Take a Peak: Joyce Furness

Surroundings inspire local painter

Painter Joyce Furness moved to Powell River in 2006 from Ontario and said she is constantly inspired by the scenery around the area. Furness is known for her striking acrylic and watercolour paintings, a selection of which are currently featured at the Peak office. She shares a studio space with painter Lorna Downie and fibre artist Christine Oakley, in Townsite below Rodmay Hotel, that they call Ash Street Studio.

When did you start painting?
I started years and years ago. I went to the Ontario College of Art back in the 1960s and I’ve painted my whole life, on and off, but it was when we moved to Powell River and retired that I was able to really get involved in my art and spend a lot more time at it.

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How did moving here inspire or influence your art?
It influenced me tremendously, just because everything around Powell River is so beautiful. I was raised in Ontario where it’s completely different country; the colours are different and the atmosphere is as well. For one thing, I find that I don’t use reds very much anymore, because we don’t have the reds you get in Ontario. I use the softer colours, the oranges, blues and yellows. But, mainly, I was just overwhelmed by how much there is to paint around here that is beautiful.

You’ve been here more than 10 years now. How have you changed your artwork over that time?
I’m becoming a bit more experimental with my pictures because I’ve already done the obvious. Now I want to make paintings that are more creative.

Does your studio space in Townsite help with the creative process?
It makes a huge difference because it’s a larger space that gets inside your head, so you think larger.

What kinds of techniques are you experimenting with?
I’ve been using a palette knife more and I’m approaching things with a bolder aspect. I still do a lot of watercolours and those are documenting Powell River, so they won’t change or become experimental; they are more a documentation of the area.

What advice would you give to young artists trying to find their style and process?
Just keep doing it, like any of us. The more you do it, the more you learn.

For more information, go to joycefurnessartscapes.com.

Copyright © Powell River Peak

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