This water colour painting by Harold Allanson called Joy Riding is part of an exhibit at TOSH showing the working life on a ranches in B.C. — Adam Kveton Photo

B.C. ranch life featured in artist’s Parksville exhibit

Retired trucker of 35 years says paint what you know — working life

As a trucker of more than 35 years, who hauled every manner of item across much of North America, Harold Allanson sees a disconnect between consumers in cities, towns and suburban neighbourhoods, and those who ranch, fish and farm.

Now retired and focusing on painting after a lifetime of artistic interest, Allanson’s work tends to spotlight the working life of those people.

The Crofton-based artist is exhibiting watercolour work at TOSH until April 14, which depicts ranch life in B.C.

“I just like to portray it in a true sense,” he said of working life. “In today’s world, so many people just live in large cities or big suburban areas, and they are really not aware of what goes on outside of that, how their groceries came overnight or the beef or the pork or whatever is in the grocery store, where it really came from,” said Allanson.

“There’s all kinds of people out there doing these jobs, and to me, it’s just an interest. It’s where I came from. It’s what I know, and I guess in that sense, it’s what I like to portray.”

Allanson has been painting exclusively in watercolour for the last 20 years since retiring. Finally finding time to indulge in his painting interests from an earlier time, Allanson went to a class that happened to be on watercolours. “I’ve just kind of stayed with it,” he said.

Allanson’s style is highly detailed, which can surprise people when they find out the work is done in watercolour. Though he said he would have liked to have painted more loosely, his tendency towards fine detail has settled in.

His process includes taking plenty of photos, using individual shots to inform details of his painted work, or to replace subjects with better ones in other photos.

Allanson said his ranch work — the pieces in his exhibit are from the last five or six years — came through an old friend who was still cowboying in the Interior. Having grown up near ranches and spending time on them, Allanson was familiar with it, and began visiting his friend, going along on his work day.

Gradually, he met more and more cowboys and went out with them on their work day.

“They’ve always welcomed me,” said Allanson. “I’m almost 76 now, so they just treat me like a grandpa… I don’t interfere with what they’re doing. Sometimes I help out a bit, and I just take photographs.

“If they are willing to be part of a painting, well then I always say anybody who’s in my paintings, I will send them a small print afterwards… as a token of appreciation for letting me do what I do, and in doing so it often leaves the door open to return sometime in the future.”

Allanson’s work remains at TOSH (The Old School House Arts Centre at 122 Fern Rd. West in Qualicum Beach) until April 14.

For more info, go to www.theoldschoolhouse.org.

Send news tips to:

adam.kveton@pqbnews.com

Just Posted

Solar system spending, asbestos removal in SD69 plan

Green house gas emission report received at May 22 board meeting

Gr. 7s learn about digital safety, health, consent at con in Parksville

SD69 hosts first Health and Wellness Conference for students headed to high school

Qualicum Beach east village plans take shape

Staff moving forward with east village concept

Three-for-one at Parksville studio for tour

Local artists participating in Central Island Studio Tour May 26-27

Pole dancers bring disco theme for second Errington hall event

Island Talent Pole Fitness show to include national champs on June 2

Black Press Media to launch Pipeline Full of Controversy series

Series covers Trans Mountain’s history, science, Indigenous reaction, politics and economics

B.C. RCMP swoop in to save injured eagle

An eagle with a broken wing now in a recovery facility after RCMP rescue near Bella Coola

Catalyst Paper to sell U.S. mills to Chinese company

Sale will allow company to focus on B.C. interests, says president Ned Dwyer

Comox Valley baseball player Thomas Green commits to Cuesta College

18-year-old shortstop following in older cousin Taylor’s footsteps

Bug spray 101: Health Canada wants you to stay bite free

Health Canada is reminding Canadians to use bug spray and other insect repellents safely

Unions reject CP Rail contract offers

Both meeting Friday to determine next steps; 72 hours notice required before strike action.

B.C. jewellers warn public about fake gold scam

‘They are playing on people’s sympathy and their greed’

Former B.C. premier says pot industry about to enter Wild West

Mike Harcourt says Canada is about to enter a new gold rush with many dreaming of striking it rich

Hunt continues for two suspects in Ontario restaurant explosion

The explosion left 15 people injured, but all victims have now been released from hospital

Most Read