Songbirds take flight

Beginning Oct. 1 Richard Wong's Songbirds of Victoria series will show at the Island Blue Art Store

Artist Richard Wong works on a songbird painting in his Esquimalt home.

Emerging artist Richard Wong has his first solo show during October at the Island Blue Art Store, 905 Fort St.

Beginning Oct. 1 his Songbirds of Victoria series will show at the store, and Wong himself will be on display Oct. 13 between 1 and 3 p.m. demonstrating his art and meeting the public.

Wong, who began painting less than two years ago, uses a special process to prepare the masa paper, which is a form of rice paper, on which he paints. The masa paper is then pasted onto a canvas frame.

“Apparently, what I am doing is rare,” said Wong. “I did a quick Google search of masa paper paintings, and there are only a few people teaching this technique anywhere.”

He learned the technique from Judi Pedder, an artist based in Comox.

“What I like about this technique is that it gives the paintings a delicate, batik look. The preparation process adds depth to the painting without me having to do too much more, other than paint in the image,” he said.

Wong’s songbirds are created using a mixture of Oriental brush and water colour technique and were a hit at the Esquimalt Arts Festival on Aug. 12.

“Many people came looking for me there and were happy to see my art,” said Wong.

“It’s been one of those journeys that seems endless. I knock on a door and when it opens up what’s on the other side is amazing. I guess I will just continue to knock on those doors – I just have to have a peek behind and see what’s there.”

Wong’s art can also be seen at The Gallery in Oak Bay Village, 2223A Oak Bay Ave.

Learn more about Wong at richardwongwatercolors.ca.