Schmaus shows painting prowess during this weekend's canvas-and-clay sale

Bonnie Schmaus works on her acrylic canvas The Other Gang headed to this weekend’s show and sale at St. Peter’s. - Peter W. Rusland
Bonnie Schmaus works on her acrylic canvas The Other Gang headed to this weekend’s show and sale at St. Peter’s.
— image credit: Peter W. Rusland

Paintings and reupholstered furniture make good bedfellows in Bonnie Schmaus' world.

Samples of her acrylic (maybe oil) paintings, capturing local people and places, grace this weekend's show and sale by the Maple Bay Painters and Cowichan Valley Potters at St. Peter's church hall.

"I do the Cowichan Valley; whatever hits me," said the Edmontonian, and 1964 Alberta College of Art grad.

"I paint lots of gardens, forests, people, and lots of sheep. I've always painted."

But brushes and budgets didn't often meet, she took Camosun College's fine-furniture course in 1990 to pay the bills with restorations.

"Everyone needs a place to sit down, then you need something to put on your wall," said the former Vancouver fashion-buyer.

"I moved to Victoria to retire, but soon got bored, and got into furniture," the 10-year Cowichanian said.

Her joy comes from making sofas and canvases "that are easy to live with."

"It's very important choosing a sofa — like choosing a husband — because you'll have it forever, and the kids will probably have to keep your paintings as well."

Results of both passions appeared in her recent PORTALS solo show, that included Schmaus' Cowichan couch.

That piece, made from all-local materials, now needs valley fleece for stuffing, and a weaver for fabrics.

Eventually, she plans on daughter, Arwen, assuming her furniture business so Schmaus can resume painting.

"I'm usually outside, and our valley's wonderful — I'll probably paint more people."

Your ticket

What: Maple Bay Painters and Cowichan Valley Potters Show & Sale

When: Oct. 5 and 6, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: St. Peter's church hall, 5800 Church Rd.


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