This painting, called Cathedral Wall (cropped for space), is one of about 35 pieces that Nanoose Bay artist Brent Lynch has in an exhibit at TOSH until Sept. 1. — Submitted by Brent Lynch

Nanoose Bay artist shares plein air process in Qualicum Beach exhibit

Brent Lynch discusses being ‘involved in the phenomena’

Just as many people fear being stuck in a cubicle for much of their working life, Nanoose Bay painter Brent Lynch said, as a young man, he worried about being locked in a studio.

But plein air painting — where painters go outside and paint what they see in real life — was the key to his escape.

“Even when I was an illustrator, I would always talk the client into sending me to whatever I was painting… I’d go out and get some information live, direct,” said Lynch.

Over the years, Lynch has enjoyed more and more his process of travelling the Island to sketch and paint what he sees, and then returning to the studio to try and capture that energy in a larger work.

With his latest exhibition called Exterior Paint taking place at TOSH from Aug. 7 to Sept. 1, Lynch is looking to share that process.

He has about 35 pieces on display: many smaller studies done in the field, and some larger works created from those kinds of studies.

Lynch’s paintings (mostly landscapes with some portraits) have a sort of graphic appeal, no doubt drawn from his many years as a commercial artist. Lynch said he focuses on strong but simple compositions, and finding the movement in the lines of what he sees.

“This show is actually an accumulation of about five years of plein air studies I’ve done, along with a bunch of big canvasses too to help explain the process,” said Lynch. “I’d like for people to go on this thinking journey with me when they see the studies and they see the big paintings.”

For Lynch, the interest in plein air painting began with an interest in life drawing, and also grew out of an interest just being outside.

“Part of me was kind of freaked out when I was young that I’d be locked in a studio for the rest of my life, so (plein air painting) gave me an opportunity to get out.”

But the benefits of working outside go beyond just being in an environment that Lynch prefers. “It’s more stimulating for me because I’m having that direct contact,” he said. “I’m actually involved in the phenomena… I come up with better ideas based on the experience.”

This sort of direct study of landscapes is more classical, notes Lynch, but that’s not to say he shuns technology. Photos make up part of his process, but mostly in catching detail, he said. And while there may be wonderful photos of a given place that Lynch wants to paint, he said he leaves those alone.

“I never use great photography because it is just art itself,” he said.

While the internet and digital photography can give artists lots to work with, Lynch said it can also limit artists. “Technology can be a bit of a… tyrant, I guess,” he said. “It dictates to you — it can.”

But, by getting out into the landscape you’re painting, and having to deal with environment, better ideas and more energy can come about.

“A landscape to me is not just a landscape, it’s more of a psychological record,” said Lynch. “It tells both stories. It tells me how stormy it was that day, how wicked it was or how beautiful it was. It also tells me how I feel, and that relationship between the two, (that’s) where the artwork comes from” he said.

“When I’m out there… I’m thinking about the mortgage and the kids and that kind of thing. It might be a more ‘You’re holding on way too tight’ kind of study, and other times I feel free and good things happen… I just like to get out there and see what happens. And that process, you know, I’m very rarely disappointed, although painting is like golf. You think you’ve got it all together and the game goes all to hell.”

Lynch’s Exterior Paint exhibit runs from Aug. 7 to Sept. 1 at TOSH (The Old School House Arts Centre, 122 Fern Rd. West, Qualicum Beach). For more info, go to www.theoldschoolhouse.org.

Just Posted

$3.5M all-season turf field planned for Qualicum Beach

Town seeks grant for community playing surface upgrades

Car theft suspect arrested in Coombs

Vehicle and two motorcyles recovered on Jan. 16

Qualicum Beach council big on support for multi-use cinema proposal

Society asks for 10,000 square feet, gets recommendation to consider with strategic plan

Lincoln stolen from Parksville dealership found near Duncan

Vehicle was located three days later with minor damage

Ballenas student experiment going into space

Science experiment designed by five SD69 students will travel to International Space Station

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Vancouver Island photographer makes National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour for Marston from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

First Nations take over off-reserve family services in mid-Island region

Kw’umut Lelum hosts grand opening of new Nanaimo office

RCMP’s use of force in arrest of Island man not excessive, judge rules

Campbell River man high on cocaine led high speed chase through city’s downtown

In limbo: Leftover embryos challenge clinics, couples

Some are outright abandoned by people who quit paying storage fees and other couples struggle with tough decisions

Most Read