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Painter who sees colours differently presents first Nanaimo exhibition

Art 10 Gallery also holding concurrent ‘Art in Isolation’ show
Local artists Rod Corraini and Lee Stead set up the COVID-19-themed exhibition Art in Isolation at Art 10 Gallery on Oct. 31. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)

A Nanaimo painter who was hesitant about starting an artistic career due to partial colour blindness has finally found the motivation to exhibit her work.

Through the month of November, Su Orlov presents her portrait exhibit All the Colours and Other Stories at Art 10 Gallery. She’s the newest member of the artist group and was born with colour vision deficiency.

“I was not able to use colours, I confused them since childhood, it was quite tough,” Orlov said. “But recently when I was diagnosed with cancer on top of that last year I decided to proceed as an artist because I told myself that I probably don’t have much time so it’s time to start doing what I always wanted to do.”

Orlov said she had an extensive career in graphic design, but she always wanted to trade in her keyboard and mouse for a palette and brush.

“Computers can help you even if you’ve got a colour vision deficiency but it didn’t feel right for myself in terms of what I wanted to do,” she said. “I always wanted to be an artist by hand. Painting oils and watercolour, not doing this on computers.”

Orlov said she joined Art 10 to get out of her comfort zone and socialize with other Nanaimo artists, and while she’s showcasing her work, some of those other Nanaimo artists will be displaying some work of their own in the COVID-19-themed Art in Isolation exhibit.

Artist Patricia Palmer will be displaying work inspired by social distancing and virtual visits with her new granddaughter in the U.K.

Painter Rod Corraini said his work comments on humanity’s habit of “responding to a dire situation with a ridiculous answer.”

“I have always chosen to use both humour and satire in my art as a foil to society’s ongoing maladies,” he said in his artist statement.

Painter Eileen Williamson said she didn’t have the urge to paint during the pandemic and a blank canvas sat on her kitchen table for months. Eventually she started adding paint and colour until a work of art took form.

“I did not use one brush, the entire painting is done with palette knives, trowels, fingers, dribbling, stamping energetically with movement,” she said in her artist statement. “My COVID catharsis.”

WHAT’S ON … All the Colours and Art in Isolation to be displayed at Art 10 Gallery until Nov. 30.

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Nanaimo painter Su Orlov’s exhibition All the Colours and Other Stories is on display at Art 10 Gallery until the end of November along with a COVID-19-themed exhibit called Art in Isolation. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)