Local artists are cleaning their paintbrushes and adjusting their berets in preparation for the upcoming ArtSea Spring Studio Tour 2019.
The tour is based at the north of the Saanich Peninsula and is open to visitors between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 8 and 9. It offers the chance to visit painters, art photographers and metalworkers. A number of stops will include artists working with a variety of media, such as textiles, fabric sculptures, woodcuts, stoneware and jewelry.
The artists get to meet each other the day before the tour starts, and have the opportunity to compare notes and view each others’ work before they meet the public.
Karen Booth is one such artist, a Sidney resident for 26 years and an artist for 30. She took part in the last studio tour and enjoyed it so much she’s doing it again this year.
“I loved talking to people and engaging about my work. It was a wonderful opportunity to hear people’s feedback and for them to see what you do. Most artists work alone and there’s that isolation so it’s great to discuss your work and what art is with people.”
Booth is a formally trained fine artist but she says she is trying to “push the envelope” and branch out into different styles and forms. She is known for her bold colours and strong composition, and says she is in a stage of transition, adapting her classic style to more design oriented forms, such as textiles and wallpaper.
Booth will be working from the Fallen Tree Gallery at Russell Nursery with three other artists operating nearby. One is a garden artist, her work nestled within the beautiful flora, while the others are a photographer and an artisan who crafts hand-made guitars.
“I encourage people to come out and see what artistic talent we have on the Peninsula,” says Booth. “You don’t have to spend lots of money and there is no obligation to buy. We just love the feedback and encouragement.”
ArtSea organizers say the tour is a great opportunity to experience the depth of local artistic talent, as many artists work professionally and are regularly commissioned. Butchart Gardens recently commissioned 20 of Booth’s original paintings to go with five of her cushion designs they already carry in their Artisan Gallery.
Wendy Picken, artist and ArtSea’s tour organizing committee lead is pleased with the diversity of art on display. “Anyone who went on last year’s spring or fall tours will discover a fresh crop of artists along with their favourites.”
Booth will also demonstrate her art during the Sidney Days Sidewalk Sale and teaching two painting classes at Patio Gardens Victoria on July 7 and Sept. 14. She says the classes are open to all ages and abilities and interested parties should visit karenjunebooth.com.