Popular Vancouver artist Leanne Christie, moved to the Canadian West Coast in September 2008 after over a decade in Europe and a childhood in South Africa.
Christie trained under Noel Hodnett and Robert Brooks at the influential Rhodes University art school in the Eastern Cape of South Africa and graduated with her degree in painting at the end of 1996. Although a generation behind, the influence of the Grahamstown group on Christie’s work is evident in the importance she places on developing her visual language through process and in her belief that painting is not the creation of a final piece, but a state of mind set upon a skillful foundation. Christie explains her motivation to paint as a compulsion to discover and explore the secrets that the medium holds and she adheres firmly to the belief that painting is a state of being with 90% of the painting being the preparation and brewing of the work. This popular Vancouver artist believes that it is imperative to sharpen the senses daily so that when one finally steps up to the easel, like an athlete, one is prepared and possess’ sufficient stamina to last the race. Flaccid work is the result of a flaccid commitment.
Christie is growing as a popular Vancouver oil artist and has been full time in the studio since 2008. Her 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.