When a 17-year-old Charlotte Madison first drove through the desert in the South Western United States she felt a special bond with the place.
“I felt as though this was home,” said the 83-year-old Nanoose Bay artist. “There’s always been a very deep attraction and attachment.”
Madison grew up in Vancouver and when her own children were little she studied oil painting. After putting them to bed at eight o’ clock she would paint until four in the morning.
She painted with oils for many years, on numerous trips South, awakening her children in the middle of the night to the pleasant surprise of a road trip. It was the mess and the crumbs and the feathers that stuck to her work that made her switch to acrylic many years ago, she said. She and her daughter, Nanoose Bay artist Nana Cook, returned to the American Southwest every year for 20 years up until 2008 to paint. But she’s decided it is time to rekindle her passion for oils so Madison is selling all her acrylic Southwestern pieces in a sale called On the Deck in Nanoose Bay June 28 and 29.
This unique sale will allow people to come to her home and choose their piece, which will be on her deck between 11 and 4:30 p.m. They then put their cash or cheque into a piggy bank bound for the Nile Creek Enhancement Society and take their painting home. Volunteers will be on hand to take all the money made from the paintings at 4:30 p.m. each day.
Madison said her style changed when she went to acrylic and she longs to return to her oils and her alla prima style, meaning painting all at one go.
Before Charlotte had a stroke recently she was completing a series of portraits featuring Vancouver Island artists. This includes Ken Kirkby, Marla Thirsk, Allan Dunfield and David Goatley. There are 23 all together and the last one she finished following her stroke. She said it is quite different from others and she thinks it’s interesting how the stroke affected her work.She looks forward to exhibition that series soon, she said.
But now she wants to start over, she said, and she needs the space, that’s why there will be 47 paintings up for grabs at On the Deck. The paintings were primarily made in the ‘90s but span about 45 years.
There will also be cards and books for sale at the event but those proceeds will not go to NCES.
Madison said she’s very interested in the work the NCES is doing and the difference the volunteers have made, enhancing and protecting salmon habitat and ecosystems.
There will also be coffee and roaring hot red and green chilli pistachios from New Mexico at the event and some festive American Southwest decorations. Madison’s home is located at 1482 Marina Way in Nanoose Bay. For more on the artist visit www.cmstudio.ca.