Through her brush we feel the ocean’s salty air. Tanya Foster is Canadian (Ontario), married to a Barbadian. She makes us fall in love repeatedly with the beauty of the sea. “The bursting colours and dreamy landscapes make you travel to magical places” as she said.
C – Your artwork is unique. This is so oceanic, exotic and colorful. What inspires you? What is your main art inspiration ?
T – Traveling is a huge inspiration for me. The many exotic colours and scenery takes you away to magical places. My career prior to painting was in aviation and I’m enthralled with views from above.
Many of my ocean inspired paintings come from the flights traveling to and from Barbados. If we can focus more on the importance of our oceans, even through art, I hope to inspire others to protect this beautiful space.
« Each piece has a private message written on the back and a “little piece of her” that will bring you into her soul to feel something that inspired her while painting. »
C – When did you start making art ? Tell us about yourself
T – Having completed many workshops and a background in stained glass and sculpture, I took my lifelong hobby and developed it further and it wasn’t until 2012 I had a fortunate opportunity with Bridgetown Gallery who took emerging artists. From there I started to work as an art consultant for an interior designer and expanded into other galleries.
In 2014 I was a Carmichael Award Recipient for both the Best Emerging Artist and People’s Choice, in 2015 A finalist in Round 2 of the Absolut Art Wars and in 2016 received the award for People’s Choice in the same award named after Sir Trevor Carmichael.
I currently live between Canada and Barbados and have representation with The Frame and Art Co (Wildey, Barbados) and work hanging in various commercial and residential settings in Europe, North America and the Caribbean.
C – How the caribbean culture influences your artwork ? Why paint oceans is important for you? I saw on a Instagram description that the climate change is important for you.
T – I hope I’ve touched on this part earlier, but the oceans are an important part of our lives and if we can educate others by some simple ways we can do better, I hope to do that with my art.
Protecting the environment is not new to me, I was part of a group that started our first recycling program in our school 30 years ago.
« If we can focus more on the importance of our oceans, even through art, I hope to inspire others to protect this beautiful space. »
C – I love the way you work (I saw your Instagram video)… What are your main creative tools ? Brush, acrylic, pen tablet …
T – I work primarily with acrylic paint and resin, but more recently have incorporated ink and mixed media into my work. I am passionate about protecting our environment and as the oceans have been a huge inspiration for me, I hope to protect it in many ways. I use recycled materials, including items from beach clean ups and even household waste.
For example, teabags make wonderful colours and add a different dimension to my work. Often my work is made with layers of magazines and I find use for things like forks to add shape and texture or even paint with my hands. It’s a messy and beautiful process.
C – Have you ever hold exhibitions? If yes, where, when? Are there any upcoming exhibitions?
T – My work has been seen in many group exhibitions over the last 6 1/2 years and two solo exhibitions, titled Inspirations (Feb. 2014) and Climate Change (Mar. 2017).
Currently my work can be seen in commercial settings (Treasure Beach and Hilton Hotel – Barbados and two private banks) among other residential settings all over the world.
My work is currently available for sale through The Frame and Art Co (Barbados), Cin Cin by The Sea (Barbados), and by appointment.
C – What is your job currently? What are your future projects?
T – I am currently working on expanding my portfolio and working with interior designers in Canada, England and Barbados. I hope to continue an educational awareness of ocean protection and do some more traveling.
I have a few new product lines that will be available in the coming months featuring my art on clothing and bags.
C – What is the favorite artwork you’ve made? Why?
T – This is a tough one, each piece speaks to me in different ways and having evolved my style mean more to me at different times in my life. French Grey was a piece that touched me as it was my first award and brought me back to a special trip in the south of France. More recently I’ve been working on the ocean inspired work, with Climate Change and Shore Break being at the top.
Follow Tanya on her social media >
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