A central component of Vancouver artist Tiffany Blaise’s practice explores links between her personal emotions and the landscape. That’s because she feels that landscapes and seascapes around Vancouver are full of dynamics.
“I find there is a huge connection between that and my own personal thoughts,” Blaise told the Straight by phone. “So that’s how I channel everything through my painting.”
Growing up in West Vancouver, she was exposed to tumultuous seas and attractive mountains. Her paintings show a finely tuned appreciation for the light in a landscape because she believes this adds a spiritual sense of vitality.
She also emphasized that her paintings do not simply record those scenes as they appear to the eye.
“I imagine what colors would make the landscape more vibrant … and I use a lot of jewel tones,” Blaise said.
One of her paintings, Shining Shore, is an example of this. It shows the edge of the sea looking almost like gems ringing a bright, golden beach.
“With that piece, it was really about highlighting the light and the texture,” Blaise said. “So that’s why I really worked on several thin layers of oil paint, just to create that luminescent look in the sand.”
She revealed that she added drama by building the texture of the waves. In this case, Blaise accomplished this by applying wax and oil paints with a palette knife.
She relies on photographs for inspiration, sometimes assimilating the sky of one image with a wave of another image into a single painting.
“I find that as I continue my career, my work has become more and more dynamic and more expressionist,” she said.
Blaise earned a fine arts degree from Concordia University in Montreal before moving to Melbourne for artist residency. She feels very lucky because her parents have always supported her passion to become an artist.
“My mom is pretty creative, too,” Blaise remarked. “She put me in different art classes from a younger age. My father is an entrepreneur, so he really gets that side of things: wanting to build your own practice.”
This year, Blaise is participating in his fourth Eastside Culture Crawl in his fourth studio, this time at Studio One One Six (116 East Pender Street).
“It was an amazing experience every year,” she said. “I’m always looking forward to it.”