Variety of works to fill TOSH

Three different views of the world come together



Three local artists with very different styles are putting on an exhibition at The Old School House arts centre (TOSH) next week, giving visitors a variety of inspiring impressionist landscapes, intriguing views of nature and tranquilizing floral, figure and landscape work.

Sally Laidlaw has been painting since she was a young girl. Born in Vancouver she has studied at The Vancouver School of Art (now Emily Carr) as well as institutions in England and Mexico with workshops in France, Belgium, England and Canada.

Today she creates stunning, abstract pieces of landscapes and life. Her impressionist pieces begin with some colour which she’ll move around until the work suggests something, she said.

 “I don’t work from nature, I work from feeling, mostly,” said Laidlaw, who works in acrylic.

Besides the exhibit at TOSH, Laidlaw’s work can be found at the Qualicum Frameworks Gallery and at her home studio by appointment. Call 250-752-4612 or visit for more information.

Laura Hilts creates beautiful, soft, floral images, semi-abstract figures and impressionist landscapes. Her imagination gives her ideas and she often gets excited about colour and shape, she said. Hilts has painted for about 35 years in watercolour, but has been working in acrylic since she came to the Island about seven years ago. 

Originally from Windsor, Ontario, Hilts said acrylic offered her a chance to grow and try something new, and to paint large, although she continues to paint in both mediums today. The best thing about painting for her is the journey, she said. 

“I think that you never arrive,” she said.

“That it’s an exciting journey, there’s always something new to learn and it satisfies my need to create something,” she said.

Hilts is a member of TOSH10, where she shares a gallery and working space with nine other artists. Her work can also be found at Qualicum Frameworks, and the Englishman River Gallery. Visit for more information.

Gillian Beales paints close-up views of landscapes and enjoys finding unique perspectives outdoors. 

“I really like spaces between things, so if you have a boat next to a dock what will attract me is the reflections in the water between them,” she said, adding she also loves the way light comes through the trees and the presence of a spirit, something she has only experienced on Vancouver Island. 

Beales is from Vancouver and although she started out as a watercolorist she said today she likes the instant gratification of acrylic. Being a painter causes you to look at the world with a discriminating eye, she said, allowing them to really notice colours, lines and the beauty that surrounds them. Beales is represented by the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and her art can be viewed at The show at TOSH runs from May 23 until June 18. A reception will be held May 25 at 7 p.m. to meet the artists  and enjoy refreshments and music.

Mary Leigh Campbell, a resident artist at TOSH from 1994 to 2005 will also be showing her work at the exhibition. Campbell will be displaying her wood block prints, accompanied by poetry by Lenore Hellum.


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