Say the word “art” and the images that spring instantly to mind are of traditional paint and canvas, perhaps a sketchpad or two.
Throw knitters, feather painters, musicians and nature enthusiasts into the mix and the celebration of art at Coast Collective in Colwood becomes much more eclectic.
Barb Logie has been a member of the gallery nearly five years, displaying her hand-knit and crocheted scarves and shawls. She loves its freedom and variety.
“It’s 150 artists doing exactly what they please,” she says.
Sitting in the sun, with a gentle breeze wafting her wares and wool twining her fingers as she works, Logie certainly does seem content.
Bobbie Momsen has been fortunate to be doing ‘exactly as she pleases’ for 16 years. She found her passion while travelling through Costa Rica in the mid-’90s when she came across the tradition of feather painting.
“I fell in love with it, and thought, ‘that’s what I want to do,’” she says.
Using careful brushstrokes and following the grain of her feather canvas, Momsen creates vivid portraits of every bird imaginable, from the delicate hummingbird to the prehistoric-like blue heron on an equally varied selection of feathers.
Having completed more than 3,000 pieces since she began in the late ‘90s, she’s become quite well known as a feather collector, she says, and hasn’t had trouble maintaining a supply of her particular canvases.
“People bring me bags of feathers. I’ve had cockatoo feathers mailed from Australia and one flamingo feather from Florida. I could build flocks of birds with the feathers I’ve got at home.”
Momsen’s work fitted in perfectly with last Saturday’s bird-themed Clothesline Art Show staged at the Collective. The feathered celebration featured everything from watercolour herons and hanging artisan birdhouses to knitted chicken slippers and quilted table runners adorned with avian images.
Bill Dancer with the Victoria Natural History Society was also manning a table, showing off bird’s nests, eggs, feathers and even a preserved wingspan.
Art, much like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Whether it’s with braided alpaca wool, or careful brushstrokes on a raven’s wing feather, or the art of teaching children to value the natural world, art goes far beyond a simple paintbrush and canvas and can be found wherever there’s a passion for creating.