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Divas and doogles in a Qualicum Beach garden

It will be a show of island scenes, striking portraits of departed divas, abstract pieces and more this Saturday in Qualicum Beach.
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It will be a show of art with exquisite Vancouver Island scenes, striking portraits of departed divas, captivating abstract pieces and more this Saturday in Qualicum Beach set in a wild and colourful garden.

It’s called Deadly Divas and Divine Doodles and it’s the product of local artists Elaine Thompson and Elissa Anthony, both resident artists at The Old School House arts centre (TOSH).

Thompson is a founding member of TOSH and was an art teacher for many years. This will be the first showing of a series of work she created on Marilyn Monroe, which she started 13 years ago. She said she feels Monroe was mistreated and taken advantage of, despite doing many things she wanted to in her short life.

“It’s something I have thought about a longtime,” Thompson said.

This year marks 50 years since her death, Thompson explained, and since she hadn’t initially planned to show the work this year, she must have been influenced by the late star’s spirit, she laughed. She will also have a number of landscape scenes.

Anthony also has a piece on Monroe, but hers is abstract. Painting abstracts is something she embarked on fairly recently thanks to encouragement from Thompson, she said, and she likened the process of doing it gradually, layer by layer, to making a dress.

“When you’re making a dress they look awful when you’re half finished, and then you get the hem up and they look awesome,” she smiled.

She has also started painting for herself recently, she said, since her singing teacher divulged that she sings for herself.

“I went, ‘that’s brilliant,’ and now I’m painting for myself and it  has changed the process immensely.”

Anthony has also had one of her landscape paintings accepted by Rogers Chocolates for their Canadian Collection Tins and she’s borrowed it back to exhibit in the garden this Saturday.

The public is invited to attend the show at Thompson’s home located at 767 Canyon Crescent in Qualicum Beach from 1:30 to 4:30 on August 4. Art work will be inside and out, among a large, blossoming garden. Both artists are giving a piece up for a door prize to be won at the event.

Visit Anthony’s website for more on her and her work at, and find both artists work in the studios downstairs at TOSH.