Local painter holds solo show at Osoyoos Gallery

By on March 3, 2015
Osoyoos artist Peter Scott opens a solo exhibition on Friday at the Osoyoos Art Gallery featuring his impressionist landscapes. On the right is a painting he did in 1979 and has since refused to sell. It portrays two trees in the snow, but it represents Scott and his brother. (Richard McGuire photo)

Osoyoos artist Peter Scott opens a solo exhibition on Friday at the Osoyoos Art Gallery featuring his impressionist landscapes. On the right is a painting he did in 1979 and has since refused to sell. It portrays two trees in the snow, but it represents Scott and his brother. (Richard McGuire photo)

A new art exhibition opening this weekend at the Osoyoos Art Gallery explores the different phases of local artist Peter Scott’s work.

The show, suitably, is titled Impressionist Landscapes: Peter Scott and it runs from March 7 to 28. There is an opening reception Friday evening from 7 to 9 p.m. and Scott emphasizes that everyone is invited to it.

The term “impressionist landscapes” is one that Scott uses to describe his work. By “impressionist” he’s seeking to capture the mood that a scene conveys to him rather than a realistic, literal representation. And landscapes rather than people or animals are his chosen subject.

If some of his paintings remind you of the Group of Seven artists, who painted Canadian landscapes early in the 20th century, there’s a reason for that.

When Scott was starting out, he studied under Canadian artist Gordon Smith who was a devotee and friend of Group of Seven artist Lawren Harris.

Scott also borrows the broad, swooping brushstrokes of B.C. artist Emily Carr, who was a contemporary and associate of the Group of Seven painters and had a somewhat similar style, although she was not a member of the Ontario-based group.

His other major influence is Toni Onley, whose style shows up in his watercolour paintings.

There are even some smaller pieces in the show that were influenced by some of the aboriginal painters, with bright colours and fewer sweeping strokes.

Scott’s work has also evolved according to the different landscapes where he has lived. Since coming to Osoyoos three years ago, he has become much more conscious of the moving skies.

The exhibition includes work from all of Scott’s stages, starting with his University of British Columbia (UBC) years when he studied under Smith and was most influenced by the Group of Seven.

One of his favourite pieces he did in 1979, but has refused to sell despite receiving offers. It is called Trees on Ford Mountain and it is simply an impressionist painting of two trees covered in snow.

Scott recalls that he was out in the snow with his brother and they only had one pair of snowshoes between them. They were leaning back, looking at the trees, when the sun burst through and the scene impressed him. He made a quick sketch, and from that the painting developed.

“It’s called Trees on Ford Mountain, but it’s more two brothers,” said Scott. “It’s me and my brother from that day. It’s just like I took a chainsaw and cut a chunk out of that Sunday afternoon.”

For a while Scott was working with search and rescue in Chilliwack and was hired to lead a team of forestry students in a project to map remote hiking trails.

“I would take my sketchbooks and while I was out there, I would just fill my sketchbooks with all these drawings and then I would come back in the fall and stretch the canvases and I would paint the work from the sketches,” he said.

Also included in the show are paintings Scott did of northern landscapes during the 30 years he taught art in the Quesnel school district.

Although much of Scott’s work is in acrylics, he also does oils, watercolours and his show includes some pencil drawings.

Because Scott is relatively new to Osoyoos, he acknowledges that he is not yet well known here.

This exhibition is his first solo show at the Osoyoos Art Gallery, although he has participated in group shows.

An active member of Artists on Main, Scott said he was welcomed by the group of local painters and he enjoys working with them.

“It’s just such a nice super group of people and they’re extremely talented artists that are very knowledgeable about art,” he said.

He has also participated in the community by teaching children’s art programs. And, he works on the exhibition committee of Artists on Main, which organizes showings of art at local wineries.

Art Gallery acting director Dianne Hughes said Scott was approached to do the show by the gallery’s curators. She’s pleased to be able to promote an artist from the community.

The Osoyoos Art Gallery is located at 8713 Main St. in Osoyoos. It is open Tuesday to Saturday from noon to 4 p.m.

RICHARD McGUIRE

Osoyoos Times

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *