Eastside Culture Crawl: Tiffany Blaise relies on light and imagination to create luminous BC landscapes

A key component of Vancouver artist Tiffany Blaise’s practice is exploring the connections between her personal feelings and the landscape. That’s because she feels landscapes and ocean landscapes around Vancouver are full of dynamism.

“I think there’s a huge connection between that and my own personal thoughts,” Blaise said Just by telephone. “So that’s how I channel everything through my painting.”

She grew up in West Vancouver and was exposed to rushing seas and captivating mountains. Her paintings show a fine-tuned appreciation of the light in a landscape because she believes this adds a lively sense of life.

She also stressed that her paintings do not just capture these 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, Sparkling coast, is an example of this. It shows the edge of the ocean almost resembling the gemstones ringing a shiny, golden beach.

“With that piece, it was really about highlighting the light and the texture,” Blaise said. “So that’s why I really worked in several thin layers of oil paint, just to create the luminescent look in the sand.”

She revealed that she added drama by building the texture of the waves. In this case, Blaise achieved this by applying wax and oil paint with a palette knife.

She relies on photographs for inspiration and sometimes incorporates the sky from one image with a wave from another image into a single painting.

“I find that as I continue in my career, my work has become more and more dynamic and more expressionist,” she said.

Sparkling coast
Tiffany Blaise

Blaise took an art degree from Concordia University in Montreal before moving to Melbourne to become an artist. She feels very lucky because her parents always supported her passion for becoming an artist.

“My mom is pretty creative, too,” Blaise remarked. “She put me in different art classes from a younger age. My dad is an entrepreneur, so he really understands that side of things: To want to somehow build your own practice.”

This year, Blaise is participating in her fourth Eastside Culture Crawl in her fourth studio, this time in Studio One One Six (116 East Pender Street).

“It has been a wonderful experience every year,” she said. “I’m always looking forward to it.”

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