Emily Vance photo - Larry (Lars) Stefanyk's paintings are on display at Qualicum Beach Art Supply & Gallery.

From fishing to florals: Qualicum Beach artist serves up realistic acrylics

Former publisher of Island Fisherman has found a new passion in painting

Larry (Lars) Stefanyk’s acrylic renderings of flowers are on display at Qualicum Beach Art Supply.

One can almost feel the breeze that ruffles the brightly coloured blossoms of hibiscus, hydrangea, poppy and sweet pea.

Stefanyk is no stranger to creative endeavours.

The founder and publisher of Island Fisherman, he ran the magazine for 18 years. Somewhere in that time, he also managed to write four books about fishing.

His colourful and stylized renderings of salmon also adorn banners around the city of Campbell River.

Running a magazine kept him busy for a long time, and it is the first time Stefanyk has had the opportunity to really delve into painting.

“I think I get a tremendous amount of enjoyment out of painting. I like to take a blank canvas and make it come alive. And I find it really surprising sometimes that they do come alive. Because – who am I? I’m just a guy. Put a paintbrush in my hand and I like to paint. Every once and awhile you look back and you say ‘holy … did I do that?’ It’s just kind of fun,” said Stefanyk.

Each painting takes about three months to complete.

Stefanyk isn’t rushing – he takes his time on each piece, alternating between days spent in the garden and days spent in the studio.

He starts his paintings by taking photographs of the wild florals that populate his paintings, which he arranges to get the compositions just right. He then draws out what the painting will look like.

“They can’t believe that I do this. A lot of people know me as one way. I guess as you get older, people typecast you into a slot. And I’ve always been a fishing guy. And outdoorsy kind of guy. And for me to paint flowers – right?” said Stefanyk.

“It’s really nice that they’re here, and people can see them.

“The fact that nobody has seen them is really quite exciting.”

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