“2011 FALL SHOW SALE”, ‘Featuring a Collection of Paintings from 1995 – 2010 by TISH SAUNDERS’

Posted October 29th, 2011 by Tish Saunders
'Spirit Swimmers' by Tish Saunders

'Spirit Swimmers' by Tish Saunders

This is an interesting show because it spans 15 years of painting.  Included are pieces from shows  I have had through these years, for example,  “‘When the Green Woods Laugh” show from 1996  at the Dandelion Co-op Gallery.  This show was all about Trees – magical, symbolic trees in pastoral,  day or night settings.  The trees represented abundance, love, the softness of night settings,  wisdom and mystery.

'Abundance' by Tish Saunders, 1996

'Abundance' by Tish Saunders, 1996

The “Magic Island Show” at Galiano Art Gallery situated at the Galiano Inn was in 2003.  This show was a celebration of this little island of Galiano and island living.  Our unique setting here gives us insights, makes us see connections.  Our whole experience is like living in parentheses (our rock) surrounded, in every direction, by the sea or sky.  The paintings look at an island in the dawn, or in the midst of a storm, or in a state of sleep or harmony or as a symbol of a metaphysical reality.

'Passage Westward' by Tish Saunders, 2003

'Passage Westward' by Tish Saunders, 2003

“Life of the Ponds”,  which was the opening show for Insight Art Gallery in August 2005,  was a show I really enjoyed painting.  I spent many hours observing the pond life – the gold fish, the dragon flies, the way the sun’s rays penetrated the pond’s surface and refracted through the water.  In this show I wanted to paint some very large pieces in order to really use the big walls the gallery provided.

'Life of the Pond' by Tish Saunders, 2005

'Life of the Pond' by Tish Saunders, 2005

In this present show, I’ve included some pieces from “Cosmic Colour”, a show all about prismic colour in 2006.

“My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!”
-William Wordsworth

Wordsworth says it – the colours of the rainbow lift our spirits!  The power of colour and light affects a person’s state of mind and health.  My continuing colour explorations have shown me that colours can have a positive effect on your outlook and your health. My paintings for this show were mainly abstract colour studies and the colours just sang out beautifully.  Below is an example of one painting using one simple hue in a powerful way.

'Prayer of Healing' by Tish Saunders, 2006

'Prayer of Healing' by Tish Saunders, 2006

In 2010 I had a show entitled ‘Sacred Geometry’.  I had been painting some mandalas beginning in 2005, and in this show there were many beautiful mandalas.  Over the years, the mandalas have been very popular and there are only a couple that are still available for sale.

'Revealing Process Mandala' by Tish Saunders, 2008

'Revealing Process Mandala' by Tish Saunders, 2008

'Daisy Delights Mandala' by Tish Saunders, 2010

'Daisy Delights Mandala' by Tish Saunders, 2010

I hope that this show and all of the pieces on display are enjoyed by viewers.  Its really been fun for me to assemble pieces from 15 years of painting and see them all hanging together.  There is a distinctive thread running through all of the work, and this reminds me of comments made to me by long-time viewers of my paintings – they often say that my approach can be so different in every show, but they can always tell its my work.

‘Realms of an Island in the Salish Sea’, Work by Francine Renaud, Sept. 3 – Oct. 1, 2011

Posted August 12th, 2011 by Tish Saunders

'Deneb' (Detail) by Francine Renaud

'Deneb' (Detail) by Francine Renaud

This little Island in the Salish Sea tucked away with its neighbors along a huge island, not too far from Vancouver, Victoria and Seattle, is the home of so many creative people.   Perhaps it has Magic!!   Perhaps we recognize somewhere deep, deep in our bones, the Magic of the Original Garden.  In this Garden there is Beauty, and there are Fauna, Flora and People from times immemorial.

Perhaps the Magic gets stronger when we call places by their original names…

like, “the Salish Sea”.

'Through the Grasses' by Francine Renaud

'Through the Grasses' by Francine Renaud

Our little island has inspired many of it’s people to capture it’s magic and bring it to reflect in paintings, music, plays and stories, to share it’s essence with the whole world.  But first of all, it’s for us who live here and visit, to discover and realize this. Galiano’s many realms have that certain quality that takes us to another level – where time stops and we feel so alive – our Self expanded out into the landscape.

After a year or so of being part of Island’s Edge Gallery and spending much more time back on the Island, I had the opportunity to reconnect with old friends, acquaintances and to meet new islanders and visitors. I had a chance to observe how the magic of the island transforms the viewer. A most valuable experience!!

Last fall, I was invited to put on a solo show at Insight Art Gallery.  I have been so pleased to have this opportunity – to show in a venue where a body of my work could be seen, in the context of this Island and its artistic tradition!  This seemed to be just right.

'Winter Light' by Francine Renaud

'Winter Light' by Francine Renaud

What you will see is my process of integrating this love of place and tradition with seeing fresh.  Seeing fresh means, for me, allowing discovery through my own process and also through the work of my peers in the art community at this time.

Seeing fresh is, perceiving Zeitgeist, the spirit of the time.

Here and Now…..

Wondering why you haven’t seen much of me since the “Mini Show”?

Come and see what this fair month of September has to offer at “Insight.”


Posted June 23rd, 2011 by Tish Saunders
'Path at the Bluff' by Betsy Fairbrother

'Path at the Bluff' by Betsy Fairbrother

“As a respectful & vigilant observer, I continue to be inspired by the intoxicating visual perfumes of nature, harmonies, rhythms of colour and form that surround me.   When I approach every blank canvas, I see it as a beginning of a new relationship with the end result feeling like a child of my imagination.

'Cabin in the Glen' by Betsy Fairbrother

'Cabin in the Glen' by Betsy Fairbrother

This past year, my eyes have been drawn to the idyllic quality of the many landscapes on island, those lovely walks, and vistas intrinsic to the island spirit.   In my landscapes, I mostly work from memory, hoping to capture the spirit and love of place.

'In the Field' by Betsy Fairbrother

'In the Field' by Betsy Fairbrother

I have also thoroughly enjoyed exploring the human form, by playing with images of my shadow infused with colour and my garden statues that grace and guard my inner sanctum”.

'Cupid Amidst Flowers' by Betsy Fairbrother

'Cupid Amidst Flowers' by Betsy Fairbrother

‘ECLECTICA’ a show of all kinds of things, June 4 – 25, 2011

Posted May 14th, 2011 by Tish Saunders
'Paternity Analysis' by Sam Hesse

'Paternity Analysis' by Sam Hesse

‘ECLECTICA’, this year’s Opening Show, is an exciting, eclectic mix of sculpture, painting, photography, glass art, and more, all in a furnished setting with home decor items for sale. Featuring some inspired and skilled new artists to the island, the gallery will also show an outstanding mineral display for the viewer’s pleasure. Come and explore many beautiful offerings in a visually stimulating environment.

'Pomegranate' by Bruce Dolsen

'Pomegranate' by Bruce Dolsen

‘BRIDGE OVER TIME’, Recent Work by Betsy Fairbrother and Nancy McPhee, October 2 – 30, 2010

Posted September 21st, 2010 by Tish Saunders

Betsy Fairbrother, Artist Statement

My life has always been defined through artistic pursuits. After many years immersed in the world of dance, I began to explore painting as a creative release. I started with small watercolours while living in Mexico in the 80’s, and have since experimented with enamel on wood, oil pastels and collage.

'Buddha' by Betsy Fairbrother

‘Buddha’ by Betsy Fairbrother

Last winter I was determined to complete a series of paintings I had started over 10 years ago. The series,”Women & Roses Dream”, developed from some collage work I had done, combining images of iconic women, within a dreamlike world. I picked up my brush and quickly immersed into a lovely creative bubble where everything else seemed secondary. I found myself losing track of time as I embraced the dance of the brush on canvas and the intense concentration and observation of the subject at hand.   After completing these pieces,  I continued to be inspired to paint, first and foremost by my immediate environment, with colour and form that bring joy to the eye. As I go about my day, my eye often acts as a camera lens, looking about my surroundings for images that compel me to paint.

'Women and Roses #1' by Betsy Fairbrother

‘Women and Roses #1 (Detail)’ by Betsy Fairbrother

I continue to develop my own personal style, and I have found the process of painting has illuminated my world in every way.  My daily walks are filled with more colour, texture, light and shadow.  As I gaze at life around me, I feel in awe and inspired by natures’ exquisite designs. My sincere hope is that my paintings reflect the joy I feel when I paint.

“May the eye of the artists remain in the soul of the viewer.”

'Tulips' by Betsy Fairbrother

‘Tulips’ by Betsy Fairbrother

Nancy McPhee   ‘Bridge over Time’

The collection of paintings gathered together for this show span many years of experimenting and revelling in the mystery of creating art. These paintings represent the bridge that connects the past years of my artistic journey to the present.

'Smilkameen Valley' by Nancy McPhee

‘Smilkameen Valley’ by Nancy McPhee

I am inspired by landscapes. Sometimes it is the memory of the light on the hills, the sound of the wind or the smell of nature that I strive to capture. Sometimes it is a phrase, a line of poetry, or a piece of music that is my muse. Whatever it might be, I love to capture the magic of my experience in art. My mediums vary though I tend to paint with acrylic and often add other elements that interest me.

'Beyond the Milky Way, 1, Emergence' by Nancy McPhee

‘Beyond the Milky Way, 1, Emergence’ by Nancy McPhee

In the early paintings, I experimented with a technique that I learned out of a book by Maxine Masterfield. Surprised and pleased with the images that emerged, I played with the combination of inks, watercolours and texture. The Winter Series evolved from my first visits to Galiano and I use shells, sticks and leaves found on nature rambles to create the texture in the paintings.

For the past few years I have been interested in the idea of change and transition and this is reflected in my newer work. The paintings are an exploration of edges, known and unknown through doorways. The most recent work focuses on a question about what connects the past to the future, what is known and unknown. Using a glazing technique with acrylic paint, the textured ground is broken into two definite areas joined by the transition of an edge — both areas are a mystery of memory. The viewer will see what they see in these landscapes. I hope you enjoy them.

'Strange Attractor' by Nancy McPhee

‘Strange Attractor’ by Nancy McPhee

‘WOOD, WATER, STONE AND BONE’, Recent Work by Bruce Dolsen, September 4 – 25

Posted August 19th, 2010 by Tish Saunders

'Burrill Road. September' by Bruce Dolsen

“Burrill Road, September” by Bruce Dolsen

The crook of an elbow, the branch of a tree, the pattern on a dragonfly’s wing;
The elegant curve of a deer’s rib bone, the arching arbutus tree;
Rivulets of a receding tide, the slow course of cedar root through rock and earth;
The dome of a skull, a cumulous cloud;
The pitch of a roof, a limpet shell, the angle of the shadow at noon;
Light slanting through trees at 4 o’clock in February;
Light on the table at noon, light on the water of the bay,
Light refracting in a raindrop, a spider’s fine delineation of space;
The laughter of children, the kingfisher’s call, the raven’s talk,
The bumblebee at work;
The smell of coffee in the morning, of the road after rain,
Of leaves mouldering, of the sea, of the sea, of the sea;
Wisteria in clusters, curling smoke from the fire, the progress of
A pen across a page, of a brush following shape after shape;
Conglomerate rock–ancient stories fused together–
Now mountains, now pebbles, now grains of sand;
Boulders setting off on long, slow journeys to the sea;
Logs on a beach, a tangle of limbs, a drawer full of socks;
The geography of form, the taxonomy of self, the space of being
At the edge of light where in the dark invisible lines connect
Distant stars with names and stories we give them: what we see
And do not see; what we know and cannot know;
What we are given, and cannot have;
What we are, this momentary being,
This single note, this symphony of senses–
What fine music its turning makes.

'Still Life with Oranges' by Bruce Dolsen

‘Still Life with Oranges’ by Bruce Dolsen

When I think and write about what I do as an artist, I think in images, in sense impressions, and sometimes words seem a long way off. Sometimes it is only after I have finished a painting that I really begin to see it, or to see into it, and more often than not, I find the painting tells a story of its own, and that I have been the instrument of its telling–not so much the creator as the medium. The amazing correspondences of form in nature present themselves to us endlessly, and we take so much for granted about what constitutes beauty, what appeals to the eye, the senses–and why. Sometimes we see but do not see.

Why is a gladiolus like an oyster shell? This question may be of the order that plagued Alice in her hellish wonderland, where sense was made nonsense, where there was no intended answer as to why a raven is like a writing desk. But the ruffled flutes of the oyster’s hard shells, so beautifully matched all ‘round the edge, are echoed in the frilly edges of the flower’s delicate form which unfolded but once in impossible complexity and for no purpose other than to reproduce itself. What delights us is the recognition of form: something is beautiful because….because….because….? Because it is like something else we know, because it is both novel and familiar, and because we have been led to see the familiar in a new way. As an artist, I call this experience “Looking to learn and learning to look”, my own way of making sense of why I am so compelled to do what I do.

I have given the title “Water, Wood, Stone and Bone” to this show’s work, representing more than a year’s painting in watercolour and acrylic, mostly on or about Galiano. As well as the paintings, I’ve included a number of “assemblages” (or whatever they should be called!) which evolved over the winter and spring from the objets trouves–bits and pieces and dead insects I tend to accumulate all the time. The small paintings attached to the these pieces are intended to reflect in some sense the form or essence of what’s in the box; as in viewing a constellation where we imagine we see forms in what are really disparate, unconnected dots of light, the connections are there to be made by individual viewers.

'White Shell Beach, Montague' by Bruce Dolsen

‘White Shell Beach, Montague’ by Bruce Dolsen

When I first started painting on Galiano I was intrigued by the animal trails in the forest, and by human trails, some of which have been trodden for hundreds of years. And then by the roads: they twist around shorelines, disappearing around corners and over hill tops, bracketed by walls of green and gold, through which we glimpse the sea, the changing light. The roads have served as conduits for our industry, and I find on the acre or so where we live the remains of this activity from fifty years before: clumps of glass bottles, rusted out oil cans, car parts, bed springs, all covering over in moss and new growth. And while I may despair in this culturally modified forest and the story it tells, I am in awe of the middens that ring this island, and the story they tell of many hundreds of years of habitation.

Yet they have a certain beauty, these cast-offs: they tell us a familiar story, one of process and change and renewal, these roads that disappear around corners, these bones that once walked where we walk, these stones. The artist is sometimes the one to tell the story–the medium with the message–and the story is often as simple as a fleeting impression of light on a form, a once-upon-a-time in the blink of an eye when the moment is connected to something beyond immediate experience, something startlingly beautiful in the way a crow walks, a cloud moves, a leaf falls. As I say in the poem, what fine music it makes.

I’m still looking to learn from all this.

‘SACRED GEOMETRY’, New Paintings by Tish Saunders, July 31 – August 28

Posted July 8th, 2010 by Tish Saunders
Spirals of Change-Strong Foundations by Tish Saunders

Spirals of Change-Strong Foundations by Tish Saunders

Sacred Geometry by Tish Saunders

Through time it has become increasingly important to paint what ‘matters’ to me — to focus on love, light and colour. This year I was really on the ‘painting train’ and from June to July I often painted 7 or 8 hours a day. It was glorious! The rain pattered on the roof, the woodstove glowed, the music was good and there were no intrusions.

Painting a mandala is a beautiful experience. I start by making intuitive decisions regarding the imagery and colour that I will use. The repetition of the shapes and symbols causes new patterns to emerge. Combinations of strokes of colours on other colours cause energy to begin to move and this is read by the eye and the mind with exciting results. I am really interested in what happens on the surface of the canvas in these paintings — there is no room for indecision or re-working. The strokes of colour are decisive; the surface receives paint, and is then overlaid with more paint. I have one chance to put it on and make it work. The process is clean and pure and the results sing to me, as they have been laid down with a one-pointed mind and clear intent.

I began working on one small canvas where I started with one stroke of colour in the centre then added another stroke of a newly mixed colour to it, then did it again and again. A multicoloured spiral formed — every colour in it was freshly mixed, stroke after stroke. The entire painting was vibrant, the spiral was moving, and the spaces between the colours were creating their own patterns. I did another painting with a similar approach. It was so enjoyable to paint this way. Then I moved to very abstract symbolic landscapes. I did an underpainting, and then laid large strokes of contrasting colour on top. It came alive! It was time to make a mandala using this technique of colour strokes or tiles on underpainting. I did this, and then continued using the technique for other paintings.

Recently, I was preparing my show mail out at the gallery. I finally showed my work to someone other than my family — it was the mandala called ‘Spirals of Change/Strong Foundations Mandala’ that is on the postcard mail out. She remarked immediately that she knew a bit about sacred geometry. In the study of art history I had run into that term regarding the design of places of worship or sacred monuments related to religious belief. ‘Divine proportions’ and the ‘golden ratio’ were used and recognized by many of the ancient cultures. Later, I googled sacred geometry and discovered how widespread the study is. Prevalent forms that appear in nature like the sphere, fractals, sine waves, the four-dimensional cube and the spiral are all part of this geometry that is considered sacred because it arises directly from natural principles. It is believed that these archetypes and icons of geometry are ‘perfect and timeless and arise from God Mind and are the master plan of the universe’.

I discovered the term ‘tessellations’ which refers to a ‘tiling of the plane which fills it with no overlaps or gaps’. Think of honeycomb. In Latin, ‘tessella’ is a small cubical piece of clay, stone or glass used to make mosaics. Wow! I realized that my small strokes of colour on underpainting could be called tessellations.

I believe that the energy you give a painting when you create it, stays with the painting always. All of the painter’s decisions and energies at the moment of creation radiate out to the viewer and can be read and received, and can affect or transform. I hope that my beautiful experience of painting this winter will warm the hearts of those who view them.

‘BIG & BOLD: From Lilies to Lanterns’, Paintings by Ingrid Fawcett, September 5 – 26, 2009

Posted August 15th, 2009 by Tish Saunders

'Chinatown' by Ingrid Fawcett

‘Chinatown’ by Ingrid Fawcett

Ingrid Fawcett

“Art is literacy of the heart.” Elliot Eisner

Painting slows me down. Like so many of us, my life is busy and sometimes hectic. My painting time is a meditative and joyful space in a busy and complicated world. When I paint, I flow between the conscious and the unconscious. Through the process of losing myself I am able to find my painting. Sometimes my brushstrokes are intentional and focused; there is me, my tools and the canvas, and at other times I enter a meditative flow, and there is no separation; I am the painting, the painting is me. Each painting has its own story, and as I take the time to get to know it, to feel its heart, the images call out to me, the painting speaks, and a poem unfolds.

I paint only images and subjects that excite me. There is an obsession in my work to find an energized moment, magnify it larger than life in both size and colour and hold that energy so that it invites us deep into its heart. When I was a child I would stand at our hallway mirror pushing my palm against its glass, hoping, like Alice in Through the Looking Glass, I could enter an alternate world. I have found that world with my paintings. When I look into the Peony I am enveloped into her petals of peace, or I jump feet first into the noisy world of the lion dance in Chinatown New Year I. My work vibrates with bold colour and strong brush strokes. People who see my art say it glows with positive energy and they often claim that I must be a very happy person. Generally, I am, and I invite you to share that energy, one painting at a time.

“Painting is silent poetry, poetry is painting that speaks.” Simonides (500.BC.)

'Stargazer' by Ingrid Fawcett

‘Stargazer’ by Ingrid Fawcett

by Tish Saunders
I had been planning to show my work in September at the gallery, and then the opportunity came up to have a show of Ingrid Fawcett’s work. I was delighted and therefore I have postponed my show until next year so that everyone could have a chance to see this fantastic work before it is no longer available.  Insight Gallery goers will recognize her work from previous groups shows.  She had some beautiful paintings of peonies in the Nov/Dec. Bohemian Embassy Show last year, and  some very large paintings of tulips and hyacinths  in the Flowers, Gardens and Gardens of the Mind show in June.  Her pieces are beautifully executed, painted freely and colourfully while managing to capture so well the characteristics of whatever it is that she is painting.  She often gets so involved with the subject matter that she is moved to write poetry about it.  Ingrid lives in Victoria, in Oak Bay, and she regularly visits the island – she loves everything about Galiano.  She sketches and photographs every time she visits and continues to be intrigued by this place. She recently had a one-person show at the MacPherson Playhouse in Victoria, was a part of the Moss Street Paint-In and has some of her work presently in the Small Works Show at the Art Gallery of Victoria.  I am so excited to soon see the gallery filled with her paintings and I know that viewers will be inspired and amazed with the work she has done.

'Red Lantern' by Ingrid Fawcett

‘Red Lantern’ by Ingrid Fawcett


Posted April 10th, 2009 by Tish Saunders

“Oriental Poppies” by Tish Saunders

Here on Galiano Island we are beginning to feel Spring in the air, and the many gardeners amongst us have already been in our gardens doing the work that the weather will allow.  Its really something to see the number of beautiful gardens here on Galiano and the amazing amount of people who so love gardens and gardening.  We have all been drawn to the island in the first place to have the closeness to nature that Galiano provides – the quiet, the wildlife and the luxuriant growth that starts to happen in the spring.

Just as there are many gardeners and lovers of gardens on Galiano, there are as many artists who love to extend their pleasure even further by using the gardens, the flowers as their subject matter.  Hours of observation in different kinds of light and weather allow them to commune with nature and record their responses in a variety of ways – in paintings, photographs, drawings, sculpture, prints.  Artists will ask themselves, “How can I express this sensation of peace”; the colour of this poppy in front of me?; the freedom of the wide sky and this verdant landscape around me?; how can I share this joy of what I see with others?”   And their results can lift our spirits, they can quietly hang on one small patch of wall and then catch our eye – reminding us of that beautiful day.  They can transport us to a gentle patch of sunlight in a soft garden – a momentary retreat in an otherwise hectic day.  And so it will be at the gallery for the month of June.  Many of us artists on Galiano have brought together our expressions and responses to the flowers and gardens we love, and we hope to share them with you.

‘Begonias’ by Keith Holmes

4th Annual Bohemian Embassy Group Show Nov. 8 – Dec. 20, 2008

Posted November 14th, 2008 by Tish Saunders

‘Fire Under the Night Sky’ by Tish Saunders

Over 20 years ago, the artists of Galiano came together to create the first Bohemian Embassy Show at Galiano’s South End Community Hall. At that time, they felt their work was ‘off the beaten path’, eclectic, expressive, and unusual. The event created an embassy and they were the ambassadors of work that spoke about their place in the realm of art, poetry and music-making. This Annual Show was created to continue this idea.

‘Peony in Mauve’ by Ingrid Fawcett

This year it includes 23 local artists working in many different mediums: oil and acrylic painting, watercolour, collage, photography, linocut prints, silkscreen prints, fused glass and handpainted glass vessels, stone sculpture, prints, cards, and jewellery.

‘Greg’s Delight’ by Bruce Dolsen

This fine work reflects the artists’ perceptions of Galiano Island, the Gulf Islands and surrounding area. Landscapes, up-close florals, portraiture, carvings of local creatures, abstracts referring to states of mind all come together to draw the viewer into the experience of life on the edge, life with a fresh perspective here on the West Coast.

The high level of quality and expression from so many artists makes this a fabulous show, not to be missed.

‘Ruby – Precious Gem’ by Julia Pearson