Ladysmith artist creates eye-catching wintry window wonderlands

Kath Stroman has done work for the Nanaimo Airport, Chemainus Theatre and dozens of local businesses

The soothing sounds of Enya flowing into her ear buds, Ladysmith artist Kath Stroman presses her brush against the huge glass window of a building up for sale on First Avenue as she paints a cascading white waterfall.

“I’m working with white so it’s positive and negative space. It’s learning how to do so it fits for the outside but also for the inside,” she said.

“Every year I try and do something a bit different- this year it’s waterfalls.”

The artist has been kept busy painting eye-catching designs in storefronts and businesses all across Ladysmith and the surrounding area, including 49th Parallel Grocery, where she works in the garden centre each summer, Ladysmith & District Credit Union, Pharmasave, Chemainus Theatre, and Nanaimo Airport just to name a few.

As of last week she had another dozen or so to finish before Light Up, bringing her total to 40.

Stroman was commissioned by the Ladysmith Downtown Business Association, and given free artistic reign, to paint two giant panes in the building that once was home to Barb’s Kitchen.

“I love this kind of space, the bigger the better,” she said.

The building has been on the market several years with brown paper up in the windows.

LDBA president Andrea-Rosato Taylor said part of the organization’s mandate is to create a “healthy downtown core.”

“We felt that the old Barb’s Kitchen building needed a bit of sprucing up so we contacted the realtor and asked if the LDBA could pay to have the windows painted,” she said. “The results have been very positive and Kath did an amazing job of giving the old building back a festive winter scene.”

Stroman’s background is in graphic design and she enjoys working in detail with acrylic paints as well as on a large scale, such as the stage design she’s done for Ladysmith Little Theatre as well as a mural at the Ladysmith Maritime Society’s Harbour Heritage Centre.

Her inspiration for the windows is drawn from a Victoria artist but she’s added her own flare.

“I have a house that has lots of windows so I just started to paint on them and then I came up with my style,” she said.

About five years ago it was the Ladysmith & District Credit Union gave her her first break.

CEO John de Leeuw said supporting arts and culture helps promotes the town as one of the best places to live and play.

“We were happy to give Kath a chance many years ago to draw a winter scene for Light Up night. She did a beautiful job, and we have been thrilled that her talent is being recognized all around the community,” he said.

The brushes Stroman uses to apply the interior exterior latex paint are like good wine and have often become better with age.

“I only use two fan brushes to do everything,” she said, holding up one with paint caked on. “There’s something when you put it on the window that it does all this magic.”

 

Just Posted

Police in Nanaimo are looking for a woman who allegedly threw hot coffee on a McDonald’s employee. (News Bulletin photo)
UPDATE: Nanaimo RCMP still looking for woman who threw coffee at worker after already receiving refund

Police asking for information in investigation that could lead to assault charges

The Skeena Queen, serving the Swartz Bay-Fulford Harbour route has been out of action since early Wednesday morning, forcing BC Ferries to cancel eight sailings connecting the Saanich Peninsula and Salt Spring Island. It is not clear when service will resume. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
BC Ferries cancels sailings between Greater Victoria and Salt Spring Island

With repairs to Skeena Queen underway, it is not clear when service will resume

The First Nations language pole project, underway in Port Alberni, has been stalled due to lack of funding. Artist Tim Paul can occasionally be seen working on the project behind a fence at the Maritime Discovery Centre. (JERRY FEVENS PHOTO/ Special to the News)
Port Alberni’s First Nations language pole suffers another setback

First Nations Education Foundation still looking for funding for a final push

A bear similar to this black bear was spotted on Elk Lake Drive on Oct. 20 and is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich the night before. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bear spotted several times in Saanich likely to be euthanized

Conservation officers still searching for bear reported near Elk Lake Drive

Frederick Lee and Eva Lillian Baker lived in Victoria from the 1930s until their passing. Now, their great nephew who lives in Birmingham, U.K. is asking for Victoria residents’ help to learn more. (Courtesy Derek Roft)
Don your detective hats Greater Victoria — a U.K. man wants your help

Derek Roft is on a mission to find out more about relatives that emigrated to Canada in 1912

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

Victoria police ticketed and impounded the vehicles of two drivers after they were caught speeding through a school zone. (Black Press Media file photo)
Two drivers caught doing nearly triple the speed limit in Victoria school zone

Almost $1,000 in fines, vehicle impounded for each motorist

A glimpse of some of the 480 (approx) cars written off as a result of the acid spills along the Trail highway in 2018. Photo: Trail Times
Kootenay Ford dealer’s frustration grows with ICBC

Trail AM Ford owner Dan Ashman says he just wants fair compensation from ICBC

Mail-in ballot from Elections BC (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
At least 26% of eligible voters have already cast a ballot, Elections BC says

Voters can cast a ballot until 8 p.m PST on Election Day

A 2018 decision to fly a rainbow flag ended up costing the City of Langley $62,000 in legal fees (Langley Advance Times file)
Human rights win in rainbow flag fight cost B.C. city $62,000

“Lengthy and involved” process provoked by complaint

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a news conference Tuesday October 20, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau and his family decide against trick-or-treating this year due to COVID

Adhering to local health authorities, Trudeau urges Canadians to do their part in following those guidelines

A mature Garry oak fell onto Richmond Road on Oct. 13 near Camosun College Lansdowne campus. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Crashing Garry oaks raise urban tree concerns

Saanich responded to 59 tree-related calls

The West Shore RCMP released these images of a suspect as part of its investigation into a report of sexual assault on Sept. 17. (West Shore RCMP handout)
The West Shore RCMP released these images of a suspect as part of its investigation into a report of sexual assault on Sept. 17. (West Shore RCMP handout)
Sexual assault suspect sought by West Shore RCMP

Police are looking for help identifying this man

A Tim Hortons employee hands out coffee from a drive-through window to a customer in Mississauga, Ont., on March 17, 2020. Tim Hortons is ending the practice of double cupping hot drinks, a move the fast food restaurant says will eliminate hundreds of millions of cups from landfills each year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
The end of double cupping: Tim Hortons ditches two cups in favour of one with sleeve

Most recycling facilities in Canada don’t recycle single use paper coffee cups because of a plastic lining

Most Read