New body of work at TOSH

Qualicum Bay artist Susan Schaefer unveils new show

One of Susan Schaefer’s works of art.

One of Susan Schaefer’s works of art.

West Coast artist Susan Schaefer has been busy over the last year working on a new body of acrylic paintings and now the public has an opportunity to see her creations at The Old School House Arts Centre (TOSH) in Qualicum Beach.

The exhibition entitled “Scapes” will be on display from October 11 to November 4, 2011 with an opening reception Wednesday, Oct. 12 at 7 p.m.

Schaefer said she is excited about this new body of acrylic paintings that include seascapes, landscapes and mountainscapes.  She has about a dozen pieces that will be hung in the Dorothy Francis Gallery.

A transplant from the prairies, Schaefer said, “I am constantly in awe of the natural beauty that surrounds us in our own backyard; the glistening snow on the mountain tops, the beaches at low tide that seem to go on forever or the eagles keeping a watchful eye perched high above a tree top.”

Schaefer portrays the local beauty in her paintings in her own impressionistic style. Her work includes forests, floral art, underwater scenes and old buildings.

After attending a five-day workshop with award-winning painter Brian Buckrell in April, Schaefer took to her studio in Qualicum Bay with vigor and put her brush to canvas to create this latest exhibition which has been about a year in the making.

She said the workshop was inspiring but also very intense.

“We called it boot camp for acrylic painters. He was trying to teach us everything in five days that he has learned over the past seven years.”

She said Buckrell, who lives in Comox, has done amazing things with his career.

“He is an ex-school teacher. He gets up every day at 5 a.m. and paints until noon,” she said.

Mostly self-taught, Schaefer continues to grow as an artist by taking classes and organizing workshops by professional artists that she admires.

Schaefer said she began getting serious about making and selling her art about 11 years ago when she started Young at Art Studios.

The self-employed graphic designer and publisher of the Island Arts Magazine is also the creator and host of the upcoming annual Island Arts Expo.

Schaefer and her partner Jeff Shields have been putting on the Island Arts Expo for the last couple of years, which last year featured over 20 artists from around Vancouver Island. The event is held in Qualicum Bay and has artists selling their work, putting on workshops and chatting with the public.

This year’s event is being held November 5 and 6 and once again there is an impressive lineup of presenters.  Registration for the event has begun and if you register online by October 31 you will receive a 20 per cent discount on most workshops.

Some of the workshops being offered at the art exposition include Grant Leier and Nixie Barton of Barton Leier Galleries demonstrating stamping, gold leafing, encaustic on wood and more.

Award-winning painter Brian Buckrell will show how he starts his paintings and Grant Fuller will discuss some of the tools used to make money with your art.

To register or get more information on Island Arts Expo visit

Schaefer’s invites the public to stop by her studio whenever the open sign is out, and otherwise by appointment. For more information call 250-757-8003, email or visit her website at


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