From the ice to the canvas

Award winning artist working way into Victoria scene

Artist Ashlee Comerford works on a painting in her home in Esquimalt.

In order to pursue her true love, Ashlee Comerford is falling back on her trade.

It’s a story all too common with artists. Sticking out a less than desirable day job in order to stay up late making music, put a pen to paper or a brush to canvas.

In Comerford’s case, though, it’s not so bad.

The 29-year-old is an award-winning impressionist-style painter, which she currently does in the second bedroom in her apartment, a stone’s throw from Macaulay Point.

She relocated to Esquimalt four months ago from Colorado, where she lived the past six years. And until she can establish herself as a full-time artist, she’s working a part-time job, and is on the ice nearly every day as a coach with the Oak Bay Figure Skating Club.

“It comes very natural to me. A long time ago, before I had ever painted, I was completely dedicated to skating,” Comerford said of her days growing up in St. John’s, Nfld.

Perhaps not surprisingly, her talents have come in handy, particularly with choreography, said head coach Jamie McGrigor.

“I haven’t seen her art but we’ve heard she’s famous, and I wouldn’t be surprised,” McGrigor said.

“(Comerford) is one of our many excellent coaches. She’s well rounded at it and the bonus is she’s great at choreography, which not everyone can do, believe me.”

Last month, Oak Bay’s skaters won at the Island championships, a team that included Amanda Wright, who was judged best elements skater in her category.

But that’s a day job for Comerford.

As an artist, her plan is to get back on her feet as a working impressionist, which shouldn’t be too hard. Her career is budding and already includes hundreds of impressionist paintings sold in the past few years, many from a gallery she had in Loveland, Col.

“I still get sales from my website but the goal is to become further immersed in the community,” she said. “I’m still just checking it all out.”

And there’s that award.

Judged by jury, her piece Labour of Love won second in its category in the American Impressionists Society show in 2010.

It’s a career that was bound to happen, though it took a suggestion from a friend back in St. John’s.

“I used to sketch with my pencil, and was pretty good at it, and my friend said ‘you’ve got to pursue this if you’re going to pursue anything.’

“I went to Denver for a one-month trial at the Arts Student League, and then submitted my pieces for review. I’d never picked up a brush before but they accepted me by jury. I returned for three years with two of the top master-impressionists in the U.S.A., Quang Ho and Ron Hicks.”

So far, Comerford’s completed some local commission work and next week is kind of a big one, as she’ll tie the knot with her fiance, who is stationed here with the navy.

See her work at ashleecomerford.com.

 

 

Just Posted

Tomato planting controversy inspires Victoria author’s book on transforming cities

Woman behind the Collinson street mural pens third book

Victoria Humane Society needs volunteers after flood of puppies and kittens

Pregnant cats, dogs and their litters are in need of foster care

New UVic student housing project before Saanich council tonight

Two new buildings would add almost 700 new student housing spaces

Stem cell donor with rare genetic makeup needed to save Saanich man after cancer returns

Jeremy Chow is half Canton Chinese, half British and needs a donor with a similar ethnic background

Disney Plus to launch in Canada in November

Analysts say latest streaming service may escalate cord cutting

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Okanagan bus driver assaulted for asking patron not to smoke

59-year-old in hospital with non-life threatening injuries

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

Two hiking families team up to extinguish fire in B.C. backcountry

Children and their parents worked for three hours to ensure safety of the popular hiking region

Police seek tips in 2015 death of Island teen Brown

Four years has passed since the body of Penelakut Island woman was discovered

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Elections Canada to assess ‘partisan’ climate change rhetoric case by case

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has said climate change is not an emergency nor caused by human

Most Read