A full time artist since 2008, Leanne Christie dedicates her waking hours to understanding the painting process
The distinctive oil painter, Leanne Christie, moved to the Canadian West Coast at the end of 2008 after over a decade in Europe and a childhood in South Africa.
Educated at the influential Rhodes University art school in South Africa, Christie was instilled with the love of the painting process itself. Her exposure to the Grahamstown group through the critical analysis of Professor Robert Brooks and Noel Hodnett, laid the foundation of her present practice. Christie’s work reveals an intuitive understanding of the painting language, the careful placement of brush strokes which seductively lead the viewer at a pace determined by the artist and the removal of colour as a fundamental element. Christie experiments with a hierarchy which places supremacy on brushstroke, then color and finally composition without retreating into abstraction.
Christie’s paintings have become easily identifiable by their powerful use of white, the myriad of greys, the vigorous brushwork which dances on the edge of abstraction and their exploration of the urban streetscape as the catalyst of culture. Christie’s daily 24km bicycle commute from her home in Coquitlam to her Downtown Eastside studio gives her an intimate kinship with the flow of the urban street.
Christie’s influence amongst her contemporaries continues to strengthen in tandem with the number of people who count themselves amongst her collectors.
full time oil painter
My waking hours are dedicated to understanding oil painting; an all consuming medium which demands risk taking and constant decision making. Painting is not the quiet act of peaceful meditation but one of war, exertion and energy and I am committed to building my stamina so that I may successfully navigate the field. Part time forays have proven to be folly as oil painting demands the use of every area to manifest a storm, into which you must (if you wish to be successful) hurl yourself. Being a full time oil painter is the search to find a way to cut the tethers of the visual anchors one has accepted and to allow the ride. The strokes which are omitted or removed are often more important than those included.
My work demonstrates my restless explorations and increasing maturity with my medium. I am committed to this development and as a result, I experience a growing awareness of the irrelevance between the laws which govern nature and the reality of those of the painting. This awareness has lead to my experimentation with a new hierarchy: brushstroke, composition and color without the retreat into abstraction. A dynamic hierarchy which leads to energized paintings with more freedom allowed to the composition.
Future works will continue to reveal my intrigue with this structure which places brushstroke supreme. I intend to train and strengthen my stamina and courage in order to ensure that I am able to continue to indulge in the pure adventure of painting. I am also focused on maturing my sensibilities as a full time oil painter so that I may be perfectly equipped to continually question the validity of my work and to recognize balance when it finds me.