Michael Schutte's 13-episode series Painting the Island with Michael Schutte premiered in June on Shaw TV.

Parksville artists working on TV show for Shaw

Painting the Island with Michael Schutte started airing last month

Michael Schutte’s newest project is hours in the making.

Schutte and his wife Els have been working on a TV show for Shaw Painting the Island with Michael Schutte for the past few months.

“I had an idea, talking to (Shaw) a year ago, if I could do something like this,” Schutte said, adding that he made a pilot and they seemed to like it. “I didn’t hear anything for all of a year, then suddenly they came up and asked if I could do 13 episodes.”

Painting the Island with Michael Schutte is a combination of a documentary and a painting lesson, according to Schutte. He said he chooses a location, giving a bit of a history lesson of the area, and then he heads back to the studio.

Schutte said he has a good knowledge of Dutch master painters since he studied them for more than 20 years. In each episode, Schutte said he chooses one Dutch master painter and explains some of the techniques they would use for painting the location he’s chosen.

“It’s not only a guy who’s painting for 30 minutes,” he said. “Before it gets annoying I do (voice overs) in between and in the meantime, people can follow me.”

Throughout the episode, Schutte tells the viewers which colours he’s using and how to mix them properly. The information is also on his website (www.elsschutte1.wix.com/academyoffineart1)

Schutte said the episodes are easy for viewer to follow along whether or not they have experience with painting.

After only one episode airing, Schutte said he’s already gotten some feedback on the show such as people asking for more information on the brushes he uses.

Schutte said it’s been a learning process for he and Els.

“The editing — man, what a job is that. We are busy every evening until midnight,” he said, adding that it takes about 50 to 60 hours to finish a 30-minute episode.

Schutte, who moved to the Island from Amsterdam a few years ago, said he has a private musical arts school there and he learned a lot about making video clips for the artists, but he added that this is the “real thing.”

All of the filming is done by Els, who said she’s never done anything like this before.

“He gave me the orders for what he’s going to paint . . . not orders,” she said with a laugh. “He tells me what he wants to paint.”

To create each episode, Schutte said he builds a story book which includes a script “because English is not my home language, I have to think, translate, be careful that I don’t use the wrong expression.”

He added that without the book, he wouldn’t have an exciting story for people.

In his first episode, which aired in early June, Schutte went to Cathedral Grove to paint the trees. He said there’s a new episode every month, and it now airs three times a day on different schedules on Channel 4 on Shaw. To find the schedule, visit www.shaw.ca/ShawTV/Nanaimo. The show will also begin airing in Victoria, Port Alberni and Courtenay.

Schutte said the next episode, which takes viewers to the Wild Pacific Trail in Ucluelet, will air in the second week of July. But Schutte said he’s already about three months ahead with shooting and editing.

After each painting is finished, people can go to Schutte’s website and bid on each painting. Schutte said money raised from each painting will go toward the Anne Marie Bailey Fund, a registered charity for sick children.

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