'Lavender Fields' by Judy Roy is one of eight paintings she will have in this year's art show.

'Lavender Fields' by Judy Roy is one of eight paintings she will have in this year's art show.

Cache Creek artist Judy Roy has picked up the brushes again

Following the death of her husband Ben - her biggest fan - Roy didn't paint for a year; but she will have eight works in this year's show.

One in a series of articles profiling local artists, in the run-up to the Ashcroft Art Club’s 50th anniversary show. It runs from April 21 to April 25, 2017 at St. Alban’s Anglican Church Hall.

Anyone who has ever watched an episode of the long-running PBS show The Joy of Painting will know that artist Bob Ross made the process look easy, turning out a finished painting in under 30 minutes. Cache Creek artist Judy Roy certainly thought it looked easy, when she began painting in 1998 after watching the show.

“He made it look so easy, but it isn’t,” she says with a laugh. But her husband Ben encouraged her by buying a Bob Ross painting kit for her, and then an easel, and then sending Judy—along with their daughter Heidi—to France for three weeks, so that they could take two weeks of art lessons and learn more about French painters. “It was quite an inspiration.” Apart from these lessons and a couple of classes, Roy is self-taught.

She paints a lot in water-based oil, which is similar to oil paint but makes clean-up much easier, as no turpentine is needed to clean brushes. “I like water-based oils because you can mix them easily, as they don’t dry so quickly. But in the last couple of years I’ve moved into acrylics as well.”

Roy says that she did not paint for a year after Ben died, but a few months ago decided to pick up the brushes again. She has eight paintings in this year’s art show: four water-based oils and four acrylics.

“I’m all over the map with subjects,” she says. “This year I painted a couple of old Ashcroft buildings, including the old fire hall, and a Tuscan cottage. I also like landscapes and flowers. If I see something I like, I’ll try painting it.”

She says she took up painting at age 45, when the children were grown and she had more time. “I wanted to take up painting and hockey, and I’m still doing both.” She notes that her daughter Heidi has always supported her, by providing feedback. “And Ben was my biggest fan. He had nothing but praise for anything I did.”

Roy has been a member of the Ashcroft Art Club since 2010, became the secretary in 2011, and is currently the secretary-treasurer. She attends the meetings, but is unable to attend the bi-monthly painting sessions due to work demands.

“Something I like about painting is that it makes you look at things differently,” she says. “A winter scene, for example: you realize that snow isn’t white; there are so many colours. And sagebrush: there is no sagebrush colour. You have to mix it yourself.”

Roy is now encouraging her grandchildren to take up the hobby. “They really enjoy it.” She notes that she comes from a long line of painters: her mother painted, and her daughter Heidi paints. “It just took me a while to find the time.”