Over three decades of portraiture, Judy McLaren developed a sense of intimacy in her work that shows an interaction between artist and subject.
“She says it’s really about relationships. She has conversations while she’s painting, in her head, with the person,” said John Taylor of Eclectic Gallery.
McLaren’s show Summer Heat is on display July 13 through Aug. 15 at the Oak Bay Avenue gallery.
“She’s probably initially taken them from life, but then interprets it,” Taylor said. “It’s often about the gesture or turn of the head. There’s a sense of reflection, like she’s engaged with this person even though they’re solitary.”
McLaren was featured in Oak Bay artist Robert Amos’ Artists in Their Studios book. She was artist-in-residence at the Fairmont Empress in 2012-13 and has twice won first prize at the Sooke Fine Art and Sidney Fine Art shows.
Summer Heat is inspired, as it sounds, by the season and includes many beach scenes.
“The ocean and the beach are quite abstract, it’s really about the figures, so the energy of her brush work really brings the figures to life,” Taylor said.
“She wanted to bring out the bright colours because in summer we all kind of rev up a bit.”
Summer Heat runs July 13 through Aug. 15 with an artist’s reception Saturday, July 18 from 3 to 5 p.m. at 2170 Oak Bay Ave.