Jo-Ann Payne is excited to share her work with a larger audience. (Emily Vance photo)

Jo-Ann Payne is excited to share her work with a larger audience. (Emily Vance photo)

Qualicum Beach painter launches first exhibit

Jo-Ann Payne's acrylic and oil paintings on display at Qualicum Art Gallery & Supply

Jo-Ann Payne hasn’t always been a painter.

The former dental assistant and hobbyist potter came to the craft later in life.

After downsizing homes and selling her pottery equipment, she still felt a strong urge to be creative.

She channeled that desire into brushstrokes, first dabbling in acrylic and then moving more towards oil.

Now, she creates vibrant scenes inspired by the world around her.

“I love the simple things in life. And I’m fascinated by the wonder, the detail, the diversity of the natural world,” said Payne.

That certainly reflects in her work. Bright flowers, landscapes and country still-lifes decorate the wall of Qualicum Art Supply that owner Bonnie Luchtmeijer has dedicated to showcasing local art.

For inspirations, Payne lists folk art greats Maud Lewis and Grandma Moses and famed post-impressionist Vincent Van Gogh.

“I love nature. I love colour. I love old rusty pickup trucks and barns,” said Payne, laughing.

“I learn something each time I do a painting, and will continue to learn as I go.”

The exhibit is also a bit of a collaboration between herself and her woodworking husband, Al Payne.

He makes the unique folksy frames that border her works.

Art is a creative outlet for Payne that she never quite found in her career.

“I enjoy the challenge, and the sense of focus and concentration that result in time not existing.

“When you’re in the zone, artists talk about being in the zone … I love that feeling of being so focused that you lose track of everything else. It’s kind of magical,” said Payne.

How does one get in the zone?

“You just have to start,” said Payne.

Payne’s work will be on display until the end of August at Qualicum Art Supply & Gallery, 206 First Ave West in Qualicum Beach.

You can also take a sneak peek at her style on her website at .

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