Local painter releases first book

Phyllis Serota reflects on influences, experiences

Painter Phyllis Serota

When the phone rang at Phyllis Serota’s home in Estevan Village last week, she wasn’t hoping to hear a reporter on the line.

“I thought this was the delivery person,” she said.

Serota was anxiously awaiting the arrival of stacks of copies of her first book, Painting My Life: A Memoir of Love, Art and Transformation.

“I’ve been painting for over 50 years. I think every artist, somewhere inside them, wants to have a permanent record of their work,” said Serota, who lived in James Bay for 24 years before moving to Oak Bay about 10 years ago.

“I’m not a professional writer, obviously, so it was a very daunting thing to take on. I’ve worked on it for over two years.”

In the book, she walks readers through her childhood in Chicago and the family memories that contributed to her character and her art career.

The book contains 104 colour images of her artwork.

“(In) many of them, two-thirds or more, I talk extensively about what was in my mind when I painted them and why I used particular colours and textures.”

The book launch happens tomorrow (Nov. 3) at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, where Serota has had three solo exhibitions in past decades.

“She is well respected as a professional,” said Mica Mash, art rentals and sales consultant at the gallery. “She’s also somebody who’s taken it all in her stride. She doesn’t have a huge ego. She remains unassuming and is always willing to share her knowledge. I think a book gives a whole lot more depth and perception to an artist.”

Serota wanted to share her experiences and relate them to her artwork for readers.

“I think those of us who live on the West Coast have generally come from somewhere else and lots of times we don’t know each other’s stories. I think these stories are very interesting.”

The book launch gets underway at 6:30 p.m. at the gallery, 1040 Moss St. Serota will also be signing copies of her book at Munro’s Books, 1108 Government St. on Saturday (Nov. 5) at 3 p.m.

The book is available in Victoria bookstores starting Friday.

ecardone@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Canadians smoke less according to community health survey

Obesity and heavy drinking rates remain steady

Mainly sunny skies in Wednesday’s forecast

Plus a look ahead at your weekend forecast

Armoury event highlights Canada’s D-Day efforts in Normandy

Event runs Saturday 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Bay Street Armoury

Bed Races on Beacon teams make final preparations

CCM Construction ready to defend their title on July 7

Fate of accused in Saanich couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

POLL: Do you think the penalty should be increased for tossing a burning cigarette from a vehicle?

With grasslands and forests around Vancouver Island and across B.C. reaching tinder… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 25

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

PHOTOS: North Island home gutted in fire deemed ‘suspicious’

No injuries reported; firefighters prevented blaze from spreading

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Eating sandwiches, putting on makeup behind the wheel could land you a fine

RCMP say if you cause an accident while eating you could be penalized

Cat badly hurt in animal trap was likely stuck for days, B.C. owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

Vancouver Island woman assaulted after confronting thief

RCMP warn residents to call for police assistance

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Most Read