From left: Elissa Anthony, Lloyd Major and Judy Maxwell, also known at the Group of Three, attend the opening of their exhibit at the MAC on Saturday, Sept. 8. Their exhibit runs until Oct. 13. — Adam Kveton Photo

Landscapes three ways at Parksville art exhibit

Group of 3 showing range of West Coast work until Oct. 13

A group of oil painters are exhibiting their landscape work at the MAC until Oct. 13.

The exhibit not only features a variety of West Coast and otherwise Canadian views, but also shows how different artists interpret similar subject matter.

Lloyd Major, Judy Maxwell and Elissa Anthony make up the Group of 3 — a trio of friends who’ve exhibited regularly at the MAC (McMillan Arts Centre at 133 McMillan St., Parksville) for a number of years.

While the exhibit has featured paintings of Prairies and Interior landscapes in the past, this year’s exhibit is much more heavy on West Coast and, specifically, Vancouver Island views.

“We paint what we like, which is the Island,” said Maxwell.

But that doesn’t mean you’re seeing a bunch of the same thing at the show: each artist has a distinct style, which one can learn to pick out as they look through the exhibit, which all three artists’ work mixed throughout.

“My style is a bit softer from Lloyd’s,” said Maxwell, who also uses more subtle colours, though she said she’s looking to incorporate brighter colours in the future.

Major’s style is far more texturized. He create’s a tactile and 3-D effect by using a pallet knife. “I’m known for my trees and totem poles,” he said. “I put heavy paint on there so you can sort of feel the ripples of the bark.”

Anthony, a former graphic artist, definitely has a graphic design feel to her work, creating a sense of smoothness and movement with her work.

She also sometimes strays from her source material when painting, she said, recomposing a landscape into what she’s feeling at the time. “It kind of depends on my mood, where I go,” she said. “The most successful I’ve found last year is the stuff that’s from up here (in her head). I’m not sure what it is, there’s a more emotional connection (as opposed to) ‘OK, this is a tree.’”

What brings the three artist’s together originally is their use of oil paints.

Anthony took up oil painting while living in England because the medium is well-respected there. But, upon coming back to Canada, it was harder to find oil painters.

She and Major ended up working together at a now defunct Parksville gallery, where Maxwell learned from Major to expand her artistic horizons.

“I used to paint dog and cat portraits for people on rock, but the rocks were getting bigger and bigger and heavier and I was getting older,” she said.

“So I told her, ‘Why don’t you try it on canvas?’” said Major with a laugh.

Three first exhibited as part of a larger group, but found they gelled together as a trio, both in terms of their work, and their personalities.

The Group of 3 show continues at the MAC until Oct. 13.

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