Janice Erwin’s abstract works are on display at Qualicum Beach Art Supply & Gallery. (Emily Vance photo)

Qualicum Beach artist’s recent exhibit deals in texture, subdued tone

Janice Erwin's paintings are on display at the Qualicum Beach Art Supply Gallery

Qualicum Beach artist Janice Erwin’s style is constantly evolving.

The lifelong painter’s work is currently display at the Qualicum Beach Art Supply and Gallery.

Erwin produces both realism and abstract work, and the majority of the paintings on offer at the gallery are more abstract in nature.

“I like to say that I’m eclectic in what I like to do, because I do portraits and abstracts… I’ve done a bit of everything in between,” said Erwin.

More muted tones blend with abstract shape-work in the larger pieces, with all paintings making interesting use of texture and more unusual items incorporated into the paint like cheesecloth, and bits of paper. ‘Where Does It Begin’ and ‘Cathedral Window’ are notable pieces.

“I like what I’ve done with these … I guess the whole purpose of doing that series was to get into something that was more subdued. That I wasn’t taking just colours of the tube, that I was trying to mix and see how I could push the colouring combination with mediums, and layering, to try and come up with some kind of a composition that was a little bit different,” said Erwin.

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Erwin says some of the pieces are inspired by different types of Asian art, including Chinese characters, which have always interested her.

“I find that there’s a lot of similarities when we look at how different cultures express themselves in their written work, and that interests me as well. So it was sort of playing around with trying to get that feeling of some text involved in the painting as well,” she said.

Though the pieces are abstract, there is still planning that goes into them – but the plan is open for interpretation.

“I need a map. I’m not one of these people that can stand in front of a white canvas and just go for it. I like to have some kind of a plan. I don’t always stick to it. Sometimes it evolves considerably from the initial concept. But I try and get myself a structure of some kind, and work from that,” said Erwin.

The beauty of abstract is often that it evokes different feelings in different people. The ‘Discovery’ series, though conceived of as abstracts, tend to take on a landscape feel.

“I think that’s what I like about art. Is that it’s a very personal, very subjective feel that people can express themselves in many different ways. It depends what the viewer brings from their background to the painting,” said Erwin.

Erwin’s work is currently on display at the Qualicum Beach Art Supply & Gallery.

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