From landscapes to roof tops and back again

Reimer’s Peaks, Islands and Beyond – 30 years of Colour solo exhibit runs from June 3 to 17 at The Arts Centre at Cedar Hill

Artist Christine Reimer in her studio with some of the paintings she’ll be exhibiting at The Arts Centre at Cedar Hill.

Artist Christine Reimer in her studio with some of the paintings she’ll be exhibiting at The Arts Centre at Cedar Hill.

If the perfect landscape presents itself, painter Christine Reimer isn’t shy about screeching her car to a halt on the side of the highway to capture the moment. Nobody said art was safe.

The veteran Saanich artist, known for blending realism and whimsy in dramatic landscape pieces, is marking 30 years of painting with a show at The Arts Centre at Cedar Hill, starting Sunday.

It’s her first show in Greater Victoria since 2010 and features a mix of landscapes and abstract florals, perhaps 25 to 30 pieces generated in the past few years. The landscapes will be familiar to anyone who has travelled across the Island and the province – Rocky mountains and verdant meadows, wilderness lakes amid Douglas fir forests, Gulf Island arbutus trees stretching over water.

“I grew up on the coast, I have a bond with the coastal landscape,” Reimer said. “Being an Islander, it’s in my blood.”

She admits the abstract florals were a deviation from the hunt for landscapes – a kind of creative rejuvenation necessary every few years.

“I get bored doing the same thing. What I’ve done over 30 years is take detours,” Reimer said. “I had a figurative period of painting quirky people in dreamlike settings. I do that for a while, and then landscapes become fresh again.

“I do find it hard to limit myself to one thing – there are so many vibrant colours. I can’t help myself. I’m obsessed with colour, I always have been.”

Reimer has been an artist since she can remember, drawing at a young age and watching her talent emerge as a teenager. She credits art teachers Bill West and Carole Sabiston at Oak Bay High and then University of Victoria instructor and influential Canadian artist James Gordaneer as influencing and guiding her style and development.

Working through different mediums while earning her BFA at UVic, it was her great-uncle and noted painter Max Maynard (a contemporary of Emily Carr and Jack Shadbolt in the 1930s and ‘40s) who steered her toward landscape images. “I was so inspired by the way he did landscapes,” Reimer said. “I thought I would give it a shot.”

It was a good decision. Now a professional working artist for 25 years, Reimer’s work decorates corporate offices, high-end hotels, restaurants, and galleries across B.C. “Between kids and painting, I’ve worked full time,” she said. “And my husband has been extremely supportive.”

Reimer said she’s fortunate to make a living as an artist, but noted her “long-suffering” husband must tolerate intensive photography during trips – she took a thousand photos in Banff and Jasper last fall – and the occasional demand to pull over on the highway, often so she can scramble up a cliff to grab a shot. Her photography is the groundwork for her art.

“My photos allow me to recall the place with better detail. If I use other photos of places I haven’t been, you can’t evoke the place truly.”

She admits that the last few years have been tough personally and professionally. The economic downturn across North America has squeezed budgets for commissioned art pieces and private sales. But she still keeps up a work schedule of painting about five days a week, usually in intensive three-hour bursts of acrylic on canvas.

“It’s been really tough at times. The last few years. It’s been very difficult for all artists. Art is a luxury item for people.”

Her work will be on display for two weeks in June, but Reimer is mulling her next set of work after recently returning from England – the roofscape and old-world architecture of London. “It’s something that’s tweaked my interest until I detour back to landscapes,” she said.

Reimer’s Peaks, Islands and Beyond – 30 years of Colour solo exhibit runs from June 3 to 17 at The Arts Centre at Cedar Hill, 3220 Cedar Hill Rd. The grand opening gala is Thursday, June 7, 5 to 7:30 p.m.

Just Posted

Victoria-born, 16-time Grammy winning musician David Foster penned a letter to the Greater Victoria School District May 7 urging them not to cut music programs. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
David Foster joins fight to save music in Greater Victoria School District

‘Music is the great equalizer’ Foster wrote in a letter to the district

‘Nindanikoobijiganag: We are Star People’ by Mississauga Nishnaabe Lucbanin artist Estrella Whetung. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Victoria beadwork exhibit speaks to evolving, enduring nature of Indigenous art

On Beaded Ground features work from West Coast artists and a Cedar Hill Middle School group

Former Victoria HarbourCat and Chicago White Sox player Andrew Vaughn. (Photo courtesy of Chicago White Sox)
Former Victoria HarbourCat hits first MLB home run, adds another two days later

Andrew Vaughn is the first HarbourCat alumni to hit a homer in the majors

A seniors housing complex proposed for Cedar Hill Road in Saanich was supported by council after a public hearing on May 12. (Rendering by Jenson Group Architects)
New 85-unit seniors housing development gets green light from Saanich council

Four-storey rental complex would be located on Cedar Hill Road

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Former UFV Cascades wrestling coach Arjan Singh Bhullar is now the ONE heavyweight champion after defeating Brandon Vera via TKO in round two on Saturday in Singapore. (ONE Championship)
Former UFV wrestling coach wins MMA championship

Arjan Singh Bhullar captures ONE heavyweight title, first Indian origin fighter to achieve honour

Astra Zeneca vaccine waits for injection in a Feb. 3, 2021 file photo. A Langley man has become the second B.C. resident to suffer a blood clot following an injection. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
B.C. man required emergency surgery after AstraZeneca vaccination

Shaun Mulldoon suffered ‘massive blood clot’ after jab

Chilliwack’s Kile Brown, performing as drag queen Hailey Adler, dances and lip syncs in front of hundreds of people during the inaugural Chilliwack Pride Barbecue at the Neighbourhood Learning Centre on Aug. 24, 2019. Monday, May 17 is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of May 16 to 22

International Day Against Homophobia, Talk Like Yoda Day, Sea Monkey Day all coming up this week

Most Read