Sunday, August 07, 2011

Saltspring Getaway

For our 6th wedding anniversary, Steve and I took a trip to Saltspring Island on the BC Coast this weekend. I wrote a bit about our trip yesterday...

In search of laid back days spent exploring sunny uncrowded beaches, we booked a long weekend on Saltspring Island. After our first day on the island we chatted with the other guests at the B & B over breakfast and found that almost unanimously we'd looked at real estates prices and considered what we'd need to do to make the island home.

For me, I've never gotten over the beauty of my childhood home in Oregon, and whenever I visit another town that makes me feel the same way, the planning begins. I felt it most strongly as we drove at dusk past farms and homesteads on one side, and dense forests on the other. Saltspring Island is home year round to 10,000 lucky individuals, and boasts BC's largest artisan community.

I decided that this trip wouldn't be another picture-less one, and began snapping anything and everything of interest from the ferry as we sailed over from Vancouver. Beacons and fishing trawlers, pretty tree lined coasts and boats out for a day on the water.



Once we arrived, photos from our hikes and adventures: Steve inspecting grapes at the winery, a pretty deer at the side of the road, sheep grazing in a field.



On Friday we walked around Ganges, stopping in every bookstore and art gallery we found. Wandering through Gallery 8 I stopped in front of one particular image - a stunning watercolor landscape of the Salt Spring Coast, painted in a photo-realistic style by Carol Evans. The sunlight played on the water with that particular happiness you feel when hiking in a new spot with someone you love. As I looked at piece after piece it reminded me just how attached I am to the beauty of the coast, and how much a part of my story it's become.


(The above painting is by Carol Evans - you can visit her site here to see more of her work.)

Just steps away, a very different painting, oil on canvas by David Goatley. Immediately I was struck by the tender look of this piece. A couple from decades past enjoy an afternoon drinking wine nestled in front of a pretty red roadster on a sunny day, with fall just starting to show itself in the orange leaves on the trees overhead.

Back at our room I look through the book of Carol Evans work I got from the gallery, and can't help but compare the rocky outcrop and beacon in one of her paintings to a photo I took from the ferry just the day before. Definitely the same beacon, at a slightly different angle.

As we settle into the heady rhythm of the island - a pleasant routine punctuated by hikes, delicious locally grown food, and viewing artisan wares I find myself wanting to know more about this town and it's history.

Back at the B&B Steve's looking through a selection of works from David Goatley's portfolio and notices that he painted Robert Bateman's portrait, an artist who lives on the island and whose work is famous worldwide. On the next page we spot a portrait of Canadian folk singer Valdy, who also calls Saltspring home. At that point I begin to wonder just how small this island is.


(The above painting is by Julia Lucich, you can see more of her work here.)

If I went to the right bar on any given night would I see all of these wonderful artists enjoying a pint together? Would Robert Bateman be dispensing helpful critiques as Julia Lucich discusses her latest work, with Goatley and Evans looking on?

I'm sure the locals know.

We return home tomorrow, skin golden brown, with bright memories of a weekend away from the city, and plans to return to Saltspring next summer.

~Amy

4 comments:

Scott Simmons Salt Spring Island said...

If I went to the right bar on any given night would I see all of these wonderful artists enjoying a pint together? Would Robert Bateman be dispensing helpful critiques as Julia Lucich discusses her latest work, with Goatley and Evans looking on? You would probably see them but more than likely they would be chatting local politics. Thanks Amy for such a nice article about Salt Spring Island.

Amy - Thank You Cards Shop said...

Thanks Scott - your comment made me smile! :)

Pinecone Camp said...

So you're originally from Oregon? Such a beautiful state. We're hoping to do a bit of a road trip down that way soon. What town are you from?
Btw, I've now subscribed. ;)

Amy said...

Hey Janis - thanks for stopping by! We lived out in the country in Oregon City, near Canby (20-30m from Portland). Portland is a great city, and the coast is wonderful too :)

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