Getting out of the studio 

Whistler Art Workshops on the Lake get artists outdoors for direct inspiration

Who: Alan Wylie

What: Whistler Art Workshop on the Lake

What: Intermediate/Advanced Acrylic and Oil Painting

When: Aug. 23-25

Ticket: $315

Painting on location is what all artists love, says award-winning painter Alan Wylie – one of a dozen B.C. artists teaching at the Whistler Art Workshops on the Lake program from Aug. 14 to 27 held in the Chaplinville House located on Alta Lake waterfront.

The opportunity to teach his intermediate/advanced acrylic and oil painting workshop in such a picturesque, outdoor setting in Whistler is an attractive opportunity for the artist who is currently overhauling his home studio.

Two blank canvases, waiting to come to life for a showcase at the Mountain Galleries in the Fairmont Chateau Whistler next month, sit untouched while Wylie builds shelves and rearranges the floor-plan layout. No matter how beautifully executed, Wylie prefers to be right in the heart of inspiration rather than drawing on an image.

"We don’t get enough of it," Wylie says of working on site. "Before I became a professional painter, I used to paint on location all the time. A few guys and I try to get out once a year to a new setting. We went up to the Queen Charlottes and painted off a boat for two weeks. We’ve been to England and Nova Scotia to get away. It’s nice to get out of the studio."

Wylie’s workshop will focus on how to produce texture in acrylic/oil paintings for intermediate and advanced painters Aug. 23-25 at the Chaplinville House.

Wylie will teach a gel textural build up technique, broken down into five stages. The technique will give dimension to images such as the grainy wood of a barn, the polish of an apple or the layering of a grumbling storm.

"I’ve always loved the surface quality of paint," he says. "I am a very thin painter myself, being Scottish myself. I like the idea of juicy surfaces and it can look like that with very little paint at all."

Although an extremely accomplished artist, Wylie says the key goal of the workshop is for everyone to enjoy themselves, learn something new and have some fun.

"I hope people will challenge themselves and try something a little different," he says, noting that an intermediate artist is someone who has done one painting.

Wylie is one of B.C.’s most respected and recognized artists. He graduated from the Glasgow School of Art with a degree in Mural Design and Mosaics, leading to a successful career as a mural artist. He has completed 27 murals – some as large as 245-feet long and eight-feet high, such as his most recent mural adventure for Playtime Gaming Casinos. The mural is staged in 14 casinos around B.C.

Wylie also exhibits his watercolours, oils and acrylics in conventional galleries around the world, from England and Scotland to New York and New Orleans. Wylie will host his 69 th solo exhibition at the Peninsula Gallery in Sidney on Vancouver Island later this month.

Wylie wields almost as many awards as he does exhibitions. He won 44 awards around the world over the past 50 years.

Wylie will be joined by his wife, Janice Robertson, who will host a Beginner and Intermediate Acrylic Techniques workshop Aug. 26 to 27 as part of the Whistler Art Workshops on the Lake.

Robertson, the former Federation of Canadian Artists president, has won numerous awards for her works, including the Foreign Award in the Houston Watercolour Society exhibition and the Margaret and William Foley Award in the Adirondacks National Exhibition of Watercolours in New York.

Wylie’s three-day class is $315 and Robertson’s two-day class is $175.

To register or for more information on other classes, call 604-938-9221 or visit

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