Tofino Artist Ursula Banke
Immersed in the wild and natural beauty around me, I am deeply inspired and dedicated to a life-long romance with the west coast of Vancouver Island and, as a self-taught artist, I am challenged to communicate this love of 'seeing and feeling the spirit', through my watercolour paintings.
As a young girl, growing up in St.Catharines, Ontario, I was privileged to have the support of my parents and my art teachers and was happiest when I expressed myself through my art and music. As a young woman, in the first year of living with my husband, I was given a fine present of sable brushes, tubes of Winsor Newton watercolor paint and a block of Arches watercolour paper. That was when I became serious about watercolours. We spent the next 15 years, raising our family, living like pioneers on an island in Clayoquot Sound. Throughout those years, we were active in the arts, my husband – Carl Banke – carved wood, I carved stone and painted, and our children grew to be talented and creative individuals. When we moved to the village of Tofino, I coordinated an after-school arts program for talented children that continued for 8 seasons. We would end each season with a children's community art show. Over the following decade, I had little time to paint or volunteer because of the growing demands of being a working mother.
In June, 2003, I was driven with the desire to paint again. Drawing on my mind's eye, I feel connected to my environment, connected to my passion, when I paint. I challenge my 'seeing and feeling', and through that process I am motivated and inspired. I find my best learning is done through the discipline of daily practice. My joy is trying something new in my application and finding that it works. I have donated paintings to various community organizations for their fund raising initiatives. Over that past year I have completed over 300 watercolour paintings of seascapes in various sizes. I have recently started to paint florals. It's a tough learning curve, but I love the challenge and discipline.
My short-term goal is to achieve active status with the Federation of Canadian Artists and to participate in juried exhibitions. My long-term goal is to become a master artist and to share with others, the joy of learning to paint in watercolour.
My watercolour paintings are on display at the Island Folk Gallery in Tofino and the DuQuah Gallery in Ucluelet. I also attend various local 'Artist in Action' events and the Annual Pacific Rim Arts Society Art Show. My first solo art show, titled 'Westcoast Waterworks', a collection of 3 dozen framed seascapes, landscapes and floral watercolours was held in mid September 2004 at the Tofino Botanical Gardens in Tofino, and then moved on to Ucluelet.
You can see some of Ursula Banke's paintings at the Reflecting Spirit Art Gallery in Tofino.
Tofino artist Ursula Banke lived on an island in Clayoquot Sound for 15 years. Find her watercolour paintings at Reflecting Spirit Art Gallery in Tofino.