For the month of August painter Michael Tickner is displaying his recent work at Art 10 Gallery, including a series of paintings depicting familiar local scenes.
Tickner, who moved to Nanaimo from the Lower Mainland in 2015, said he looks for “iconic,” recognizable spots to paint, which in this case includes a view of downtown Nanaimo, Shack Island and tug boats lined up in the harbour near the Lighthouse Bistro. He said the paintings are based on photographs.
“I don’t do any of this painting outside stuff,” Tickner said. “I’d do it if I were in a big city because there’d be a lot of people around. But no, I’ve never done en plein painting because what I do is I don’t do the reality. I turn it into my style.”
While some of his paintings are based on existing vistas, he also paints imagined West Coast landscapes. He said he knows the recipe.
“You put an arbutus tree in, you put water in, you put a mountain in, you’ve got a West Coast scene, right?” Tickner said.
Tickner added that he strives to keep viewers’ attention within the frame of his paintings, which he accomplishes by creating visual balance.
He said, “if you can get people to focus on the picture, whatever picture it is, they will find something they connect with.”
“Keeping people looking at the piece is my job when I’m painting it and if it’s balanced and even then they will spend longer looking at it and they’ll engage with it and if they like it enough, they’ll buy it,” Tickner said.
WHAT’S ON … Opening reception for Michael Tickner display takes place at Art 10 Gallery, Nanaimo North Town Centre, on Saturday, Aug. 3 at 2 p.m. The work remains up until the end of August.