Paul Stuart wants to take the pretentiousness out of art.
The artist moved to the area from Ontario about 10 years ago and although he’s always had an eye for design, he didn’t start painting until 2012, when a blank canvas enticed him.
He went with his wife to Michaels arts and crafts store in Nanaimo when he noticed some deep edged gallery canvas.
“This is one of those sign posts in life, I kept looking, thinking I should start painting, and then as soon as I went in there and saw that I thought, OK now is the time; life has those signals.”
He began creating abstract art and now his affordable pieces are selling quickly at Arts Cafe and the McMillan Art Centre (the MAC) in Parksville.
Like wine pricing once was, Stuart feels the art industry’s prices are beyond the reach of the middle class. And as wineries began producing cheaper wines, artists should be producing affordable price points for all consumers, Stuart said.
“I would like to get people, who are buying these cheap canvas copies for China or from Home Sense, and get them interested in going to an art gallery.”
Stuart’s painting range from $50 to $245. The Arts Cafe is located at 147 Harrison Ave. in Parksville and the MAC is at 133 McMillan Street. He’ll be painting in the Member’s Gallery at the MAC June 14 and 21 and the public is encouraged to drop by from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.