Local painter releases first book

Phyllis Serota reflects on influences, experiences

Painter Phyllis Serota

When the phone rang at Phyllis Serota’s home in Estevan Village last week, she wasn’t hoping to hear a reporter on the line.

“I thought this was the delivery person,” she said.

Serota was anxiously awaiting the arrival of stacks of copies of her first book, Painting My Life: A Memoir of Love, Art and Transformation.

“I’ve been painting for over 50 years. I think every artist, somewhere inside them, wants to have a permanent record of their work,” said Serota, who lived in James Bay for 24 years before moving to Oak Bay about 10 years ago.

“I’m not a professional writer, obviously, so it was a very daunting thing to take on. I’ve worked on it for over two years.”

In the book, she walks readers through her childhood in Chicago and the family memories that contributed to her character and her art career.

The book contains 104 colour images of her artwork.

“(In) many of them, two-thirds or more, I talk extensively about what was in my mind when I painted them and why I used particular colours and textures.”

The book launch happens tomorrow (Nov. 3) at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, where Serota has had three solo exhibitions in past decades.

“She is well respected as a professional,” said Mica Mash, art rentals and sales consultant at the gallery. “She’s also somebody who’s taken it all in her stride. She doesn’t have a huge ego. She remains unassuming and is always willing to share her knowledge. I think a book gives a whole lot more depth and perception to an artist.”

Serota wanted to share her experiences and relate them to her artwork for readers.

“I think those of us who live on the West Coast have generally come from somewhere else and lots of times we don’t know each other’s stories. I think these stories are very interesting.”

The book launch gets underway at 6:30 p.m. at the gallery, 1040 Moss St. Serota will also be signing copies of her book at Munro’s Books, 1108 Government St. on Saturday (Nov. 5) at 3 p.m.

The book is available in Victoria bookstores starting Friday.

ecardone@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Downtown Victoria sees 10-fold increase in condo units since 2016

A report by the Downtown Victoria Business Association details ongoing construction trends

Saanich farm hosts birthday party as wetland turns 10

The Urban Biodiversity Enhancement and Restoration Project invites community to 10th birthday for wetland

Soul Shakers kick off free outdoor concerts in Oak Bay

Music fills the air at Willows Beach Park for series of concerts this summer

Sunset Cinema brings free family film under the stars in Colwood

Sunset Cinema hosts events on the Island from July 23 to 27

International migration drives population rise in B.C.

No joke, provincial population topped 5 million by April 1

Astronaut David Saint-Jacques returns to Earth, sets Canadian space record

Native of Saint-Lambert, Que., set a record for longest single spaceflight by a Canadian at 204 days

Thieves steal two $40K chairs featuring gold serpents from Vancouver furniture store

Chairs believed to be the only two of its kind in Canada, police said

Poll: Rising gas prices force B.C. residents rethink summer road trips

63 per cent of respondents reported gas prices are impacting their day-to-day finances

PHOTO: Moose cow and calf relax in Williams Lake flower garden

The homeowners got a surprise when they checked their most recent surveillance footage

Two in hospital after plane crashes in Okanagan Lake

RCMP say wheels left down caused landing plane to overturn on lake

The world’s Indigenous speakers gather in B.C.’s capital to revitalize languages

Organizers estimate about 1,000 delegates from 20 countries will be at the conference

Join talks on international treaty: B.C. First Nations mark ‘historic moment’

Representatives of the Ktunaxa, Syilx/Okanagan and Secwepemc Nations participated

Companies need clearer rules on workplace relationships, study suggests

One-third of Canadians have been in love at work, and half say no policy on the matter exists

WITH VIDEO: Two endangered marmots released on Vancouver Island

With three new pups born in May, two more Vancouver Island Marmots… Continue reading

Most Read