See it, then paint it, says Qualicum Beach artist Vincent

Qualicum Beach area artist John Vincent studied under abstract painter Hans Hoffman at UBC

John Vincent’s acrylic paintings can be found at the Gallery at Qualicum Art Supply.

John Vincent was taught how to paint in architecture school at the University of British Columbia decades ago, by an art teacher who studied under legendary abstract painter Hans Hofmann.

He hadn’t painted much before he took the course, but in it he remembers every student having to submit 20 paintings of scenes around B.C.

“You were exposed to painting whether you liked it or not, and that’s sort of how I got into it,” he said.

Vincent became an architect in Vancouver, and later a landscape architect, and in those days the slower work got, the more Vincent painted.

His acrylic paintings of landscapes often feature buildings, and he conceded his architectural background probably does influence his work.

He has also been painting with watercolors for years, after seeing a book at U.B.C. and thinking “[he] could probably do that.”

Today Vincent paints bucolic scenes like local golf courses and waterfront viewpoints shrouded with glowing light and vivid colours.

He said he tries to capture light and form in his paintings, and creates pieces devoid of conflict. He just notices something in his surroundings that people will like, he said.

“I think painting is what you see. If you can see it you can paint it, “ he said.

Although Vincent hasn’t forayed into abstract work yet the style intrigues him.

For now he’ll continue what he’s doing, he said, dividing his time between playing golf, playing the trumpet and painting. And although he’s been doing the latter for over 40 years, he never stops learning and improving.

“That’s the nice thing about painting, when you finish one you always think the next one has got to be better than that,” he laughed.

Vincent’s work can be found at the Gallery at Qualicum Art Supply in Qualicum Beach, located at 206 West First Avenue.

For more information call 250-752-3471 or visit


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