For over 20 years, artists in Victoria passionate about working outdoors have been meeting every Friday, and I was delighted to join 26 of them this week at Island View Beach. They call themselves the Al Frescoes. “We don’t have officers or meetings, or anything like that – we just want to paint together,” explained Ken Faulks. “Some of us are professionals, some own studios, and some have just begun to paint. We don’t do competitions, so it’s very relaxed and we have fun together. Everyone shows their painting at the end of the day, but we don’t even have an official critique.”
Jim McFarland, a signature member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, was one of the first artists I connected with. Jim began painting en plein air about 15 years ago and now most days can be found painting somewhere on the island.
Many of the artists have developed strong friendships over the years through the Al Frescoes group. Desiree Bond and Terri Rodstrom obviously enjoy spending time together. Terri is on staff at the unique Coast Collective Arts Center, a beautiful space that houses an art gallery, gift shop, individual studios and workshop space for local artists. Anne Bogle and Marie Nagel also posed together for me.
I selected a painting site near Deborah Tilby, who shared some of her stories about her own painting journey through England.
Al Dixon was also very excited to share his painting with me. The great weather added to the pleasure of painting together on this sunny, warm spring morning. Thanks for the warm welcome!