We’d seen her studio in progress – imagined by her and her husband, its builder – and were excited to go and see it. Finished, occupied, and adorned with her art during her first Open Studio days.
The drive to Metchosin was gorgeous, all reds and golds and greens, and art studios and farmstands and curvy roads, the perfect respite from the traffic and houses of nearby Victoria. We turn onto the property and wind our way round the towering trees and up through the lush forest to a sign, some buildings, and a door.
Our inner selves sigh with the peace of it all, but still the anticipation is high as we enter the foyer. Perfect architectural proportions show off carefully-placed pieces, and we stop to take in the energy, the light, the textures, the colours.
We remember these stairs and wall, those big windows and the soaring ceiling from our building-site visit, but now of course, it all assembles into a beautiful whole, a place of quiet repose and intense creativity now animated with her art and with those who have come to see it, and her.
We greet and are greeted. We share hugs and learn new faces and names. But there is so much to see, to explore, to allow in. I move away while others chat.
This space is grounded. It feels contented and full of life. Every corner of it has been well thought out, drawing on knowledge, experience, and instinct. Small vignettes of meaningful personal items share shelf space with installations created for past shows.
The evolution of her work is evident in all that graces the walls, as the tools of her trade sit quietly in their own beautiful tableau.
Up some stairs in a tiny nook overlooking the studio, filled with light from an overhead skylight, a cushion-filled sofa suggests the odd nap while an adjacent desk holds computers and screens and cameras for her online creativity coaching business.
This piece is familiar, the stitches a reminder of that time years ago when a drunk driver t-boned her car. And she survived. Became who she is regardless.
Her favourite piece is always her current piece, she says, showing us a powerful and compelling canvas in blacks and greys on the end wall.
Journals are her trusted companions, a private place to muse, to draw, to collect…ideas, thoughts, questions. One whole shelf is filled with them while her current one sits at the ready whenever the spirit moves her.
I love the freedom this space reveals, the courage to try new things and let go of limitations. I love the colours and the shapes and the light, of the space, of the art. And I love the chairs outside just below the window, a place to sit and allow the wisdom and the energy of this place to hold your soul for awhile.
Even the handmade barn door has a job, hiding canvasses and packaging and recycling bins, doing its job helping keep the peace and good order of this space.
And I love this woman, this artist, this heart that is always ready to listen, to encourage, to support others to open their energy up to what lies within that needs a way out.
She married my brother. Together they are a formidable duo, creative and thoughtful and led by their connection to the Field. And you, too, are welcome to visit and experience this place, its colours and shapes, its energy. Its creator. Give her a hug for me. ( www.cheryltaves.com )