After a long search, well-known Victoria artist Robert Amos finally found the perfect spot for a more relaxed lifestyle when he moved to Oak Bay two years ago and he couldn’t be happier.
“It’s like moving to a different country,” he says. “It has what you need and you don’t have to leave.”
A strong positive for someone with less and less desire to go downtown, he says.
Amos, who has painted since he was a teenager, says he really began in earnest when he moved to Victoria, and since 1980, has been painting and drawing here full time.
Amos recently painted the portraits of passersby at the TD Art Gallery Paint-In on Moss Street, something he’s been involved with since its inception in 1989. In its first year there were only 20 artists, says Amos. Since then, he’s watched it grow to the sprawling venue it is now, featuring 180 artists this year spread from just around the corner from Craigdarroch castle, along Moss Street to the seaside at Dallas Road.
The continued growth of the paint-in doesn’t surprise him. “(Victoria) is a magnet for creative people,” he says.
Next up, Amos will participe in the 10th annual Bowker Creek Brush Up, something he’s enjoyed doing for the past several years.
He says he’ll likely work in watercolour at the Brush Up, though attendees can take a gander through his published collection of books as well. The works span the histories of Victoria and Chinatown, an illustrated biography of Harold Mortimer-Lamb and a photo-collage exploring local artists in their studios on southern Vancouver Island.
“One of my great specialties is books,” he says. “Making, writing, painting, illustrating, photographing, putting them together. That’s how a lot of people actually know me, is through my books.”
An invited guest for two years, Amos can attend the Brush Up as an official Oak Bay resident this year and looks forward to meeting with the public again.
“I put my expressions out there a lot in words and pictures, and I really enjoy hearing what comes back. In particular, now that I live in Oak Bay, I’m feeling much more personal about the Brush Up.”
The 10th annual Bowker Creek Brush Up is Sunday Aug. 10, between 11 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., showcasing 35 local artists, four guest artists and three youth artists practising their crafts in the open summer air.