Joy Singbeil Peirson at a previous show of work at the Elks Hall; her watercolour and line piece Two Camels (below) was one of the desert-influenced paintings featured in her recent show in the UAE.

Return to desert inspires

Joy Singbeil Peirson has work featured in United Arab Emirates

It’s a long way from Al Ain in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) to the White Rock Elks Hall.

But Peninsula artist Joy Singbeil Peirson can soon say she has held exhibits and sales of her work in both places – in the space of barely one month.

The Elks show will be held Nov. 19, from noon to 5 p.m. at the hall (1469 George St.).

Peirson recently returned from a two-week visit to Al Ain – where the former teacher spent two years as head of the English department of the ‘Garden City’ English Speaking School.

There to attend a friend’s 60th birthday, she also managed to hold an art show in another friend’s marble villa/mansion.

For Peirson, the desert landscape of Al Ain has been a recurring theme in her work – it was while teaching there that she rekindled an early interest in painting, which ultimately led to her first sale as a painter.

Two CamelsAnd returning to Al Ain this year provided even further inspiration, as her line and wash watercolours of camels and palm trees attest.

“My 27 originals and numerous prints were hung in (my friend’s) front lobby,” Peirson told Peace Arch News. “Needless to say, the place was huge.

“I sold just about everything and the local magazine, Oasis, did an article on me.”

But Peirson said she still has lots of new watercolours and acrylics and a selection of Christmas cards to sell at the upcoming show, which will also feature the work of local potter Barbara MacDonald.

Also a retired teacher, and a former school principal, MacDonald said she loved the immediacy and responsiveness of working with clay from the time she was in high school, and later when she was in university studying to become an art teacher, although career and a family put her development as a potter “on hold” until six years ago.

“Learning about glazes and surface decoration has been so interesting – there are infinite ways to add details and colours and textures,” she said.

“I continue to explore and push myself to try new ways to enliven a pot or a bowl, and through my explorations I have developed some favourite glazes and surface decoration techniques.”

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