Think ink 

Showing Whistler’s simplicity in pencils and pens

Who: Maurice Perry

What: Meet the Artist

Where: MY Place Gallery

When: Friday, Aug. 15, 6 to 8 p.m.

As with most artistic endeavours, "it’s not the best way to make a living, but it’s a lovely way to spend your life," summed up artist and architect, Maurice Perry.

The pencil, ink and watercolour specialist has managed to milk the most out of his favourite hobby through the irony of extensive business travel around the world. What started out as a childhood pastime helped shape his chosen career in architecture because yes, you guessed it, there’s lots of sketching to be done in those building plans.

"I always take a sketchbook with me wherever I go for work or play. I prefer to do on location sketches rather than take photos because a camera is hard to get the shadows right and that’s what I’m fascinated with, the composition of what we see. But then again sometimes it’s nearly impossible to plonk yourself down right in front of some famous setting so I end up doing a mixture of both."

It was only a year ago that Perry and his wife Barbara decided to throw their pens and pencils into the professional art ring and take sketching to a new level of potential financial return.

"I’ve been drawing a series of sketchbooks which I hope to release later this year. One will be on Whistler, I’ve finished one on Santa Barbara and there’s plans in the works for books on Hawaii, Tokyo and the California coast too," he said.

Already a succesful sketcher in Australia, Perry has two published books in circulation depicting South Australia’s wine region. His collections have since been sold to private buyers worldwide and ultimately that’s what brought him to Whistler.

"Barbara and I have been coming here since 1994, when we first visited at the invitation of a Singaporean friend. We stayed at his place on the Village Square and immediately fell in love with the resort. We bought our condominium on the second day of our stay and have been spending part of our lives there ever since," he recalled from his "other" home in Palm Springs, California.

So why sketch Whistler then?

"Whistler is such a delightful example of controlled design and town planning that really works," said Perry. "We spent much of 2001 there and it was a great experience to have this extended time to be in Whistler. We witnessed the changes of the seasons and enjoyed village life to its fullest. Winter was fantastic but the summer and autumn were the best of our lives.

"I like to sketch scenes in and around the village in particular because it’s such a unique set up. I like to capture the essence of the comfortable mix between the built environment within its mountain setting."

Come meet Maurice Perry and his wife Barbara next Friday, Aug. 15 from 6 to 8 p.m. and have a glass of wine and an informative chat with the minds behind the masterpieces. Many of Maurice Perry’s sketches in this exhibition will be included in his soon to be released Whistler Sketchbook. Posters, cards and prints will be for sale on the night too. Go to www.perrysketch.com for more details.

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