Singing Songs About The Salish Sea

Acrylic works inspired by our magnificent coastal waterways

 August 16th - September 3rd, 2016

at the Gage Gallery Collective, 2031 Oak Bay Ave


 Join us for the opening reception on Thursday August 18th, from 7:00 - 9:00 pm

Why the Salish Sea?

I have always known the ocean

As a child growing up in Vancouver, cherished family times were at the oceans edge: Picnics of Mom’s potato salad and orange tang drink, building sand castles and channels to the sea with my little sister, swimming lessons in the big seawater pool at Kitsilano Beach. There was always something to explore at the sea edge or in the toasty warm tidal pools of colour. A beach day was a long lazy adventure of smells and textures and sun.

Nights at the beach were mysterious and felt a little dangerous.

My Dad and his pals would build a campfire in the evenings then sit on the logs around the fire with their wives telling stories, drinking beer and smoking Export As.  The laughter of the grownups was the background to the kids running in circles, shrieking in crazy joy over wild games of tag. Sometimes the adults net -fished for silvery, shiny-black ooligans at the ocean’s edge.  Ooligans is still one of my favourite words.

Imagining the current Art Show

I wanted to recognize that love of the ocean.  I also wanted to acknowledge a very special experience I had when I taught primary children at Lochside Elementary School in Saanich. The Parents Council brought Holly Arntzen to our school so the children would have a musical experience.  Holly Arntzen, composer, lyricist /poet and singer came every week for a good chunk of the year and taught every class songs that she had created on the theme, the Salish Sea. We practiced our songs and learned to sing out loud.  We studied the critters and their environment, took field trips, did art and written projects and presentations on the Salish Sea.  At the end of the year our children performed their songs in the University Auditorium.   It was such a fun and rich experience for our kids and our school. Holly and her partner continue to do this inspired work through the Artist Response Team (ART).  You can see them in action at that website. They have the whole room rocking for the Watersheds in the last video!

About The Art


is one of the paintings from my Singing Songs About the Salish Sea series.  In these paintings I use the shapes, colour and textures of the living sea, the shore and it precious sparkling diversity to create abstract expressions of my love of our Salish Sea. My art is predominantly abstract using acrylic paints on canvas.  I like the variations possible using acrylics and often draw into the paint, stencil or create skins to add to the surface.  In the Seashore painting I do all of that to give the sense of texture and variety found in our sea.

“Singing Songs About the Salish Sea”

This has been a challenging but interesting project and I have enjoyed creating work  based on the real world of images and ideas  rather than my usual of creating from imagination.