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Filberg artist plays with light and colour Paula Wild Special to Black Press
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COMOX â€” â€œPainting is a solitary occupation,â€? says Coral Barclay. â€œYou work by yourself every day. You have to like being alone and working on your own.â€? But that will all change for Barclay
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on the B.C. Day long weekend. From July 29 through August 1, sheâ€™s the featured guest artist at the annual Filberg Festival. With more than 120 artisans, a variety of food vendors, kidsâ€™ activities and a cool music lineup ďŹ lling the nine-acre waterfront park, the event has earned a reputation as one of the best outdoor festivals in Canada. Visitors will ďŹ nd Barclay in the Filberg Heritage Lodge, along with a selection of her landscape paintings. Her work is ďŹ lled with light and colour, what she considers the key elements of a painting. â€œAs a visual artist, light has a direct impact on colour so Iâ€™m always searching for that magical moment of great light,â€? Barclay explains. â€œLight changes everything. If itâ€™s ďŹ‚at it doesnâ€™t inspire me at all.â€? What she is inspired by is nature. So she spends lots of time â€œrambling aroundâ€? with her camera watching the way light interacts with plants, sky and water. Back in her studio, the photos are used as a reference
to spark the memory of the experience and then Barclay lets her imagination kick in. Acrylics used to be Barclayâ€™s medium of choice but a couple of years ago she switched to oils. â€œI felt like it was time for a change. Maybe it had something to do with turning 50,â€? she says. â€œOil is deďŹ nitely more technical and more of a challenge. Thatâ€™s part of what keeps me learning and interested in my craft.â€? Barclay spends winters in Portland, Ore., and the summer months painting on Hornby Island. â€œI lived here for six years and love coming back,â€? she says. â€œI love painting the local area and my studio â€“ an outďŹ tterâ€™s tent â€“ is open to the public so I get to meet people too. Itâ€™s very rewarding to get that direct feedback.â€? Barclay paints for ďŹ ve hours most days. â€œEach piece seems to have a life of its own,â€? she says. â€œI start a painting and it just takes off. Iâ€™m more interested in evoking a feeling or mood than a realistic image.â€? Although a lot
Coral Barclay will be the featured artist at the Filberg Festival in Comox from July 29 to Aug. 1. of her work is large, several years ago she started painting what she calls â€œminis.â€? These range from six inches square to 6x12 inches. â€œMinis can be a way for me to work out an idea for a larger painting,â€? she notes. â€œOr sometimes I just like to paint small. People like them because theyâ€™re easy to transport, especially if theyâ€™re travelling. â€œAnd itâ€™s an easy, affordable way for someone to get a piece of original art. â€? Barclay grew up in Lantzville in a small cabin by the sea and believes that location played a large part in her becoming an artist. She began drawing as a young child and always felt
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that painting was her vocation. She obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of British Columbia and a Fine Arts Diploma at Malaspina College, now Vancouver Island University. â€?Paintingâ€™s more challenging than most people realize,â€? Barclay says. â€œThereâ€™s a lot of repetitive movement involved and that can be hard on the body. And the technical aspect seems to get harder as you progress, I guess because you get more particular about your work. â€œBut the most difďŹ cult thing is to just put aside all the other stuff in your life and paint,â€? she adds. â€œMost of what I know I learned by working on my own.â€?
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Published on Jul 27, 2011
Published on Jul 27, 2011
Complete July 27, 2011 issue of The Mirror newspaper as it appeared in print. For more online, visit us at www.campbellrivermirror.com