Two Central Saanich artists welcomed people on the Peninsula to visit their exhibition, Twi-Light: Abstract Realism in Landscapes, at the ArtSea gallery, in Sidney.
The event showcased 22 landscape and Abstract Realism paintings. While Abstract painting makes no clear reference to everyday objects, Abstract Realism captures the sense of objects, while retaining the freedom and imagination of Abstract art.
The two artists, Dana Craft and William (Bill) Watt both focus on landscapes for this exhibition, but each brings their own style to the collection.
Craft mixes cold wax with oil, producing a goopy media that she uses to create layered textures on canvas.
She says, instead of using a brush, “oil and cold wax mixed together and applied with a palette knife is looser and more free flowing, giving a freer feeling to the painting. Even though you can tell what it is, it has a more abstract feel to it. It’s fun to do.”
Watt uses acrylics for his abstract paintings and hung the show, producing a clean, uncluttered aesthetic. The space has been described as “very zen-like,” allowing the paintings to be the focus for visitors. Watt has been painting since he earned his fine art degree in 1976 and says he is inspired by “en plein air” painting. On his website he writes, “I am always trying to view the scene as the pristine environment unaltered by the human machine that could be grinding away just outside the edges of the canvas.”
While Watt is at home with a wide vista rolling in front of his easel, Craft prefers her home studio on the banks of Prospect Lake. She does turn her hand at “en plein air” painting weekly though, and the pair met in the Saanich Peninsula Plein Air Painters group, run by North Saanich artist Keith Levang.
Craft says she is inspired by nature but also shape and form. She welcomes residents to stop by and talk art as well as view the paintings.
Paintings will be available for purchase either through the artists’ websites or at the McTavish Academy of Art. The Academy will host them during the ArtSea Spring Studio Tour, on June 8 and 9, and for a month afterwards in their gallery. For more information on the artists’ work visit danacraftart.com and williamwatt.net.