Where does art come from?
Some people are apparently born with a brush or a guitar in their hands. Others come to pen, canvas or wheel after decades, never having known that they still have this unique ability within them.
The truth is, inspiration can come from anywhere and anything. It lives in us, but it is also a force greater than ourselves, and our inspiration is often found at the confluence of all the things around us.
At least that’s what the dynamic Qualicum Beach duo Richard Sandstrom and Diane Spence found in their quest to exist in the intuitive and inspired state that artistic creation demands – that is, a combination. of inner vision and outer inspiration.
The two will open their welcome gallery on Beach Road in Qualicum Beach on December 8.
The gallery features Sandstrom’s acrylic and oil paintings, wearable sculpture-like jewelry, and visual art made from rare and natural woods (including local maple and yellow cedar), some of which were pigmented and inlaid with copper engravings.
“Some works are recognizable and take on a landscape feel… The other element is existential – in the sense that it exists for itself – a kind of inner vision,” Sandstrom said.
Spence’s work is a combination of abstract painting and photography, showcasing the beauty of nature, with delicate macro images of flowers and black and white inks in the Japanese style of sumi-e.
The two have a lot to share, and it’s not limited to physical works of art.
As an art teacher in Spokane, Washington, Sandstrom has taught many disciplines over his 30-year career, including drawing, painting, pottery, jewelry, and sculpture. A great lover of music, poetry, books and all kinds of art, he is no stranger to drawing inspiration from the many kinds of creative energy that exist in the world.
“I think all of this gave me a sense of what’s going on… The more you see, the more you connect. And the more you listen, the more you hear, ”Sandstrom said.
“Poetry is so wonderful. Books. Read anything, constantly. And great movies, great music, great food. It all goes into it, how you do something. You just sort of feel it… you feel it.
Talking to Sandstrom feels like the lines between all mediums are blurring – a conversation about his wearable sculpture line quickly turns into a haiku on plums.
Then it turns into a meditation on his favorite Oscar-winning movies, and invariably lands on one of his favorite phrases – that “it’s all rock and roll”.
“It comes from within. And everything we see is ours. Everything we hear is ours… It’s fun. It’s not work, ”Sandstrom said.
“But it’s also painful – it’s both a blessing and a curse. Because sometimes you can get involved in something you don’t want to stop. It’s a constant. You walk the knife’s edge with poise, however. You don’t tip yourself over too much.
Sandstrom plans all of its pieces, making small sketches that turn into a life-size drawing that is reproduced via carbon paper on the canvas.
Spence’s work comes out a little differently. The two met in Palm Springs in the early 2000s, and the rest is history.
Spence, a nurse at St. Paul’s Hospital for 30 years, has mostly used her creativity in the kitchen until the last decade. Today, she is an accomplished photographer and painter, preferring abstracts and unexpected pieces that often unfold in twists and turns on the canvas.
“He plans everything, and I don’t. I’m more – it’s like you make spaghetti sauce. You just know what’s going on in there. Everything is intuitive. This is where I want to know the basics – and these are the basics of all painting. Color, line, contrast, design, continuity. If you do abstract or realism, it’s the same thing, ”Spence said.
“But putting that first stroke of paint on this canvas is the starting point.”
Spence says she often takes canvases and makes marks, going where color, shadow and intuition lead to create a fully realized piece. It will balance the marks on the canvas and work as it goes.
“Working intuitively is difficult… but on the other hand, it’s so rewarding. Every layer you create with wonderful surprises! Spence said.
“You can’t… you don’t want to own it, just let that intuition go with you. Sometimes we think about it too much and mess it up. And sometimes there are people who do wonderful work, they just let that energy go. And it works. It doesn’t work all the time, it’s very dangerous to do. But when it works, it works and it’s a fabulous piece. Then you feel that energy.
The Sandstrom and Spence Gallery is located at 545 Beach Rd. In Qualicum Beach. The grand opening is December 8, after which the gallery will be open to the public on a permanent basis. More information and illustrations can be found online at www.sandstrom-and-spence-studio.ca.