwork is attracting residents to the Gallery @ Qualicum Art Supply.
"I think it's so striking," said Jansz as to why the Native American art style caught her attention.
Jansz’s series of Southwest pottery paintings (including some painted pottery), her mystical trees and her distinctive roses are hanging at the Gallery @ Qualicum Art Supply until June 6. The entire collection was created in the month of March and she custom framed each piece for the show.
Jansz was born in New Guinea, and after about a year in Holland, she and her family immigrated to Canada about 50 years ago.
She lived in Vancouver for some time and as a teenager she began making and selling crafts, mostly involving floral designs and arrangements. She then worked as a florist and a whole sale distributor of flowers before taking a folk art class in the city.
She moved to the Island in 1989 and a few years later opened Creative Calico Crafts in Coombs. She and her sister later moved the store to a bigger location, behind the Coombs Country Market. Jansz is primarily a self-taught artist. At her store she sold her folk art, including painted signs and boxes, fabric wall art, baby gift items and hand-crafted work by other local artists. She also taught art classes and cross-stiching, but it all came to an end in 2000 when she closed the store due to illness.
Jansz didn't paint for about six years, until she decided to take some Southwest painting classes in Oregon. Today she uses acrylic paints to apply her intricate designs on watercolour paper and on locally-made pottery. Many of her pieces have a strong black and white element and are injected with bright, captivating colours.
Jansz also has a series of painted trees hanging at the gallery. She said this has resulted from studying the structure of trees during trips with her walking group over the last year.
“I like a tree that is bare, just the skeleton of the tree, because its mysterious,” she said.
Painting for Jansz is more than an enjoyable exercise, it also takes her to a brighter place.
"It helps me to be creative when my mind doesn't want to be,” she said.
The Gallery @ Qualicum At Supply is located at 206 West 1st Ave in Qualicum Beach.