Mission’s Doris Paterson holds up one of her pieces of artwork from a 2008 show. The popular artist and author passed away Wednesday evening.

Well-known Mission artist passes

Paterson a lifetime member of the Mission Arts Council

One of Mission’s best-known artists and writers passed away Wednesday evening, just shy of her 90th birthday.

Doris Paterson was blogging and posting to Facebook up until June 6, when a message on her page said she had weakened and was unable to continue writing.

Doris was a lifetime member of the Mission Arts Council (MAC) and well known in the arts community.

MAC vice-president Mady Pechler met the artist nine years ago and bonded over a mutual interest in modern art.

“I started collecting photographs of her artwork and put them into a database to create a history on the development of her art,” said Pechler.

She described her friend and mentor as honest and opinionated, and who also provided advice and support to fellow artists.

“Her best advice to me was to follow my heart, take a deep breath and go for it.”

Many local residents were posting messages of condolences on the Facebook page.

Among the posts were these thoughts: “A wonderful woman, so inspiring, so funny, so human! She took a big bite out of life, and from reading her works and seeing her in the community, she enjoyed every single moment! We are all better for having shared our moments and laughs.”

Doris was born July 9, 1924 in Portsmouth, England. With a father in the army and then a husband in the Canadian Air Force, she had travelled extensively through most of her life. Even at a young age, Doris was already delving into the depths of art.

She married Anthony Paterson and immigrated to Canada as a war bride, and between 1948 and 1967, she gave birth to 10 children.

While raising her family, Doris found solace in art, or what she called her “life raft.” Shortly after her marriage ended, Doris moved to Mission in 1988 and within a short time became a standout in the artistic community.

She was awarded Woman of the Year in 2001, and named a Pathfinder in Mission in 2005. She was a member of the Federation of Canadian Artists. She used to be a figurative painter, using different mediums, and won many awards, but was known later for her abstract acrylic works.

Doris was also an accomplished writer, and wrote a trio of books about her second husband, Willy, who was famous for cycling miles every day into his late 80s and beyond. Willy passed away April 11, 2014 at the age of 93.

Her third book, The Artist and the Bicycle Man, is in her words from a previous interview, “a story about two older people who are different, meet later in life and adapt to each other and make it work.”

The tea room at the Mission Arts Council’s gallery on First Avenue is named after Doris. An upcoming show at the MAC gallery called Art in Different Forms, will feature 20 pieces of Doris’ work that have never been shown to the public. From June 28 to July 12, the show will be shared with sculptor Barbara Metz. The gallery is located at 33529 First Ave.

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