Sandy Bligh and Diane Thorp take creative break

Artists in residence get together to enjoy a week of creativity at Sidney's Tulista Gallery.

Sandy Bligh

Sandy Bligh and Diane Thorp are back at the Tulista Park Gallery this week to set up their Artists in Residence studio.

Thorp is a weaver and painter who does mixed media work, whereas Bligh is a painter who focusses on realism and abstract patterns in watercolour and acrylics.

This is around their fourth time showing at the Community Arts Council of the Saanich Peninsula’s Tulista Park Gallery together.

“This week is just a way for us to get out of our homes and set some time to painting because both of us are really busy,” Bligh told the PNR.

Bligh has been painting for as long as she can remember, getting her first oil painting set when she was six.

“So that’s been more than 50 years lets say,” she said with a laugh.

For her work life, she is an accountant and she said painting is what she likes to do most in her downtime.

“My downtime needs to be something that’s creative, which is painting.”

Thorp, a weaver with 40 years experience in the art form, said in an email to the PNR that Sidney residents may remember the Town Crier’s cape, which she designed and completed on her loom. In the past few years, she has branched out into multi-media work and during this week she will have her sample loom set up to work on some new ideas she has, which incorporates Mylar in the artwork.

Both artists are past chairs of the Sidney Fine Art Show, which is how they got to know each other. Bligh is currently the Art Show designer and has been doing that since it first began.

Bligh said the two of them have collaborated on some work. She said their joint show this week gives them a chance to talk about art while they are at the Gallery.

She would call it informal teaching, as she said people like to come in and watch, but they don’t always like to ask questions. She also said that people come in and think they can never do what’s in front of them, but Bligh disagrees.

“I think anybody can be an artist. Learning the technique is one thing — it’s learning how to see and translate that into your work. That’s the difference I think.”

Their work will be on display and for sale this week.