Each summer, Nanaimo painter Melissa Anderson takes time to disconnect and be in nature, capturing those moments on canvas.
For next month at White Rabbit Coffee Co., Anderson is exhibiting a series of paintings made after a stay at a nearby coastal retreat. This exhibit, “Seascapes,” is her first exhibit in Nanaimo since attending the 2019 Downtown Artwalk, when she had paintings at Bestsellers Books.
Seascapes paintings are based on watercolor sketches Anderson made during his stay at the Yellow Point Lodge, a collection of log cabins with a coastal rainforest to one side and a view of the islands beach Gulf on the other.
“It’s an old fashioned place where they serve you all your meals and there are no cell phones or anything allowed, but they do have a nice stretch of beach,” Anderson said.
During her stay, she brought pens and watercolors to the seaside and painted rough paintings of the sight before her. Some of these pieces were later developed into the oil paintings exhibited at the White Rabbit.
“I did a lot of sketching while I was out there on the beach, getting up early and standing to see the sunsets,” Anderson said. “And so I did watercolor sketches and these kinds of oil paintings have turned into oil paintings in the last month or so.”
Anderson describes her style as Impressionist, noting that it is partly inspired by the landscape painter associated with the Group of Seven, Tom Thomson.
“[He] I did a lot of these cloud bands and a bit of the lake and just found them to be very simple but still powerful and beautiful, ”she said of her work.
Anderson said she was drawn to the coastal scenery by its colors, its lights and the feeling of being there. She said it’s something she doesn’t paint often.
“I love being near the ocean and I love the light and I love the color blue,” she said. “And normally I paint a lot of forest scenes and done a lot of still lifes and flowers and I just haven’t had the chance to really work with the sky and the clouds and the water. “
WHAT’S UP… Melissa Anderson presents Seascapes at White Rabbit Coffee Co., 321 Selby St.