A mid Island painter is showing work in the style that she says best represents “what’s going on inside the artist.”
For the month of January, Jan Byers of Qualicum Beach presents Abstracted at Art 10 Gallery. The show features acrylic abstract paintings on wood and canvas dating from five years old to a few months old.
“I like contrast in my art,” she explained. “Contrast of line thickness or thinness, shape, colour. Anything that contrasts that works in harmony with the composition as a whole.”
Byers said the work in Abstracted draws from her travels across Canada and north Africa, including the deserts and Mediterranean coast. She’s also inspired by “the infinite existence of space” and “what the universe holds for us” and Greek mythology. One painting, Hermes Unhinged, imagines the messenger god having “a really bad, busy day.”
“In reading some of the myths where they’d send Hermes out with messages, I had an image in my mind of the post office trying to get all the parcels out and [they] couldn’t do it,” she said. “And Hermes, if he has everybody at him to deliver these messages and he’s the only messenger, he’s going to go crazy one day.”
Byers started out painting landscapes and still lifes before turning her attention to abstract art eight years ago. While she admires the skill that realism demands, Byers said she needed a change.
“I got a little bit bored representing and I wanted to interpret,” Byers said. “And while realists can interpret what they see, I like to focus on line, shape, colour, design and movement rather than something that I see in a real situation.”
WHAT’S ON … Jan Byers presents Abstracted at Art 10 Gallery, Nanaimo North Town Centre, from now until Jan. 31.