Painter Sandhu Singh and his son Liam (a photographer) are both exhibiting work in the Sidney Fine Art Show. (Hugo Wong/News staff)

Father and son to share gallery space at Sidney Fine Arts Show

The Peninsula News Review continues a series of artist profiles leading up to the Sidney Fine Art Show Oct. 13 to 15 at the Mary Winspear Centre. It’s part of the annual ArtSea Festival on the Saanich Peninsula the runs Oct. 13 to 22.

For Sandhu Singh and his 14 year-old son Liam, art is a shared hobby. Though Sandhu paints with watercolours and Liam is a wildlife photographer, they rely on each other for honest advice and inspiration.

“If I do a painting, it doesn’t matter if he’s sleeping or not,” said Sandhu. “I always yell, ‘Liam!’ He has to come and look at it and tell me what’s missing. He has a very good eye, so he can say, ‘Dad, it looks busy,’ or ‘dad, it need something,’ or he might say, ‘wow, dad that’s good!’… I don’t do it by myself.”

Both were accepted into the Sidney Fine Art Show this year, where they were patrons for years. Sandhu said the show is special to both of them.

“When I first went there, I had no idea what it was all about. I entered three paintings, I went there and I walked up to the lady, and she said, ‘you didn’t fill out this paperwork out properly.’”

As it turned out, he failed to name a price for his work. He whispered to the clerk to “just be honest” and tell him what she thought it was worth, and she said she couldn’t since it wasn’t her job. He ended up writing a number somewhat arbitrarily, which allowed him to enter and eventually win Best In Show in 2011.

Sandhu, who is a full-time cardiac nurse, has been interested in art for a long time. He grew up north of New Delhi in Chardigarh, which was then a small town.

“I grew up fantasizing about big cities like London and New York,” he said. “Tall buildings, traffic, Datsun cars.”

He immigrated to Canada in 1990, and started painting watercolors as a hobby in 2004.

“I was hanging around the house and my wife Emily said, ‘You gotta go do something! You gotta pursue what you want to pursue.’”

She bought him his first set of paints, and he just carried on from there, dedicating himself more seriously in 2009.

Liam, 14, first got his hands on a camera at the age of 2. He got serious about photography in Grade 5, just before his trip to Churchill, Manitoba — “the polar bear capital of the world.” Since then, he has gone to the Galapagos, Madagascar, Australia, and the Aleutian Islands with his grandmother.

He photographs birds as part of his ornithological research and for enjoyment. He volunteers at the Royal B.C. Museum, and puts tracking bands on birds at 2 a.m. at Rocky Point some weekends.

“Usually I have a few species in mind that I want to go photograph, and I’ll go to those particular places.”

He went to Island View Beach specifically to look for Habronattus americanus, a type of jumping spider with a black back and a bright red front. Liam enjoys showing that photo to people because he said “most people don’t know that a spider that brightly coloured lives in Victoria.”

Sandhu said that he gets shy when people praise his work at shows.

“If people say, ‘Your work is beautiful, I say thank you. And if they keep saying it, I get a little uncomfortable. I just want to hide in a hole,” he laughed.

“It can be daunting,” said Liam, “but usually it’s pretty fun to see your work and just be proud of what you see up there.”

The Singhs have also experienced rejection, too, which was a lesson for both father and son.

“One year, they didn’t take a single one of my paintings. And Liam learned not to take the disappointment too personally. That’s just the way it goes, sometimes.”

Sandhu realizes that they are both relatively new to the art, and they are humble about their early success.

“To be with people who’ve been painting 40 years, 50 years ahead of us, it’s inspiring in many ways,” said Sandhu.



reporter@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Police seek potential victims of bad ‘nanny’

Saanich Police seek potential victims of Johnathon Lee Robichaud from Central Saanich

Needles found at Goldstream campground in Langford

West Shore RCMP respond to several calls for service associated with homeless campers

Oak Bay firefighters help fund new Monterey playground

Sausage Fest cash handed over to Monterey PAC

Paving complete, lines coming to the Malahat this week

$34 million safety project is 95 per cent complete with hope to relieve traffic congestion between Victoria and Nanaimo

Only tent city residents allowed access at Goldstream Park campsites

Local RCMP point to reports of criminal activity and drug use in the area as cause for safety concerns

Neighbours fear impact of tent city residents on Goldstream Provincial Park

Langford residents opposed to campers voice concerns at campground gate

5 things to do this weekend in and around Greater Victoria

Sooke Apple Fest returns, Saanich lights up with lantern festival and anarchists unite for downtown book fair

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Most Read