Parksville artist Alexandra Carr is excited for her very first painting exhibition.
“It feels great. It’s a little bit like ripping a bandaid off,” said Carr, whose 26 pieces are currently on display at Qualicum Art Supply and Gallery on 206 First Ave West.
Nature is a big inspiration for Carr, who said she enjoys spending time outdoors, particularly mountain biking with her husband. Her exhibition depicts landscapes and colourful flowery scenes.
“I get a lot of inspiration while on the trails. We bike a lot at [the Hammerfest trails] near Englishman River Falls,” she said. The Little Mountain area is another good spot, she added.
Carr said she has favoured acrylic paint for the past couple years and appreciates its bright, vivid colours.
“I love that it dries quickly,” she said. “I haven’t really used oil, but I hear it takes a lot longer for them to dry. I like that I can just paint over stuff really quickly.”
Carr paints both from photos and from her mind’s eye. Often she will begin a piece with a sketch.
Originally from Ottawa, she went to school for illustration and design at Dawson College in Montreal, where she found a passion for drawing. She said the three-year program opened up her eyes to everything a person can do with art.
“That program was really my jumping off point in terms of my artistic career,” Carr said.
She and her husband lived in the Seattle area for several years before moving back to Canada.
Carr said living on the West Coast of North America encouraged her to paint nature scenes, whereas she drew more figures and people when she lived out east.
Since moving to the Island, Carr has become involved in the community, including running the demo committee of DeCosmos Fine Arts Society and volunteering at the McMillan Arts Centre (MAC) in Parksville and the Old Schoolhouse (TOSH) Arts Centre in Qualicum Beach. She is also a member of the Artward Bound plein air painting group.
“There’s so many great artists and inspirational artists around,” Carr said. “And I really appreciate all the support.”
Carr’s work will be on display until March 31.