Sandy Shreve

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Artist’s Statement

Visual Art

“Halleluiah, I’m 60 now, and even a little more,

and some days, I feel I have wings.”

– Mary Oliver

“She Steals the Show”

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to paint, but convinced I couldn’t even draw a straight line, I focused my creative energy on writing, often trying to evoke the visual through words. It wasn’t until a few years ago, in my mid-60s, that I decided to give painting a try.  For now I’m all over the map – one minute I’m inspired to do a realistic (more or less) painting, the next, something surreal or abstract. The pieces that absorb me most, though, are the abstracts, which are far more difficult to do than I’d ever imagined.  I am still very much at the stage of learning this new medium, of losing then finding myself in the process of trying to express something meaningful in colour, form and texture on canvas.

It’s photography that led me to abstracts. My interest in photography as an art form began in 2008 when my husband bought me a digital camera. Initially, I wanted to find ways to marry images with the poetry I’d been writing for decades, and that resulted in a series of photo-poem postcards and calendars. Then one day in 2012 I noticed an intriguing patch of sand on a Tofino beach and photographed it. Later, when I looked at it on the computer, I realized it was entirely abstract – and to my surprise, I adored it (see “Tofino Sand” in Water Worlds Gallery).  After that, I found myself using the camera mainly to create abstracts, eventually teaching myself how to use various Photoshop tools to fashion something different from the original picture. Although I am now focusing almost entirely on painting, I still use Photoshop to resolve issues of composition and colour when I hit stumbling blocks with the brushes.

Exhibitions

Photo art and small paintings at Talisman Books and Gallery, June 2017

Recent art shows include:

  • August 8 – September 3, 2019: Colourful Coast, a month-long group show at Talisman Books and Gallery, Pender Island, BC
  • July 4 – August 6, 2019 – Green Islands, a month-long group show at Talisman Gallery, Pender Island, BC
  • July 5 – 7, 2019 – Chain Reaction, a group show at Sea Star Vineyards on Pender Island (with visual artist Clare Mathias, ceramic artist Nancy Silo and felt artist Monica Bennett)
  • December 7 2018 – January 7, 2019: Small Packages, month-long group show at Talisman Gallery, Pender Island, BC
  • November 6 – December 4, 2019:  Literary Arts, month-long group show at Talisman Books & Gallery, Pender Island, BC
  • October – November, 2o18: Abstraction, month-long group show at Talisman Books & Gallery, Pender Island, BC
  • September – October, 2018: Reconfigurations – solo show (photo art) at Slow Coast Coffee Pender Island, BC
  • August 10 – 12, 2018: Quatrain, a group show at Sea Star Vineyards on Pender Island (with visual artist Clare Mathias, ceramic artist Nancy Silo and felt artist Monica Bennett)
  • July 28: Art in the Orchard, Pender Island, BC
  • June 7 – July 8: Our Coast month-long group exhibit at Talisman Books & Gallery, Pender Island, BC
  • May 3 – June 2, 2018: Motherhood and Femininity, month-long group exhibit at Talisman Books & Gallery, Pender Island, BC
  • March 26 – April 15, 2018: Look Show, Victoria Arts Council gallery, The Bay Centre, The Historic Temple Building, Victoria BC
  • March 1 – 11, 2018: Strong Women, Strong World, juried group exhibition, The Bay Centre, Victoria, BC
  • February 2 – 24, 2018: Ladysmith Fine Art Show, juried group exhibition, Ladysmith Waterfront Gallery, Ladysmith, BC
  • August 11 – 13, 2017: Triple Intent 2 – Mixing Mediums, Sea Star Vineyards, Pender Island, BC (with Monica Bennett, felt artist and Nancy Silo, ceramic artist)
  • June 5 – 24, 2017: Featured Artist,  Talisman Books and Gallery, Pender Island, BC
  • August 5 – 7, 2016: Triple Intent – 3 artists, 3 mediums, 3 interpretations, Sea Star Vineyards, Pender Island, BC (with Monica Bennett, felt artist and Nancy Silo, ceramic artist)
  • July 23, 2016: Art in the Orchard, Corbett House, Pender Island, BC (group show with numerous Pender Island artists)