Qualicum Beach artist Deb Peters at the Gallery at the Qualicum Art Supply, Nov. 30 (Mandy Moraes photo)

Qualicum Beach artist Deb Peters at the Gallery at the Qualicum Art Supply, Nov. 30 (Mandy Moraes photo)

Qualicum Beach painter Deb Peters discusses the power of art

‘If you’re given the ability to create something, you need to pass it on to people’

Through her artwork, Qualicum Beach artist Deb Peters strives to “make people feel good again” during the ambivalent days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

She considers art an emotional experience where storytellers, be they musicians, sculptors or artists, yearn to be understood.

“I’ve had people who have a painting of mine in their home say to me ‘gosh, everytime I go by that I smile’ and I think ‘yes, I’ve done my job,’” said Peters.

“If you’re given the ability to create something, you need to pass it on to people.”

The wildness of Vancouver Island is what inspires the Qualicum Beach painter. The Island, Peters said, brings a lot of creative people together, who participate with it and become a part of it.

Growing up, Peters remembers her parents being creative people whose footsteps she followed down the road. And as time went on, through university art classes and theatre, she was able to forge her own path. Her career lead her through education and then administration, where she admitted having to ‘put art aside for awhile.’

But after retiring, she found the drive to put her whole energy back into creating again.

“It was a cycle, an evolution. It’s been good for me because I’ve learned a lot along the way.”

Through the years her practice and personal style has changed drastically. When first starting out, Peters recalls her paintings being very fine and detailed. Now, she paints with broad bushstrokes in a sweeping motion, often with two or three different colours on one brush.

“I used to have a teacher, years ago, who said ‘if I gave you a brush with one or two hairs on it, you’d probably be happier,’” said Peters with a chuckle.

Since March, she said she’s branched into more tactile mediums such as tapestry and fabric art, all in the search of different ways to make her feel happy and good again.

“I am now doing a lot more landscapes that are bright colours. I’m doing that for myself as well as for other people because I think we really need it right now.”

Peters said she likes to try different things, and that if she had to do one thing over and over again, she would “get bored out of her head.”

Such as with figure drawings, she tries to keep her style more impressionistic, but leans toward realism without even noticing. The village series currently at the Gallery at Qualicum Art Supply is mostly a symbolic array, and enjoys the loose flow of the series. If she were to paint a tight, detailed scene, it can take the better part of month to finish it.

“I can’t decide if it’s dedication or masochism,” Peters said.

Her current favourite work is called Ancient Gift, now on display at the Gallery at Qualicum Art Supply. She describes the scene as a moon surrounded by trees over water, and says its “a dark and thoughtful painting” that resonates with her.

But she admits that next month she’ll probably have moved on to a something else, as it “all depends on the moment.”

Peters believes a canvas will tell you what its needs and wants are. There have been times, she said, when she would get angry at her work as it misbehaves and doesn’t do what she wants it to.

“It’s very rare that painting goes totally smooth. But if you could just perserve, get over that hump, then something good will come.”

A sentiment, she believes, that can be applied to the outlook of the pandemic.

mandy.moraes@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

ArtsArts and culturequalicum beach

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks at a press conference Monday, April 18. (B.C. Government image)
New COVID-19 cases tick down on the central Island

New cases held to single digits three days in a row

Cheryl Dill visits the PQB News/VI Free Daily studio. (Peter McCully photo)
PQBeat: Talking jobs, tourism and business with Cheryl Dill in Parksville

Podcast: COVID-19 has far-reaching impacts on Vancouver Island

(File photo)
PQB crime report: Vandals strike in Parksville, prowler lurks in Nanoose Bay

Oceanside RCMP receive 276 complaints in one-week period

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

Families of two of three workers killed in a train derailment near Field, B.C., in 2019 have filed lawsuits accusing Canadian Pacific of gross negligence. The derailment sent 99 grain cars and two locomotives off the tracks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Families of workers killed in Field train derailment allege negligence in lawsuit

Lawsuits allege the workers weren’t provided a safe work environment

(New Westminster Police)
4 youth arrested after 30-person brawl in New Westminster leaves 1 seriously injured

Police are looking for witnesses who saw the incident take place

South Surrey’s Paul Cottrell, who works with the DFO, tows a grey whale out of Semiahmoo Bay Sunday. (Contributed photo)
Dead whale floating near White Rock towed to shore for necropsy

Animal has been dead since at least April 15

Wickaninnish (Clifford Atleo) plays the drum while singing the Nuu-chah-nulth song on the court steps in Vancouver In a picture from April 2018. Photo credit, Melody Charlie.
Five western Vancouver Island First Nations celebrate legal fishing victory

Court ruling confirms Nuu-chah-nulth fishing rights in case dating back to 2003

Sunday’s storm rocked one of the ferries crossing Kootenay Lake. Photo: Dirk Jonker
VIDEO: Storm makes for wild ferry ride across Kootenay Lake

The video was captured by ferry employee Dirk Jonker

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19

Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
Island Health seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

VIHA says Ladysmith-area Chakalaka Bar and Grill also violating water and sewer regulations

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is a independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. to open up AstraZeneca vaccines for all people 40+, set up clinics in hot spots

A total of 13 neighbourhoods and communities will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine

Most Read