Local painters Larry Stuart, left, and his borther Ron Stuart will be taking part in a studio tour with locations in San Pareil, Parksville, Errington and Qualicum Beach on July 8 and 9. Larry founded and continues to organize the event, which is in its second year. — Adam Kveton

Free studio tour features 18 local artists

San Pareil painter founder of event, running July 8 and 9

It’s the second year for the studio tour organized by San Pareil artist Larry Stuart, and the free event has grown.

Now featuring 18 artists from Parksville, Errington, Qualicum Beach and San Pareil (located between Parksville and Rathtrevor), the tour will have 11 locations to visit in those areas on Saturday and Sunday, July 8 and 9.

Stuart, who founded the tour last year said he was inspired to do so after a chat with his brother and fellow painter, Ron Stuart, about Nanoose Bay’s studio tour, and how San Pareil and other areas need one of their own.

“I just felt it was time,” said Larry.

Though the idea is nothing new, he said it’s nonetheless been a battle at times to get artists to buy into the event.

Even when they do, some doubt they’ll get many visitors.

He recalls last year, one group of artists had told him, “‘Oh, well it’s going to be a nice day. Nobody is going to be out here, but we’ll all sit in our backyard and we’ll have fun anyway.’”

After the event, Larry said one of the artists contacted him and said they’d had 40 or 50 people come by for the tour.

Now, Larry said he’s got artists already interested in participating in the third edition of the event next year.

This year’s tour will feature mostly two-dimensional artists, with many of the artwork being shown in artists’ yards.

Both Larry and Ron will be participating, providing a contrast of realistic landscape work in acrylic from Ron, and single-subject images of things like clouds, plants and waves from Larry done in an array of media.

To pick up maps and brochures for the tour, head to 856 Terrien Way — the start of the tour where Larry, Kimberly McLennan and Nancy Robinson will be showing their work. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. For more info, go to www.facebook.com/studiodesanspareil/.