Chris Stusek is an Islander at heart. A majority of her paintings reference the beach, like a glass bottle, a piece of wood, a feather or a sea shell.
She said she usually paints in oil, but her largest painting being showcased is painted in acrylic, and took her three and a half weeks to complete.
“I’m really drawn to doing glass and metal… it’s just something I’m fascinated with doing… textures, rough textures, fabric as well,” she said.
“I really like the texture of glass.”
Stusek showcased her work at The Old School House Arts Centre on Aug. 12 along with De Backer.
Stusek said she has always been into drawing, but hasn’t taken any professional classes or schooling.
“[I’m] pretty much self taught, I took a few lessons.”
She took a break from creating art when she had children, she said, but is now getting back into it.
“My kids are all grown up now… I kind of just found the time to do it.”
Stusek said she incorporates man-made inventions and natural pieces
“I try to also have something that was from nature as well, sort of a man-made and then a natural piece,” she said. Not all her pieces carry this, however.
She also said being from Victoria, that she draws inspiration from her findings on the beach.
“I’m all around the beach, and these are all things I’ve collected,” she said.
Each of Stusek’s pieces at the gallery (with one exception) are of a similar size and each also has a black background that she said she creates on purpose.
She places her findings in a “shadow box” she said, “that’s just a box that I’ve painted black inside.”
The light is shined in the box at a certain angle which doesn’t change and her easel is taped in place at a certain length away from the box, so all of her paintings have the same light and spacing.
“It’s the same throughout all the sessions,” she said.
She said she predominately paints in oils but has some paintings in acrylic.
“I love oils, they’re my favourite,” she said. Her paintings will be at TOSH until Sept. 5.