Every painting starts with a story

Parksville Qualicum Beach artist Virginia Moon uses humour, symbolism and her subconscious to complete her work

Virginia Moon’s whimsical and quirky artwork can be found at the Gallery @ Qualicum Art Supply in Qualicum Beach located at Suite 101-206 First Ave W.

Virginia Moon considers herself a story teller who uses paint.

All of her whimsical and colourful paintings start from a story or observation, she said, and from there a more explicit story emerges.

“In the process of doing it, if I’m doing it right, something else enters in and kind of emerges, and the spirit or the truth behind the thought comes clear,” said the Coombs artist.

Moon’s paintings and 3D pieces are for sale at the Gallery @ Qualicum Art Supply in Qualicum Beach.

Moon started making art about 10 years ago at the McMillan Arts Centre in Parksville. There was a series on assemblage, which is a process of creating two and three-dimensional compositions using found objects. She said she soon realized that art is a way to express something that someone may not have the words for. She went on to make quirky and expressive pieces for around seven years and said many of the objects she used came to her in magical ways.

“In unexpected ways,” she explained. “You’re not really searching, but somebody will think of you and bring something, or you may be walking along the side of the road and spot something out of the corner of your eye.”

Today Moon is more focused on her acrylic paintings, but the odd 3D image still makes it way on to her canvas.

There is often humour in Moon’s pieces as well as symbolism.

One of her pieces currently hanging at the Gallery at Qualicum Art Supply is called End of the Line. The story surrounds an aunt of Moon’s that recently passed away. The way her aunt approached her passing helped inform Moon of her choices in the painting, she said. Her aunt is on a train, for instance, because she was on a journey. Her shoes and purse are below her symbolizing that she won’t be needing them anymore, and she’s carrying a lamb to show the faith she held, Moon explained.

And although many of her paintings are personal stories, people don’t always need to know what the stories are, Moon said. The most satisfying thing to her is when people have their own emotional response to her work.

“In that way I think the unspoken or spirit of the piece has come through. I also think people understand symbolism, it plays a big part in our lives and we need these symbols, we get the unspoken, and we recognize certain truths.”

Moon paints every day in her studio in Coombs, and people can make an appointment to view her work there by calling her at 250-248-8183.

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