When Qualicum Beach artist Sally Laidlaw sits in front of a large blank canvas, she’s never certain what image she will create until she picks up her acrylics.
“I let things happen,” she said. “I don’t paint what I see. I paint what I feel.”
What usually appears, however, is what Laidlaw calls “impressionistic” landscapes and seascapes; that is, a “suggestion” of scenery. Laidlaw said that everyone sees something different in her paintings, which is actually why she normally doesn’t title her works. It allows people to see what they want to see, she said.
Some of these paintings, along with a few entirely abstract pieces, are currently on display in the Gallery @ Qualicum Art Supply.
“I love her work,” said Bonnie Luchtmeijer, who invited Laidlaw to show her work at the store.
While each of Laidlaw’s paintings on display are different, there is a definite colour theme running through these images. In particular there is a strong use of “subdued earth tones,” which Laidlaw said she prefers to use as she thinks primary colours are too “garish” in the West Coast environment. Texture is another important factor in Laidlaw’s work, which she creates by spreading modelling clay and excess paint using a palate knife.
The Gallery @ Qualicum Art Supply isn’t the only local business that will see Laidlaw’s work come through their doors in the near future. The artist, who is a self-proclaimed cat lover, said she is going to donate a painting to the Qualicum Cat Rescue for their annual Fur Ball. The event, which will next be held on Feb. 21, 2015, raises funds for the program through silent and live auctions.
According to Deborah Maddocks, co-owner of Qualicum Pet Foods and Qualicum Cat Rescue, Laidlaw has donated paintings, which are “always sought-after and drooled over,” every year for at least the past five years. “She’s wonderful,” said Maddocks. “She’s always been a big supporter.”
“It’s remarkable that she does that,” agreed Luchtmeijer of the donations.
If you’d like to see Laidlaw’s work at the gallery, the paintings will be on the wall until the end of January. The gallery is open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Luchtmeijer said that the gallery will be closed Dec. 25-28. You can also view more pieces on her website sallylaidlaw.ca.