Our Island – Jack Duckworth

January 1, 2022 Craig Spence

 Artist Jack Duckworth: “I love the West Coast scenes. Those are the ones I stick to…”

‘Our Island’ the subject of Jack Duckworth’s art

For Artist Jack Duckworth life has come full circle. He grew up in Duncan, and as a youth took up art and music, but put his brushes aside for ‘an extended hiatus’ after studying theology and taking up a ministerial calling.

Retired now, and living in Nanaimo, he has picked up those brushes again, and is busy getting his impressions of Vancouver Island onto canvas. “I love the West Coast scenes,” he said. “Those are the ones I stick to most of the time.”

His land and seascapes will be featured at Rainforest Arts in January and February. “It’s really about the form and the shapes of the land, and how can you express that artistically,” he said.

Getting back into the artist’s perspective has come naturally to him. “I think for me art just is, it’s part of who you are. I simply feel the joy and feel the enjoyment of painting, and I’m grateful that I have that gift.”

But what comes naturally doesn’t necessarily come easily. Art is ‘a practiced skill’ he explained. “I like to think about it as using repertoire as you would in music in the way you use brush strokes and colours, and compositions in pieces.”

He describes an artistic process that progresses through three ‘C’s: Conceiving, Composing and Completing works. “That whole idea of conceiving a painting, and composing a painting and completing a painting is what everybody goes through.”

When is a work of art finished? “The completion is when I sit back and I go, ‘That’s done. So I sign it, but I don’t put it away or frame it yet,” Duckworth said. He leaves it sitting for a few days to see if there’s more to be done to finish the work.

And finishing can mean two very different things: the piece can be ready “to frame, put in gallery and then sell; or break, put in fire and burn.”

Duckworth describes being ‘humbled’ when someone buys his art. “It means they like it and it’s going to live with them,” he said. “So something has clicked in their life and their mind that they like this and they’re going to hang it in their house… that’s both a compliment and I find it very humbling.”

Rainforest arts is located at 9781 Willow Street, Chemainus. Hours are Wednesday to Saturday, 11am to 4pm. For more information go to RainforestArts.ca, phone 250-246-4861, or email info@rainforestarts.ca.