The weather forecast predicts sunshine this weekend for the 19th Annual Oak Bay Artists’ Studio Spring Tour.
Oak Bay artists will open their home studios to the public for this free, self-guided event on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4:30 p.m. Donna Ion is one of the artists excited about chatting with the community as they pass through her home gallery.
“I really like meeting all the people who come through. They are really lovely and very respectful,” said Ion, who has been participating in the event for about 10 years. “It is a nice day for everybody.”
With 25 artists involved, Ion recommends grouping some studios together and doing one group on Saturday and one group on Sunday. If it is a nice day people can treat it like a walking or biking tour.
Ion, who has just come off a very successful show at the Oak Bay Marina in January and February, has been painting for about 15 years. She spent 20 years as a teacher, including at Willows and Margaret Jenkins, and would do art on Fridays. She always loved working with colour.
“When I retired I took some courses locally to learn how to manipulate the paint and it took off from there. It morphed into a really interesting hobby,” said Ion.
Mostly self-taught, Ion takes courses once in a while from other artists. She also spends a lot of time looking through art magazines and going to museums.
“If I see something I really like, I try to incorporate a version of that in my paintings,” said Ion.
Her biggest inspiration is Tom Thomson, a Group of Seven painter. Like Thompson, Ion paints views through the forest.
“I love painting trees. I like that feeling of being right in the forest,” said Ion. “I wanted to come up with a different way to paint the west coast.”
You can view Donna Ion’s work this weekend at 2682 Topp Avenue.
The free, self-guided tour on Saturday, April 21 and Sunday, April 22, 2018 from noon to 4:30 p.m. visits 25 local artists showing paintings in watercolour, acrylic, and oil, as well as ceramics, photography, fibre art, paper castings, art cards, sculpture and more.
Several of the participating artists have received nationwide and international recognition. The Spring Studio Tour artists are: Marie-Andree Allison, Robert Amos, Sarah Amos, Myra Baynton, Jean Betts, Arlene Davey, Heather Midori Yamada, Anne Hansen, Donna Ion, Linda Lindsay, Vivian Lochridge, Victor Lotto, Sandi Madsen, Joanie McCorry, Lindy Michie, Avis Rasmussen, Paul Shepherd, Pam Stonehouse, Miriam Thorn, Erik Thorn, Joan Turner, Myrna Germaine-Brown, Bruce Vallance, Flo-Elle Watson, and Val Wouters.
A brochure with artist images, descriptions, and a tour map is available to download at www.recreation.oakbay.ca. Printed brochures are available at the Oak Bay recreation centres, Oak Bay municipal hall, and the Oak Bay library as well as at local businesses and through participating artists.
Now in its 19th year, the juried tour is produced by Oak Bay Parks, Recreation, and Culture.