A watercolour painting by Capt. Percival (Buck) de P. Taylor titled Impression-Tranquility. (Sooke Region Museum)

CURATOR’S CORNER: Late artist’s work celebrates Sooke

Capt. Percival (Buck) de P. Taylor was First World War vet

Montana Stanley | Contributed

This summer’s temporary exhibit on the history of the arts in Sooke was unfortunately postponed due to COVID-19 precautions. However, we can still be excited about some recent art donations from Sooke Region Museum historian Elida Peers.

We were delighted to receive two paintings from Peers’ collection on Aug. 14. They were painted by artist Capt. Percival (Buck) de P. Taylor, they join other works of his in our collection. The paintings were gifted to Peers while he lay ill with shingles in the 1970s.

The captain, a veteran of the First World War, arrived in Sooke in 1921 from England, settling first into a seven-hectare farm site across from Woodside Farm, and later into the renowned Deerlepe mansion.

Taylor took up painting and soon became one of Sooke’s most prolific and popular artists, specializing in watercolours. He grew wholly involved in Sooke’s art and social scene and was part of the formation of the Sooke Art Society in 1959 and the Sooke Art Group in 1960.

In 1963, Taylor gave an exhibition of his paintings at the Sooke branch of the Royal Canadian Legion. Scenes depicted ranged from the Sooke Region to Ontario, Alberta, even South Carolina. He skillfully captured imagery such as “the glory of a stand of first growth timber near Grassy Lake.” It was noted that the exhibition brought visitors from near and far and that Taylor put an immense amount of work and care into arranging the display.

The museum opened in 1977, and a black wool beret, worn by the captain as he did his Civil Defense rounds in Sooke from the end of Second World War to the late 1960s, was the 83rd donation that year. The captain was well-known for his work with the Legion since its inception, as well as his Civil Defense responsibilities.

On April 12, 1978, the museum announced it would be caring for paintings, including some watercolours by Taylor. The paintings, owned by the Sooke Community Association, were works by local artists that had been on display at the Sooke library. The community association formed a committee in 1973 to establish a community art collection, and these pieces have been in the museum’s care ever since.

Taylor was particularly passionate about preserving Sooke’s historical record through his creations.

In 2013, three of Taylor’s paintings were donated from his comrades at the Sooke Legion. Peers accepted them on the occasion of the museum’s open house. In his later years, living in another historic home built by the Throup family, he had a studio on the lower floor, which he called “B Deck.”

After his death, he was canonized in Sooke’s art world, and his pieces grace the walls of many Sooke homes.

You can view some of these works and read more about the captain’s history in our art display next summer.

•••

Montana Stanley Collections and Exhibits Manager Sooke Region Museum and Visitor Centre.

ArtMuseumSooke

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Voters in Saanich North and the Islands, here lining up outside Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre on the first day of advanced voting, are among the provincial leaders in getting in their votes early, with some 20 per cent (10,174) of eligible voters have already cast their ballots. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
It’s Election Day in B.C.: Here’s what you need to know to vote

B.C.’s snap election has already broken records for advance voter turnout, mail-in ballots

Shay Baker, 17, hasn’t been seen or heard from since Oct. 21 and is wanted on outstanding warrants. (Victoria Police Department)
Victoria police searching for high-risk missing youth

Shay Baker, 17, is wanted on outstanding warrants

Plastic Ocean by Oak Bay resident Gabriela Hirt is in the Federation of Canadian Artist’s “Crisis” exhibition on now in Vancouver. (Gabriela Hirt/cropped to fit)
Oak Bay artist wins juried show in Vancouver

Pair of Oak Bay artists part of ‘Crisis’ exhibition

The M’akola Housing Society is looking to build two new residences in Sooke to help provide affordable accommodation for local Indigenous people. The projects were granted nearly $1.1 million toward their construction through the Regional Housing Trust Fund. (Photo courtesy M’Akola Housing Society)
Regional Housing First Program strikes another chord in Greater Victoria

Affordable housing partnership grants will help house over 100 people on income assistance

Online reservation service, First Table, allows Victoria diners to have dinner at half-price if they’re willing to be flexible about when they go. (Black Press Media file photo)
New reservation service allows Victoria residents to dine out at half price

First Table gives Victoria diners 50 per cent off when they book tables during off-peak hours

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Liberals Leader Andrew Wilkinson, BC Greens Sonia Furstenau, BC NDP John Horgan (The Canadian Press photos)
British Columbians vote in snap election called during COVID-19 pandemic

At dissolution, the NDP and Liberals were tied with 41 seats in the legislature, while the Greens held two seats

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

Most Read