It’s a chilly day with snow still on the ground, but it’s Tuesday, the day of art and sketchbooks.
Dorothy Donovan and Chris Henry dab at canvases set near looming stuffed eagle displays in the Goldstream Nature House, while Esther White draws on a sketchbook. In warmer weather, they’d be outside finding inspiration from the views.
“We go out into the community to paint. We enjoy going out when the weather is good,” says Donovan, who lives in Langford. “But the nature house is a great opportunity. You feel like its outside.”
Donovan started the “Tuesday Paint Out” about three years ago to explore outdoor painting venues throughout the West Shore, Sooke and other part of Greater Victoria.
In warmer months the group will get a dozen artists out, and two or three in the winter, painting in oils, acrylics, watercolours or sketching. It’s mainly senior citizens and retired people due to the midday Tuesday schedule, but anyone is welcome, Donovan says.
“It’s a get-together through the arts,” she says. “Anyone can come out. We just love our community.”
The group finds inspiration at locations such as the Esquimalt lagoon, the Havenwood property that houses the Coast Collective, Royal Roads, Fort Rodd Hill and heritage church sites. “Sometimes we’ll go to a house with a good view that has a nice garden,” Donovan says.
“The lagoon is a favorite though,” says White, who is also with the Juan de Fuca Arts and Crafts guild.
“It’s an excursion more than a classroom,” said Henry, who joined the Tuesday paint-out” three weeks ago. “It’s fun spending the whole day painting.”
To learn more about the Tuesday Paint Out, call Donovan at 250-474-8848 or see www.dorothydonovan.ca. Meet Tuesdays at the Juan de Fuca 55+ Centre parking lot at 9:30 a.m. to carpool, 1767 Island Hwy.