Vancouver Island artist Pattiann Withapea displays her paintings

Vancouver Island artist displays artwork in Nanaimo’s Vault Café

Vancouver Island artist Pattiann Withapea displays her paintings at the Vault Café until the end of November.

Once Pattiann Withapea discovered painting she couldn’t stop.

“I can’t put it into words. It was a feeling like I never felt before and I couldn’t stop … I wouldn’t stop,” said Withapea.

The Vancouver Island artist didn’t discover her love of painting until more than a year ago. She creates pet portraits and paintings of music legends.

“I try to remain true to my subject, but bring a whimsical element to it,” said Withapea.

She said she also chooses to paint music legends because music is dear to her heart.

Withapea said within about two and half months of starting painting she was receiving requests from people to create portraits of their pets.

This spring Withapea exhibited her work with Richard Brodeur, the former NHL goalie, at Sotheby’s Gallery in Victoria. The event helped raise money for the Pacific Autism Family Centre, located in Richmond, during Autism Awareness month.

The centre is meant to be a hub that will support British Columbian families and autism research.

During November, Withapea is exhibiting her art in Nanaimo at the Vault Café. The pet portraits on display aren’t for sale, but all other paintings are. Partial proceeds from the sale of her art are going toward the Pacific Autism Family Centre.

“I have no personal connection. It’s just extremely important to me,” said Withapea about why she chose to support the autism centre. “They turn no family away regardless of financial circumstances and that was very impressive to us.”

Withapea is a member of the Federation of Canadian Artists. In 2015 she was awarded first place in Art Vancouver’s International Art Competition held online.

For more information about Withapea’s art, please go to

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