Catherine Taron
Vancouver Island Visual Artist

The Old Wickaninnish Inn 1977

12 x 16 acrylic on rough wood panel

This painting was a gift to my parents, returned to me after my father died and my mother subsequently sold the family home. I painted it in 1977, while sitting on the edge of the now-long-gone parking lot beside the old Wickaninnish Inn; the Inn was redeveloped shortly afterward into a national park interpretive centre, which is now called the Kwisitis Centre. On the day of this painting, I’d left my two toddler sons with a friend so that, for the first time, I could join a small group of beginner painters. The weekend workshop was convened by an artist, who travelled to Pacific Rim National Park from the Cowichan Valley, where, coincidentally, I now live. My mother, who lived in the Valley then and still does, knew the artist and urged me to participate. It was the first time I painted outdoors and, if I recall correctly, my first acrylic painting. At the time, my focus was solely on raising my kids, and any plan to take up painting was still a dream for a distant future.