Sisters Anne and Marley McKillop did some outdoor art at Sendall Gardens in Langley on Sunday. They were taking part in the annual Opus outdoor challenge. Dan Ferguson Langley Advance Times

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One-day event for artists gives them just hours to produce a finished work

When Marley McKillop heard about the Opus outdoor art challenge, the six-year-old Langley Fine Arts student knew she had to take part.

And so, on a sunny Sunday morning (May 26) in Sendall Gardens, Marley and little sister Anne, 2 1/2, were seated on a blanket, industriously painting.

Dad David McKillop smiled as he watched.

“I think we’ll do it again next year,” he said.

Professional artist Jenny Lewis, a Cloverdale resident, was back for her third challenge, mixing acrylic paint and ink.

“You come and you paint and you have a good time,” Lewis said.

For Lewis, who usually works in the secluded quiet of her indoor studio, working outdoors in a public park with passers by chatting was slightly distracting. so she listened to music on headphones as she concentrated on her subject, a tree.

It would not be a literal image of a tree, she cautioned a Langley Advance Times reporter, as she prepared to apply an explosion of colours.

READ ALSO: ‘Extraordinary’ vet captured on canvas by Aldergrove artist

Sarah Power, a graphic designer and aspiring artist from Surrey, arrived prepared for the sun with a wide-brimmed hat.

Power said there was a good chance that her work, in watercolours, would form part of her upcoming exhibitions in October, at what she described as a Crescent beach pop-up.

Elsewhere in Sendall Gardens, other artists of varying ages and abilities were also trying a hand at capturing the beauty of the four-acre park located at 202 Street and 50 Avenue.

They were among an estimated 240 people in Langley who took part in the eighth annual Opus outdoor competition, painting at various outdoor Langley locations before returning to the central site, a tent in Portage Park, to draw for prizes.

Participants only had a few hours to produce a finished work.

The event started at 10 a.m. and all artists were required to have their work completed by in time for the prize draw at 5 p.m.

It was not a “juried” contest, coordinator Chakara Brown explained.

“We want to to get the whole province painting,” Brown said.

Prizes ranged from $20 to around $250.

Marley McKillop was thrilled when she drew a prize — $50 worth of paint.

Challenges were also staged in Coquitlam, downtown Vancouver, Granville Island, Kelowna, North Vancouver and Victoria.

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Artist Jenny Lewis mixed acrylic paint and ink for her contribution to the Opus Paint Challenge. Lewis, a Cloverdale resident, was one of dozens who took part at various Langley locations. Dan Ferguson Langley Advance Times

Sarah Power worked in water colours. The graphic designer was preparing for an exhibition of her work in Crescent Beach in October. Dan Ferguson Langley Advance Times

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