ArtSea Fest: Offering art to community

First paint and wine evening kicks off ArtSea series in Sidney.

Odette Laroche gives painting instructions on the first ever paint and wine night during the opening weekend of the ArtSea Festival on the Saanich Peninsula.

The Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre was a busy place Oct. 17 as the first ever paint and wine night kicked off with Odette LaRoche giving instruction.

For $40, patrons walked in and had all of the painting utensils they needed right in front of them to paint to their hearts content for two-and-a-half hours. There were two canvasses per person and LaRoche passed along an image to everyone, which was large rocks along with a landscape or seascape scene for them to paint into whatever they wanted.

“Because their time is short, I try to make it the best experience for them possible,” she told the PNR at her studio in Sidney prior to the event.

Usually the image she passes along to people is in black and white because she doesn’t want them getting stuck on the colours in the picture.

“The last time I did this, it was really interesting because I gave them a picture of a pile of huge rocks on the beach and some of them turned out to be big mountains with the sky in front and water down below. They removed it from what it was from just a pile of rocks into something completely different in their imagination.”

On the paint and wine night, LaRoche created a chart of different colours, giving the patrons four colours to play with, along with the ability to mix them together to create new colours for their art work.

“The secret to having a successful painting is to use two colours that are complimentary plus white,” she said.

LaRoche said the finished products were amazing and that people turned their images around making completely different things.

“I think of it as a diving board, you’re on the diving board and you spring from that picture and you jump in and you do your own thing.”

LaRoche will be giving the next paint and wine night this Saturday from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Brentwood Bay Village Empourium. People can come in for a two and a half hour session, drink a glass of wine and enjoy the instruction by LaRoche.

For LaRoche, painting is a way of expression and emotion. She said it can touch someone with the same emotion and she strives for that connection.

“For me painting, as I paint, it’s because I love the act of painting and the colours and pushing myself a little further and really pushing the colours and the texture and the surface.”