by Monika Blichar
The idea of creating something from nothing goes back to as long as humans have been on this earth. When we have needed chairs, we thought and then brought them into existence. Same goes for clothes, cars, phones, and our modern day luxuries that allow us such freedoms to follow our dreams. Tanya Verquin from Brule, Alberta does this in a magical way from her secluded studio in the small town of Brule, Alberta. She brings paintings to life from her ideas as many other artists do today and reminds us that we all have the power many of us . Read today’s interview with Tanya about her insights as an artist, what she will have at our show in Edmonton on April 12 and how you can get a almond milk café latté with coconut whip!
When did you know that you wanted to be an artist?
I’ve always had the privilege of being exposed to art and was encouraged creatively in general. Having an artist mom was helpful in that department! Although there is not a defining moment when I decided that I wanted to be an artist, I feel my whole life up to this point has been a lovely, windy road leading me to the easel. My past is made up of colorful experiences in the arts, from after-school painting lessons, to competitive figure skating, to helping on our family’s farm with baking and cooking, and so on…The act of creating something from nothing has always been, and continues to be, alluring to me, so I really am a true artist and crafter at heart. Now, as a mother of two amazing girls, and having the privilege of living nestled next to the Canadian Rocky Mountains, I am continuously being invited to explore my creative and artistic expression with so much opportunity to be inspired! Painting is the most common method I use to express that!
Tell us about the city you are from.
I live in the small hamlet of Brule in Alberta, Canada, along with my husband and our two daughters. There’s one road in and it’s the same road out! Although Brule is small, there’s no lack of life- there’s beautiful evergreen forests, mountain tops, the sound of the Athabasca River, song birds, and friendly neighbors! Oddly enough, there happens to be a number of artists here in Brule! It must be that fantastic, inspirational scenery! The nearest large city is Edmonton, a 3-hour drive east. Our children go to school in Hinton, just a 20-minute drive away.
What inspires you when you create new work?
Nature is what inspires me to paint. I get excited for the challenge to re-create onto my watercolor paper – with the most realism as possible – the little hummingbird that I see whiz by my kitchen window or the robin that is waiting for the worm, the pink peonies in our garden. If I don’t have a camera with me in the moment to capture my painting subject, I source local photographers’ photos for references.
This is your first time in an Art World Expo show. What do you want our followers and guests to know about you and your work the most?
I’m excited to debut as an Art World Expo first-timer! This show gives me the opportunity for big-city exposure from all your wonderful art followers and guests! I believe that being inspired is an important component to a meaningful life, and I am lucky enough to feel inspired almost everyday, thanks to nature and the everyday experiences it offers me and my lovely family. It’s my desire and intention that through my watercolor paintings, others can also find a spark of inspiration.
Will you have any Art World Expo show specials or never before seen works in your exhibition space at the Muttart Conservatory?
Yes! For the first time, I am offering Limited Edition prints – and only on a select few of my original works! These limited editions are completely ready to frame! The beautiful cold press watercolor print packages each come archivally mounted on single conservation grade 4-ply matting, include acid-free foam core backing, and are safely tucked away into a clear resealable bag.
If suddenly you had an unlimited bank account and you could do anything, what would you do today?
I’d hire a local contractor to renovate our home so that it could accommodate a large group of people comfortably for painting and wellness retreats!! Want to know more?! I’d offer watercolor painting art lessons in the sunroom, calming yoga flows in the garden, grounding meditations among the trees, and unbelievably delicious whole foods to keep my guests feeling amazing! All wrapped up into one never-gonna-forget painting and wellness mountain experience! My renovated home would of course boast a stunning commercial grade kitchen, and include that all-star player, the cappuccino maker! May I offer anyone an almond milk café latté with coconut whip while you paint?
Best known for her avian watercolor subjects, Tanya turns to nature for her painting inspiration. “People are most commonly surprised to discover that my paintings are watercolor” she says. Tanya uses a specific technique of layering transparent watercolor pigments to create a depth of detail not typically seen in watercolors. This method allows her to capture the realism and vibrancy in her artwork that she strives for. Tanya’s interest in painting was cultivated as a child by watching her mother paint scenes of their farm, cattle, and equine subjects. To develop her skills, she received after school art lessons throughout grade school, but it wasn’t until recent years that her interest and love for painting budded once again, when she and her family moved to the mountains. “There’s something beautiful to see everyday, whether it’s a sweet little hummingbird at our feeder or a foggy mountain valley. Illustrating the wonderful things around me is a true privilege.”
Tanya’s artwork hangs in homes and businesses throughout Canada, as her talent is quickly gaining popularity. Locally, her paintings are on display in Hinton’s favorite coffee shop, The Old Grind. Tanya lives in Brule, Alberta with her husband and their two girls, a beautiful hamlet flanked by the Rocky Mountains and the Athabasca River.To view Tanya’s paintings, purchase a painting or for commission please visit Tanya’s website here: http://tanyaverquin.ca