Nanaimo-based painter Grant Leier will be showing a new set of 19 pieces at TOSH, where he further develops his colourful, pattern-laden still-lifes, such as this one. The exhibition starts August 8. — Courtesy Grant Leier

Colours and patterns that are louder than still-life

Grant Leier bringing his brand-new work to TOSH for August

After years of developing a still-life style that brings energy with bright colours and complicated patterns, Nanaimo artist Grant Leier is bringing to TOSH some of his most complicated work yet.

Both Leier and his wife, Nixie Barton, have exhibitions at TOSH from Aug. 8 to Sept. 2.

They will both be showing new work, created over a seven-month period after having closed their gallery last September.

For Leier, the seven months was a chance to go deeper with his distinctive still-life work, which often features animals in odd colours, vases, flowers and many patterns.

“It’s a luxury to have all this time and to not feel like I’m rushed, to try some new things,” said Leier. “It’s really rewarding.”

What all that time has won is greater detail, and the layering of patterns.

Leier went to art college as a textile major and a painting minor about 40 years ago. Though he’s been painting ever since, that textile background certainly shows in the patterns he creates via acrylic on canvas.

“I always work in series, and I have jumped around from painting Canadian wildlife to dogs to still life,” said Leier. “This exhibition is a continued exploration of the still-life that I have done off and on in different exhibitions over the last 40 years. But what’s different about this is the imagery is the complexity … the compositions and everything are much more involved, and there’s much more pattern.”

With 19 pieces in total, the exhibition consists of a series of six 20- by 20-inch still-life studies, and then larger pieces as big as five feet.

He encourages people to take a careful look at the layering of colours which also contain patterns laid atop each other.

The overall goal for his art, he said, is to create a sense of well-being in the viewer, as well as to realize a technically sound work.

This is Leier’s third show at TOSH, and he said he’s excited to reveal this new body of work.

An opening reception takes place Wednesday, August 9 starting at 2 p.m.

Check back in future editions of The NEWS for previews of Barton’s exhibition, and the glass artist Tammy Hudgeon’s exhibition, all taking place at TOSH from Aug. 8 to Sept. 2.

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