Portrait of an Artist: Elyse Dodge
Stirring light and progressive subject matter combine to enhance the sense of motion in Elyse Dodge’s work. The Vancouver artist often paints the elements, particularly the ocean and the sky, and, in doing so, captures their fluid state.
"I could stare at the ocean all day long... it's just mesmerizing to me," she says.
Her process begins by creating a collection of images arranged on a mood board. When working with these visual supports, Dodge considers aspects such as perspective and emotion, and then translates these elements onto her medium, whether canvas or fabric.
"Once I've got the idea in there and can visualize it, I just start going," she says, noting that the other key for her is painting to music—music becomes a tool, her paintbrush.
Dodge took to art at a very young age—with a pencil and paintbrush—while being homeschooled: "My mom is an artist, so I was raised in a house with art," she says "Art was everywhere."
Today, a major part of Dodge’s life is applying her creative drive and ingenuity to leadership roles for many events and conferences, including FUEL Vancouver, the Crystal Ball for B.C. Children's Hospital, and the Squamish Valley Music Festival 2014.
This community involvement extends to non-profit work; Dodge has been involved in several missionary projects that have brought her overseas to work in various communities. She has also supported the Let Us Create project in Cambodia, which is similar to an orphanage that supports the arts.
In support of Let Us Create, Dodge held an art show called Bokeh Blue in 2010, with a collection that was born out of a crossroads in her life. With the obscured lens in mind, Dodge delineated a sense of mystery in her work that was hinged on a feeling of uncertainty at the time. In the work titled Koi, she illustrates the depth of ocean in a similar fashion using a sinuous stream of reflections.
In her more recent works, such as Mount Poly, Dodge has taken a more structural approach, using minimal lines and geometric shapes. The pieces have encouraged her to use fresh palette choices intended to compliment neutral tones and a modern-look in home decor. In her piece Autumn, she worked with a bold, warm palette. Lately, she has been using fluorescent, vibrant colours to communicate energy and bring life to subdued environments.
Dodge's work culminates to deliver a strong sense of the creator—vibrant with a penchant for adaptability. To Dodge, "Art isn't really a specific medium. It translates across a lot of different platforms and... At the end of the day, it's still just a form of expressing thoughts."
Dodge plans to continue merging her talents with the objective of having a foundation that supports people to pursue their dreams.