Retired Langley teachers Jack Turpin and Perry Haddock have been painting together at least three hours a week, sometimes more, for the better part of a decade.
The duo first met while teaching at H.D. Stafford Secondary, but were first brought together in the artists' realm by a mutual friend - fellow retired teacher and painter Darren Perkins, who suggested weekly painting huddles.
Since starting, the trio have been painting together every Thursday at Turpin's Brookswood home, spending the first hour sipping tea and critiquing each other's work, followed by two hours of intense painting.
While Turpin acknowledges the sessions have made him a better painter and helped motivate him through rough spots, it's the incredibly strong friendships that have developed which he cherishes most.
In addition to the weekly sessions, Haddock and Turpin also make periodic painting sojourns, both real fans of painting en plein air (outdoors).
It's what the duo found on some of their most recent day trips to Crescent Beach, White Rock and Chilliwack Lake, as well as an overnighter to Galiano Island, that serve as subject fodder for a new show currently being hung at the Birthplace of B.C. Gallery.
"Jack and I have had some great adventures, road trips that resulted in some of the paintings in the show," said Haddock, a long-time Langley resident who recently moved to Cloverdale. For instance, one adventure took them to Manning Park for two days last fall, where they spent almost every hour of daylight painting.
"We came back with a car full of painting. That was fun," Haddock recounted.
Armed with countless new images never shown before, the pair jumped at the chance for a show about six months ago, when gallery owner Brenda Alberts invited them to do a joint exhibit at Birthplace.
Between the two artists they will have about 30 new paintings available at the show, many from their day trips, others from Haddock's recent trips to France, and some paintings that Turpin is modifying from an ink and watercolour series he did last summer of Fort Langley's Glover Road business district.
Turpin was still painting frantically days before the show, while Haddock gloated that he was simply putting the finishing touches on two he wants to hang.
"In fact, some of his [Turpin's] will still be wet," Haddock joked of his buddy's last minute creations.
Turpin, who thrives under pressure, admitted he would likely be hanging his last piece or two the day of the show.
"All joking aside, honestly I know we're both really pleased to be showing together because we really enjoy painting together," Haddock said.
"For me, it's a chance to show some new work. And, more important, to show with Jack is a real privilege."
Likewise, Turpin said he's honoured to be showing with his friend and such a disciplined and professional artists as Haddock. Both Haddock and Turpin have been artists for years, but didn't seriously pursue their painting until they started coming together for the weekly painting huddles.
"It's not a full-time job for me, it's a passion," Turpin said, still grateful when his art sales can cover his costs.
Regardless of their self-proclaimed professional status, or lack thereof, both men are associates of the Federation of Canadian Artists - Turpin the most recent addition, receiving his certification this past week.
While each have participated in multi-artists shows together in past, this is the first time that Turpin, 63, and Haddock, 62, have paired up to host their own show, aptly named Two for the Road.
Their show at Birthplace starts Saturday, March 21 and runs until Saturday, April 4, with artists in attendance this Saturday and Sunday afternoons. The gallery is open from 11-5 p.m. at 9054 Glover Rd.