With practised hands and an eye for details, Alain Costaz can bring a plain piece of paper to life when he draws a model posing before him.
“I’m not trying to make perfect replicas of the figure,” the Victoria artist says. “I’m trying to capture expression and emotion.”
People who haven’t had the chance to try life drawing for themselves, have that to look forward to at the TD Art Gallery Paint In along Moss Street on Saturday (July 16).
The event, which grown over the past 24 years, serves as the largest open-air artist studio on the Island where spectators can also embrace their creativity, says Mary-ellen Threadkell, paint-in co-ordinator and assistant director of advancements at the Greater Victoria Art Gallery.
“A lot of artists are teachers even if they’re not teaching professionally. They love to have that interaction,” Threadkell says.
The free open-air event attracts more than 35,000 spectators who gather to watch 150 professional and emerging artists demonstrate their art forms, ask questions, or try the art for themselves. Among the specialties that will be showcased are painting, pottery, sculpting, performance games, soapstone carving and papier-mâché.
A map will be available the day of the event, pinpointing, among other highlights, the location of about 50 artists providing a hands-on element.
“They sit down and start drawing … and once they get involved, they discover they can actually do it,” says Costaz, who has specialized in drawing live models for the past 40 years.
Costaz and other artists with Xchanges Gallery and Studios have provided an interactive element at the Moss Street event for about 15 years. On Saturday, they will once again provide benches for sitting, a live model and paper, pencils and charcoal for drawing.
“It’s arousing people’s curiosity,” Costaz says. “That’s the important thing.”
Did you know?
• The paint-in happens on Moss Street between Fort and Dallas Road on July 16, from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
• The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria will be open that day by donation from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
• A food and beverage garden will be held in the gallery parking lot from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., where Latin dancing courtesy of Kumbia will also held from 5 to 9 p.m.
• For details, please visit www.aggv.ca, or call 250-384-4171.