A weekly painting workshop has given some local artists a way to improve.
Nancy Day, Carmen Mongeau and Cindy Mersky get together every Friday at Nanoose Place Community Centre to work separately on their art.
Day said the women will work and then break every now and then to have a small critique. She added if someone is working on a painting and they get stuck they’ll also help then.
“We’ll say, ‘OK, I need some help’ and we’ll put the painting up on an easel and stand around and talk about it and come up with ideas and let them know what parts of the painting are good and where it could improve a bit and if it’s finished,” Day said.
“We give each other a lot of moral and visual support for it.”
One day, though, Merksy taught the women a different style of art, decollage, which is what Mersky does.
“That’s what we’re experimenting with today,” said Mongeau, adding that isn’t how most of their weekly meet ups go.
“She’s teaching us to use tissue paper between layers of paint, and then what you do is you rip it, you gouge into in and rip it so you get these beautiful colours and shapes,” Mongeau said.
Day said it was a day to play.
“We’re not doing our own work. We’re just launching off into something really different for Carmen and I,” said Day. “We’re just having a great deal of fun. Abstract and layering of paper and pulling it off and putting it back down and assessing what you’ve got.”
These weekly get togethers have been happening since January, and Day said it was Mongeau’s idea to paint together.
“I said ‘wonderful idea,’ and she said ‘Nancy, you find a spot and I’ll find another artist.’ So that’s exactly what we did,” Day said.
Along with Day, Mongeau and Mersky is Barbara Scott, but she has been busy the past few weeks and hasn’t been able to attend.
“We like a small group. We’re finding that three to four is just perfect,” Day said.
The women have been meeting weekly since January, and all of the pieces they have been working on will be in their Fine Art Open Studio Show and Sale on April 30 and May 1 which also coincides with the Nanoose Bay Studio Tour.
Day, who was involved with the tour for a few years, said their studio showcase is an offshoot of the Nanoose Bay Studio Tour.
“We decided that we should have a one-day showcase with all the artists that were on the Nanoose Studio Tour. We rented the small room and there were 14 of us in that room. It was a great success to the point that they decided that the next year they would enlarge into the gymnasium and invite other guest artists.”
Now the fine art open studio is in its second year.
“(Last year) was a great success as well and it’s on again this year in conjunction, we’re the fine art part of the showcase,” Day said.
Mongeau said the women will have work for sale at their fine art open studio.
“We have new works that will be displayed and we have discounted the work so that we’re offering studio prices,” Mongeau said.
She said she usually has larger canvases, but this year she’s introducing smaller works. Mongeau said she decided to do some pieces on canvas and some on Japanese washi paper.
“It’s a whole new body of work,” Mongeau said, adding that she will have about 25 pieces for the show and sale. “They’re all different. Some are kind of lightly realistic and some are very abstract and some are in between. There’s enough for everybody.”
Day said her work at the show and sale will be mostly acrylic on canvas in various sizes and various prices.
“It’s based on many of my walks through the woodlands and forests of this area. I became quite captivated with the beautiful composition of trees, but mostly their trunks,” Day said. “So the work in this show is based on capturing the images of white birch. They are like the ladies of the forest and all the beautiful fall colours and spring colours intermingled with them.”
Day said she has always been a landscape artist.
“This is a subject that’s really captured my heart and my attention. I’ve had a great deal of fun producing these works. To me, they’re quite magical,” she said.
The show and sale is on April 30 and May 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Nanoose Place Community Centre (2925 NW Bay Rd., Nanoose Bay).