Nelson painter Sarah Buist first started selling her work a few years ago, starting small with farmer’s markets and commissions for friends. She made a point of giving one of her favourite pieces to her grandmother, Gail Latimer, who had been her biggest champion and fan.
“I gave her one of my paintings and she told me to never give up, because she thought it was amazing and she really believed in me,” Buist, who is teaching abstract art to residents of Anderson Gardens, told the Star. She was approached recently by organizer Shonna Hayes to teach it.
“I just lost my grandmother a year and a half ago, and with her I lost that connection to the older generation. So when I heard about this idea I was all over it.”
She’s introduced them to fluid painting and knife painting as well as a variety of different mediums, textures and canvases.
“They’ve got a lot of questions, and they’re so excited, so as a teacher it’s a pleasure to work with them.”
And the most important thing for Buist: fun.
“In my own work I’ve noticed that sometimes if you take your art too seriously you lose the fun. I want them to understand you don’t have to be an amazing artist to have fun with it. You can just take a brush and make a stroke, and every brushstroke is therapeutic.”
She also gets a kick our of their company.
“They’re an eccentric group of ladies, like me, so we get along well.”
Buist said she feels fortunate to live in a town with local art initiatives like the Blue Night Arts Festival and ArtWalk. She admires the way Shambhala Music Festival has created an outlet for a huge number of artists.
“I love how here in Nelson, as artists we all support each other and bring everybody up.”