Inspired by nature, the west coast and Canadian art history, Mike Wright’s acrylic paintings are now on display through December at Art Matters Art Centre at the Harbour Quay.
Wright is a long-time artist and shipwright who spent more than 20 years living and creating art in a remote area near Tofino. He has recently moved to Port Alberni where he continues to be inspired by the world around him.
Dabbling in several different mediums throughout his life, Wright, now, predominantly creates his works with acrylic paint.
“I used to paint in oil for like 20 years but it was too dirty,” Wright said. “I went to acrylics and the acrylics are well accepted now and they’re colorful and they dry fast.”
Wright’s artistic endeavors began at the young age of three in London, England—Where he was born—when his uncle would bring home large paper rolls from work.
“I’d always be drawing,” he said. “When I got to Canada in 1955, I wasn’t very good at much at school but in art classes I was always doing great.”
Often painting right on location, looking at a landscape or scene, Wright said “expressionism” is his style of painting.
“You’re trying to express your feelings about the place where you were at,” Wright said. “I used to be very, very careful and do realism. I think you need to master that, at least get good at it, before you go into being loose and abstract.”
Influenced by Canadian art history and artists like Tom Thomson, Emily Carr and Edwin Holgate, Wright says these vivid artists would also often paint spontaneously right at a spot.
“You can be colourful and be free and have fun with it,” Wright said. “It’s easier than meticulously trying to do something.”
Wright enjoys the freedom of west coast lifestyle and believes Port Alberni could attract a lot of artists because of the town’s affordability.
Visit the Art Matters Art Centre-gallery and artist collective at the entrance to the Harbour Quay throughout December to view Wright’s art.