Landscape painter looks back 30 years

Mission View by Pat Service. - evergreen cultural centre
Mission View by Pat Service.
— image credit: evergreen cultural centre

As a diplomat’s wife in the 1960s, Pat Service first picked up the paintbrush while stationed in Scotland.

The Port Alberni native studied at the Glasgow School of Art and continued while in Venezuela and eastern Canada.

But it wasn’t until her children were a little bit older and they had returned to the west coast that Service started painting full time.

She worked in a studio on Water Street — when Gastown wasn’t the trendy place to be — and, within a few years, she had gathered enough material to display her craft.

Since 1979, Service has been a prominent exhibitor in solo and group shows around the world; her work is also part of dozens of private collections.

On Thursday, the Vancouver resident will look back at her career at Coquitlam’s Evergreen Cultural Centre by opening her first major retrospective.

Service can hardly believe 30 years have gone by. And she said trying to pick pieces to show that would be representative of her achievements has been daunting, to say the least.

In total, Service will have 16 canvasses on the walls — the biggest one measuring 78 by 110 inches — in watercolour, acrylic and oil paints.

“I don’t like to work in the same medium all the time,” she said. “I like to keep it fresh and exciting.”

Still, her subject is consistent: landscapes of the Sunshine Coast, Vancouver and Vancouver Island and other parts of the province. Her connection to lakes is especially strong.

Though three decades have gone by, Services can see how her use of colour and style has evolved — and not.

“You come back to the place where you grew up,” she said. “You can never really escape yourself.”

She added, “Painting is like tai chi: You do more of it because you can never get it perfect.”

• Pat Service: Painting This Place, 3 Decades runs from March 6 to April 17 in the art gallery at Evergreen Cultural Centre (1205 Pinetree Way). The opening reception on Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. includes a talk from the artist. The gallery is open Monday to Saturday from noon to 5 p.m.





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