Leanne Christie is an Urban Oil Painter who works mostly on canvas. Her obsession is understanding the story of the streets and sharing this story by using them as the subjects of her paintings and by using the qualities unique to oil paint to add to the narrative.
Leanne understands that once the physical structure of the street changes, the little things that trigger your memories are removed and over time we forget to remember and slowly we loose our sense of who we are.
Leanne was born in South Africa and has a degree in Fine Art. After completing her studies, she went to England for a 2 week holiday and often jokes that since she did not go home, her holiday never ended! She lives in a unique place where life is not a holiday but not 'real' either. Leanne is now a Canadian citizen and has been painting full time for 10 years.
Pender Street near the garden's, was the location of Leanne's first tiny studio that was tucked beneath a staircase and in 2010, she moved to a bigger space between Powell and Cordova on Main street. This was shared with Ken G, Janice and June (all artist's whose studio's we are visiting) and when this building was sold, they moved into this new space.
Leanne uses oil paint because it is very human in the way that it communicates with the painter. It stays wet for weeks and this lets the painter incorporate time and slowly draw out the image so that the painting has a depth that is not achieved when you are forced to paint quickly. Think about the difference that time makes to a Century egg, there is no other way to develop this flavour than by allowing time to act on the ingredients. In Leanne's urban paintings, this flavour can be seen in the tapestry of colours that combine visually and the rough, worked surface of the paintings that reminds one of the feeling of the older parts of town.
People who know Leanne's paintings always recognize them because of her strong brush strokes that look simple and quick but take hours to complete. They are fresh because Leanne always tries to describe the subjects of her work with one brushstroke and she will keep painting until this happens. She is also known for her strong use of white which is a very hard colour to use in oil painting. Most oil artist's will stay away from white because it mixes with the other wet colours on the canvas and becomes very dull but because Leanne is a master at responding to her brush and can adjust the weight and angle of it with every touch, her colours sit on top of each other and remain pure.
Quite simply Leanne paints the streets because this is where we bump into friends and where we make our communities and they are the places where the stories of the cities and our lives are remembered.