Company Name: Josh Tiessen Studio Gallery
Preferred Medium: Oil
Favorite Tools?: My most important piece of equipment is my custom-made “Hughes Easel” which has a unique counter-balancing system that helps my posture and prevents awkward positioning, which causes stiffness and pain.
What would you call your ‘style’? I call my style contemporary high realism with a conceptual/imaginative leaning. While I use up to 25 of my own photos as references for a painting, I do not strive to copy photos or photographic lens flares and bokeh effects, as in the photorealism style.
What are you currently working on? I just finished a painting entitled “The Wood Between The Worlds,” a diamond-shaped painting of an antique nautical compass, within a mossy forest surrounded by giant pinecones.
What is a favorite piece of art you created and why? One of my favourite paintings is “Ahoy Sleeper,” which depicts a deep-sea diver emerging from the mystical ocean shore with a common house martin flying overhead, both of them being illuminated by a directional light from an unknown source. This painting evokes for me the spiritual metaphor of transformation and new life. The complete story behind the painting, along with others, can be found on my website.
How do you choose your subject matter? I have been fortunate to travel throughout Canada and to many other countries in my 19 years of life. I take my camera and sketching pads everywhere I go, and most of my ideas for subject matter come from my travels. I am heading to England and Italy next month for a study trip as part of my bachelor’s degree, so I’m sure this will bring new subjects for future paintings.
What qualities make your art distinctively you? A unique distinction that has become my trademark, is the non-quadrilateral shapes of my paintings and how the painted image continues in high realism detail around the 2″ sides of braced Baltic birch panels, creating a truly three-dimensional work of art. Conceptually speaking, the interaction between the natural world and manmade structures is of particular interest to me, often giving rise to metaphors which highlight truth, beauty and the longing for ultimate restoration in the world. Especially in the last couple of years, I feel like my work is becoming more reflective of who I truly am, not viewed so much as just naturalistic wildlife art, but a way to process my studies and visually express my spiritual and philosophical insights.