Go Figure: Oak Bay artist joins Sidney show

Tina Strachan joins others to show what can be created with four colours and a housepainter’s brush

One of two pieces Tina Strachan will exhibit at Mary Winspear this weekend.

Oak Bay artist Tina Strachan will join others from across the region in Sidney this weekend to show just what can be created with four colours and a housepainter’s brush.

Strachan is one of 30 students invited by North Saanich artist Nicholas Pearce to join the Go Figure show and sale April 9 and 10 at the Mary Winspear Centre.

The show features 150 figurative paintings – including flamenco dancers, nudes and portraits – produced using just four paint colours and a 1 ½-inch sash brush.

Pearce, who teaches at his North Saanich studio, has been painting the figure for more than three decades. He’s held one-man shows and participated in group shows during that time, and a show in collaboration with his students is a long-held dream.

“About eight years ago, I conceived the idea of holding a public showing of my paintings along with those done by students in my classes,” says Pearce, who is represented by galleries in Victoria, Calgary and Edmonton. “Painting is communication. You only know if it really works if it communicates with someone else. And the best way to see that happen is to show it.”

For most of Pearce’s students, including Strachan, this is their first show.

Strachan, who studied classical ballet for more than 25 years, began painting three years ago after retiring from a career in finance. After taking several courses through Monterey Centre, she met Pearce at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria’s Moss Street Paint-In and was inspired to try his two-day palette workshop. “For me, I really hadn’t done a lot of painting so it was a challenge. It was so intense and yet it was so exciting,” she says, crediting Pearce for his inspirational instruction. After that first session, Strachan promptly signed up for a second. “He is totally supportive of his students; it’s all about people learning and sharing your knowledge,” she says.

While Strachan was initially uncertain about exhibiting her work, “my husband said, ‘Get over your fear and just do it,’ and I have to say I am pleased,” she says, noting she’s signed up for two more sessions, in addition to classes at Montery. “I’m really loving it.”


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