Clockwise from top left, artists Judi MacLeod, Marcela Strasdas, Michelle Barkway and Ginny Glover are all opening their studios or gardens for the 2019 Hills to Shore Artists Tour, May 25 and 26, in Cadboro Bay and Gordon Head. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Hills to Shore artists open gardens, studios to public

Annual home artist tour visits 11 locations May 25 and 26

The Hills to Shore Artist Tour returns to Ten Mile Point and Gordon Head this weekend with 15 emerging and established artists on display at 11 different locations.

Whether it’s your studio or back garden, there is a connection made in opening your home to the public, said artist Marcela Strasdas.

The Hills to Shore Artists Tour dates back more than a dozen years with various names and incarnations and spans Mount Tolmie, Gordon Head and Cadboro Bay studios, homes and gardens. The free, self-guided Hills to Shore tour showcases fibre and fabric artists, jewellers, painters, photographers, potters and sculptors. It runs Saturday and Sunday, May 25 and 26, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. rain or shine.

READ MORE: Saanich artists open their doors for Hills 2 Shore studio tour

This is the fourth year being involved for Strasdas, who expects many dozens of art patrons to check out her oil paintings in the garden of her home off Finnerty Road.

“I’m still in love with B.C. landscapes and I’ll have my small and large paintings out,” said Strasdas.

In recent years organizers held the tour on Mother’s Day and opted to move it away from Mother’s Day for 2019. Hopefully, the move will increase numbers.

“We think it worked both ways, as we had people bringing their moms on the tour, but also, we think it kept people away,” Strasdas said. “We don’t know what to expect from moving it away from Mother’s Day.”

READ ALSO: Artist pulls 10,000 pounds of garbage from local woods

Michelle Barkway is also showing paintings, as she’ll host visitors to see her West Coast illustrated landscapes at her Ten Mile Point home, one of four stops in Ten Mile Point.

“They’re in different mediums and it’s inspired by the West Coast,” Barkway said. “I use graphic lines to simplify complex landscapes.”

Barkway uses local geography as inspiration but she blends the landscape features together in her head and then finishes them with acrylics or even a wash to resemble watercolour.

Not all artists use a pencil and a brush.

Fibre artist Judi MacLeod has seen the Hills to Shore tour evolve over the past dozen years.

“I started with it in Gordon Head in 2006,” MacLeod said.

MacLeod’s “Not quite a zen garden” piece (in the photo) is an example of how she works. MacLeod began with a photograph of tiny pebbles and then manipulated it in Photoshop.

“I printed it [blown up] on cotton and stitched threads heavily throughout the piece.”

The result is a long textile-type cloth with bright features that pop off the material.

Inviting the public to tour your art and garden is also a motivator to get things done, said sculptor Ginny Glover.

“The sculpture I’m working on now is a concrete garden sculpture as tall as me,” said Glover, who is also in Ten Mile Point, on Tudor Avenue.

Her ‘garden Geisha’ (pictured in photo) is an example of her art, though she is still finishing it.

“I love gardening, I’ve worked hard in my garden, and I’ve worked hard [sculpting] ahead of this event to have everything ready in the garden.”

A map, brochure and further information for Hills to Shore is available at hillstoshoreartists.ca.

reporter@oakbaynews.com

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