Vancouver Island artist Craig Bauer has been painting since he was a child.

He says he gets his inspiration from our little piece of paradise.

“It’s really the drama of the wild of the west coat, as well as the skies and everything around us and how fast the clouds move,” Bauer explains.

Bauer is one of dozens of artists taking part in the annual TD Art Gallery Paint-In.

Thousands of people flood Moss Street for the event, which has grown over the years to become Vancouver Island’s largest outdoor art show.

“I think it’s really cool,” says Grace Parkes, who came with her mother and grandmother. “We get to see all kinds of artists showcasing their work without the whole vibe of being inside.”

This is the 32nd year for the popular event, which is a fundraiser for the Greater Victoria Art Gallery.

Attendees say they love the sense of space.

“We were just in Paris and everyone said don’t go see the Mona Lisa because you can’t see it so it’s nice to be able to get up close and personal and talk to the artists,” says Lois Parkes.

For the artists, that interaction with the crowd is equally as important.

“I love talking to everybody,” says artist Miles Lowry. “I grew up in Victoria so I keep running into people i haven’t seen in 12 years or 20 years or 30 years so it’s great.”

Baur, who’s also created ‘usable art’ with limited edition art water bottles, couldn’t agree more.

“The people and being outside, because I love painting outside, and to be able to just have an experience for people who live in the area or visiting the area to see working artists,” he says.

Tess van Straaten