Over 40 years ago, when artist Ros Ross was being interviewed for a teaching job in Canada, she was offered two positions: one in Fort St. John and the other on Vancouver Island.
“I didn’t have a clue about the geography,” said the Wales native, who was being interviewed in London. “And I said, ‘so tell me what the difference is,’ and he said, ‘one is wet and the other is cold.’ And I said, ‘I know all about the wet, I’ll take the cold.’”
Ross spent 32 years as a teacher in Fort St. John before retiring to Qualicum Beach 13 years ago.
Now a member of the local chapter of the Federation of Canadian Artists, Ross has won a number of awards of excellence for her paintings. Her acrylic pieces are currently hanging for sale at The Gallery @ Qualicum Art Supply.
During Ross’ teaching years, one of her favourite subjects was art.
“I just loved watching the imagination of the kids come to life on paper,” she said.
Ross was an art lover, but had never painted anything herself, until a friend suggested she take an art class with her. Ross said the results were somewhat of a miracle, because she created an oil piece with depth, light and composition.
But it wasn’t until she moved to Vancouver Island that she continued her painting journey. Today Ros enjoys painting with oils, and particularly likes to capture the colours and movement of the sea, and the contours of flowers.
“I became fascinated with the shapes of flowers and what people call ordinary flowers, like snap dragons, which are actually quite extraordinary,” she said.
Ross took an acrylic workshop in the spring and decided this summer she would create snap shots from local beaches. She takes her camera down to Eaglecrest beach or other local beaches and just watches, she said, capturing images for her series. And although she thoroughly enjoys her time on the seashore, she doesn’t regret her choice to move to B.C.’s North 45 years ago.
“I really enjoyed my time in the North, it was a great place to work,” she said.
Ross said she goes through a process every time she paints and it all starts with an initial idea she wishes to convey on the canvas. At some point she reaches a stage where she becomes very frustrated with the piece, she said, and has to work her way through that. But once she arrives at the end of the process it’s very rewarding, she said.
“I get to the point where it’s another mark, and another mark, and then that’s it. And it is very exciting.”
View Ross’ acrylic beach paintings at The Gallery @ Qualicum Art Supply, located at 206 W 1st Ave.