Adam Kveton Photo TOSH resident artist Thérèse Johnston is touching up a piece ahead of her exhibition, which began April 10 and runs to April 29.

Never safe from the brush

TOSH 10 artist Thérèse Johnston exhibiting this month in Qualicum Beach

Thérèse Johnston is leaving a set of 12 paintings alone for long enough to put them on exhibition at The Old School House Arts Centre (TOSH).

But that doesn’t mean the works are safe from her brush in the future. If any of them come home, that is.

Johnston is one of the TOSH 10 — a group of resident artists at the arts centre in downtown Qualicum Beach. And she’s done plenty of exhibitions before. But each new one is an exciting and nerve-wracking experience for her, she said.

“It’s normal because you’re never completely satisfied,” Johnston said. “There are so many artists in the world and so many good artists, and so many styles that you never stop learning, which is a good thing, because I always want to get better.”

That philosophy might account for her re-examinations of her work, which often result in changes.

“My husband says that until it’s out of the house, it’s not safe, because I keep going back,” said Johnston with a laugh.

“You keep examining it and saying, ‘Oh, maybe I should have done this… I take them down and I just pick at them. They are never safe.”

In fact, just before discussing her work for this article, Johnston was making some changes to one of her works — a piece on birds.

“But it’s not a realistic picture,” she explains. “It’s semi-abstract. And I work with multimedia,” meaning, in this case, that her paintings are acrylic, with gel medium and perhaps some collage elements.

“Years ago I did watercolours and I did oils and all the mediums, but I’ve been doing mixed media now for probably 15, 20 years,” she said.

Her paintings usually have a real subject, like trees, flowers, houses or wildlife, but they serve only as a basis for a semi-abstract piece. Much of what goes on canvas comes from her imagination, she said, sometimes resulting in wholly abstract works.

The key, though, is a balanced composition.

“It’s about balancing the shapes, the colours, more than getting the painting accurate,” she said. “If you look at my paintings, there is a structure to it, there are bones under it.”

Another concern is having a place for a viewer’s eye to be drawn.

Johnston creates her paintings in series, based on subject. This exhibit is mostly houses.

Asked what she wants people to get from her work, she said people often say they like the colours, and that they make them feel happy. “So (my work is) never somber or sad. There is enough sadness in the world.”

Johnston’s exhibit continues to April 29 at TOSH.

Just Posted

Kiosk designed to help residents, visitors of Parksville Qualicum Beach

Parksville chamber hopes this to be first of many

Site C dam goes ahead, cost estimate now up to $10.7 billion

Premier John Horgan says Christy Clark left him no other choice

Corfield Street construction starts in Parksville

Crews will avoid shopping centre disruptions during Christmas

Intersection cleared after two-car accident in downtown Parksville

Incident was at intersection of Highway 19A and Highway 4A

VIDEO: New series takes in-depth look at sexual harassment in B.C.

Black Press takes a hard look at sexual harassment in B.C.

Ladysmith woman who jumped from ferry meets rescuers

A local artist who survived five hours in the frigid waters of… Continue reading

B.C. teacher suspended after explicit images projected to class

Jeffrey Rohin Muthanna had been viewing porn on a school laptop for two years

Man who pledged to give B.C. hockey team millions charged with fraud

Mike Gould has since repaid $8,000 he allegedly owed Cranbrook restaurant, owner says

Police continue to seek missing Qualicum Beach woman

Oceanside RCMP requesting public assistance in locating Carmel Georgina Gilmour

Strong economy fuels housing sales in B.C.: report

Economist says demand for houses is being supported by a large number of millennials entering the market

Tequila, hammers and knives: what not to bring on an airplane

Vancouver International Airport staff provide tips on travelling during the holidays

New fighter-jet competition to have national ‘economic interest’ requirement

Trudeau government wants to replace Canada’s aging CF-18s with 88 new fighters by as early as 2025

The top-binged shows on Netflix in 2017

Which show did you cheat on your spouse with by watching ahead?

Most Read