No one in Vancouver paints the rain quite like veteran artist David Wilson.
His sumptuously colourful images typically feature soaked streets and sidewalks in the day or night. They often include umbrella-toting passersby and motor vehicles making their way through the city.
But at this year’s Eastside Culture Crawl, Wilson is revealing his artistic take in those in-between periods in Vancouver. Entitled Day Into Night, this exhibition at the Parker Street Studios (206–1000 Parker Street) also includes new monochromatic works on paper, board, and canvas.
“I want to create an exhibition of Vancouver for Vancouver,” Wilson tells the Straight by phone. “The theme Day Into Night is meant to capture the sort of transitional period: the shift from day to night or even night to day.”
He points out that residents sometimes miss these transitional moments because they pass so quickly.
“I wanted to capture those in painted form,” he says.
As a kid growing up in Powell River, Wilson drew cartoons and pictures for hours on end. A high-school art teacher introduced him to painting.
Back then, Wilson read that it takes about 20 years for an artist to solidify a career, so he decided to go for it. He took courses at what is now Emily Carr University of Art + Design, but he says that mostly he learned through trial and error. “It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do.”
Nowadays, Wilson can usually anticipate what a painting will look like long before it’s completed.
“Sometimes,” he adds, “I’ll have something arise that wasn’t expected.”
Wilson notes that this is more often the case with works on cardboard in comparison to art on canvas or boards.
“Preparing canvasses is a fairly large investment of time and money, whereas cardboard is disposable,” he says. “It’s recyclable.”
His interest in painting the exterior of the Dunbar Theatre originated while he was living in that part of town. Now a resident of East Vancouver, he’s also painted many other local landmarks, including the Burrard Bridge, the exterior of the Stanley Theatre, and the Granville Mall south of West Georgia Street.
He has a simple philosophy when it comes to paintings: whatever he lets out the door must be a work of art that he would happily hang on his own wall.
“Sometimes there are works that just don’t meet that standard,” Wilson revealed. “I end up painting over top of them or I cut them up and throw them away.”