Category Archives: Plein Air

Grand Prix for Artists

Artists..start your engines

Artists…start your engines

One of the joys of being a ‘plein air’ painter is facing the all the elements: wind, rain and temperature. On an unexpectedly rain-free Saturday, I took part in the 4th Annual Grand Prix of Painting in Steveston, BC. Hosted by Phoenix Art Workshop, over 80 artists drew lots for one of 36 painting locations in and around Steveston, BC.

The piercing sound of the Gulf of Georgia Cannery steam whistle at 10 am started the ‘race’. Artists spent the next 3 hours capturing the charm and quirks of this riverside community.  Working in either oils, acrylic, pastel and watercolour, every painting expressed a unique vision.

"Local Currency"

“Local Currency”

I incorporated some heritage elements in my piece, referencing the colourful history of Steveston, which was once known as “Salmonopolis”. Titled “Local Currency”, I imagined an 1889-era $20 bill that might have been issued by the ambitious Manoah & Martha Steeves, the founders of the community.  Alas…no such Bank of Salmonopolis exists.

Stephen Chen won the Grand Prix of Art with his beautiful painting of the south arm of the Fraser River.

View the paintings on display 12 – 5pm daily,  until Sunday, September 29th at the Chinese Bunkhouse, Britannia Shipyards, National Historic Site, 5180 Westwater Drive, Richmond BC Phone: 604-718-8050 for info. Art sales, in part, support the Richmond Artists Guild. Thanks to Mark, the terrific volunteers, sponsors and crew who make the Grand Prix possible each year.