A typical view at Cluxewe, Brian Buckrell’s favorite place to paint

Brian Buckrell’s favorite place to paint combines the primitive with the comfortable. Shouldn’t the best plein air painting spots be just so? 

“Cluxewe Morning,” by Brian Buckrell, 2013, oil, 8 x 10 in.

Actually, his favorite location provides the primitive, and it accommodates the comfort that Buckrell and his wife bring to it. The British Columbia artist likes to go to a recreational vehicle (RV) park on Vancouver Island. It’s called Cluxewe Resort, although Buckrell’s preferred area is primarily a few RV hookups and some hiking trails. A café and some cottages are located elsewhere on the property, which sits on Kwakiutl land. Golf courses nearby interest friends of Buckrell’s who travel with him to the spot.

“Cluxewe Spring,” by Brian Buckrell, 2010, oil, 8 x 10 in.

A beach scene at Cluxewe Resort

“My favorite spot is on a spit of land, with the ocean inlet on one side and a river or estuary on the other,” says Buckrell. “It has hookups for RVs, so we stay for a week at a time, at least once a year. You get a completely different scene if you look right or left. We see lots of wildlife — bears, seals, whales, birds — and there are no bugs. Nobody has screens on their windows.”

“Cluxewe River,” by Brian Buckrell, 2009, acrylic on board, 11 x 14 in. 

Buckrell lives just two hours away from Cluxewe, and it’s a mere $17 a day to park his RV and use the hookups. “My wife and I are retired now, so this is what I do with my new life,” says the artist. “I paint, and we do some kayaking, biking, hiking, sing a few songs, play some golf. There’s something for everybody. But I like the changing conditions. You’ll get heavy storm clouds, tide changes, sunrises, sunsets — it’s just a sandbar with loose soil and a few trees and grasses, so you can get the sunrise and the sunset from the same spot. I can capture boats going along the channel, and great skies, all the time.”

“Over the Estuary,” by Brian Buckrell, 2009, acrylic, 11 x 14 in.

Buckrell used to be more active, but he’s slowing down a bit, and the RV allows some creature comforts in a landscape the artist describes as “primitive. It’s simple and not crowded. Nature lovers would love it. Look left, look right, look up and look down, everywhere it’s something different. That’s what appeals to me.”


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