In this episode of Art on the Island Maureen Bader talks to Cortes Island writer and artist Judith Williams. Judith has lived on Cortes for 10 years but lived for many years on West Redonda Island before, so knows Cortes Island well.
Judith spoke primarily about her new book, Cougar Companions. This book compiles photographs of the Schnarr family of Cortes Island, and focuses on the two young daughters and the raising of two cougar cubs their father gave them, as pets. August Schnarr was a photographer who captured these experiences on the family homestead. This is her fifth book.
Judy taught painting, drawing, theory and installation work at UBC, retiring in 2001. She is also an accomplished painter. An art installation at UBC got Judy interested in local topics and led to her first book. As a tenured faculty member Judy showed her work and some of that work has been collected.
Judy started off as a painter and still paints. Judy views her books as art projects, like installations of ideas, and those ideas and paintings coalesce into books. Listen as Judy describes how she got her start at UBC and her work with her teacher B.C. Binning, a leading Canadian artist.
Judy paints primarily in watercolour and has done figurative work describing life in a co-op in Refuge Cove. She had two large exhibits in Vancouver with these works. Now, Judy does daily coloured drawings and water-based media on canvas.