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Outdoor painting can bring out best

By Martin van den Hemel

Published 2:20 PDT, Mon September 18, 2017

Mother-of-two Liz Sharpe enjoys painting outside, and with Steveston as her home, she’s got plenty to draw on for inspiration.

The Richmond High grad, who grew up in Richmond, has been working with oils a lot lately, she said. Sharpe will be among dozens of artists who will put their talents and creativity to the test during the Steveston Grand Prix of Art on Sept. 23.

Sharpe will be joined by her 13-year-old daughter Arianna, who will be competing in the youth artists category.

While en plein air drawing is exciting, things don’t always turn out as planned, she said.

The first time she competed against the clock, there were torrential rains, she recalled.

“Sometimes it can bring out the best and sometimes the worst,” she chuckled.

But being a part of an event that serves as an inspiration to others is special, she said.

Artist Tom Taylor is looking forward to further developing a different part of his brain during the Steveston Grand Prix of Art.

While he’s painted and drawn since a very young age, he’s spent much of his time as an artist trying to reproduce what he sees in painstaking detail.

He can spend hours going over a single square inch of one of his paintings, he says.

But during the competition, he won’t be getting bogged down in the details of an image he’s painting. Rather than creating an exact duplicate, he’ll strive for getting an impression of what he’s painting.

“It could be a car, but it’s only one dot…it can be as simple or as difficult as that,” Taylor says.

Also participating at the Grand Prix is Adrienne Moore, a long-time Richmond resident who worked as a teacher for more than three decades in Northern Ireland. She won the Richmond Art Education award and was a nominee for the Ethel Tibbits Women of Distinction Awards.

Moore says the timed competition adds an element of excitement to the process of painting.

“It’s very refreshing because you’re racing against time and there’s an unpredictability of where you’re going to find yourself,” Moore says.

She says artists come from all over the Lower Mainland to participate and watch: “For us, it’s a big event.”

Moore adds: “It’s more alive, it’s more centred. I like it because of the light and you can pick up shadow and things you can’t see in a photograph.”

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