Enjoy an inspiring and relaxing weekend among artists with Milner Garden’s Art and Photography in the Garden event Aug. 8 and 9.
This year there are two dozen local artists who will be painting, sketching, carving and taking photographs on the stunning waterfront property in Qualicum Beach from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This is the 11th year for the long-running event at this desirable location for both artists and visitors.
There will be live music performed by local musicians each day and there will be a silent auction with art donated by the attending artists. Proceeds from the auction will support programs at the gardens.
The beautiful setting attracts many visitors to the gardens who thoroughly enjoy seeing the artists work.
Parksville artist Lynn Orriss will be one of the masters painting among the trees.
Orriss is an active member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, the DeCosmos Fine Arts Society, OCAC and TOSH.
Her works have been exhibited in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario and are included in private collections in Canada, USA, Australia, UK, Europe, Japan and Pakistan.
Born in Edmonton, Alberta in 1943, Orriss was introduced to art at an early age through the family gallery and picture framing shop and she said a day doesn’t go by where she isn’t being creative.
“I work pretty much every day. I have always painted or done crafts.”
Artistic all her life, she attended classes at the Edmonton Art Gallery when she was a child.
Several years later she took courses at the University of Alberta where she studied drawing, watercolor, oil painting and etching.
To further hone her skills, she took many workshops with skilled artisans and introduced herself to Sumi-e painting and china painting on porcelain.
Orriss continues to paint in all mediums as well as teaching art.
Although specializing in miniature painting for many years, she has recently enjoyed working in mixed media and polymer clay and creates unique jewellery with a Steampunk flare.
Steampunk art mixes modern ideas and technology with those from the past, namely the Victorian Age, when the Industrial Revolution was in full swing and steam was a major source of power.
The genre started with literature, where science fiction and fantasy met Victorian-era scientists, but has since evolved to include all art forms.
Orriss said she likes to make tiny sculptures and mix the old with the new in her Steampunk jewellery.
“I like that style but I am not limited to it. I like the sculpture aspect… the little piddly stuff. I used to paint strictly miniature paintings. They still have some at Pyromania. Making jewellery is an extension of that. I don’t do as many now because my eyes are not as good,” she acknowledged.
Orriss’s life and focus changed in 2012 when her youngest son Chris who was also an accomplished artist passed away from cancer at age 46.
She said it was a very challenging time and she forced herself to work because of deadlines.
She admitted it was hard to focus on working, but on the positive side it helped her, and she agreed that having a great support system through her connections in the local art community helped her get out of a dark place.
“They were wonderful. I had shows coming up that I had committed to, and you can’t just drop out. It was good for me to have that support because my family is all back in Ontario.”
Orriss gave up her residency at The Old School House Arts Centre a year after her son passed but she is still active in the arts community and looks forward to spending a weekend with her fellow artisans at Milner Gardens August 8 and 9.