Eastside Culture Crawl: Tiffany Blaise relies on light and imagination to create luminescent B.C. landscapes

The Vancouver artist sometimes makes use of jewel tones and a palette knife to inject energy and texture into her paintings

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      A central component of Vancouver artist Tiffany Blaise’s practice is exploring links between her personal emotions and the landscape. That’s because she feels that landscapes and seascapes around Vancouver are full of dynamism.

      “I find there’s a huge connection between that and my own personal thoughts,” Blaise told the Straight by phone. “So that’s how I kind of channel everything through my painting.”

      Growing up in West Vancouver, she was exposed to roiling seas and captivating mountains. Her paintings show a finely tuned appreciation for the light in a landscape because she believes that this adds a spirited sense of liveliness.

      She also emphasized that her paintings do not simply record these scenes as they appear to the eye.

      “I kind of imagine what colours would make the landscape more vibrant…and I use a lot of jewel tones,” Blaise said.

      One of her paintings, Glimmering Shore, is an example of this. It shows the edge of the sea looking almost like 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 that luminescent look in the sand.”

      She revealed that she added drama by building up the texture of the waves. In this instance, Blaise accomplished this by applying wax and oil paints with a palette knife.

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

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

      Glimmering Shore
      Tiffany Blaise

      Blaise earned a fine-arts degree from Concordia University in Montreal before moving to Melbourne for an artist residency. She feels very lucky because her parents always supported her passion to become an artist.

      “My mom is also quite creative,” Blaise noted. “She put me in different art classes from a younger age. My dad is an entrepreneur, so he really gets that side of things: wanting to kind of build your own practice.”

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

      “It’s been a wonderful experience every year,” she said. “I always look forward to it.”