Meet Elise Meakin | Fall Series Guest Artist

We sat down recently to learn more about our Fall Series guest artist, the talented Elise Meakin to learn more about her artwork, her inspiration and her upcoming projects. Check out the interview below!

Elise will be at our November Fall Series shows at Centennial Theatre doing a live art piece inspired by our local mountains, that will be auctioned off at the end of the Series. You will also be able to buy her beautiful prints and cards in the lobby during the shows.

Your artwork features the beautiful outdoors – places that you’ve been to and explored. What is it about going on an adventure and then translating that experience onto a canvas that inspires you the most? What is it that you hope people take away from your artwork?

Good question! I’ve tried to explain in words what I love about getting outside, pushing my limits and exploring something new….but I can’t.

I can’t explain why it feels so humbling to walk for days along the wild west coast without seeing another human, or bootpacking a ridge with skis on your back knowing your own feet brought you there, and will bring you back down.  Painting is the best way I can describe the experience of adventure.

Although I don’t expect my work to bring that experience to everyone, I hope it provides inspiration to seek the experience for themselves. 

You studied Fine Arts and Art History at the University of Victoria. How have your studies influenced your art? 

The University of Victoria is where I discovered Emily Carr, the Group of Seven (Lawren Harris in particular) and First Nations art on the west coast through my art history classes. They’ve all influenced my work somehow, and I am constantly referring back to my university textbooks for inspiration from their stories and artwork. I love the simple forms Lawren Harris uses in his rocky mountain paintings, and my skies have taken on inspiration from Emily Carr’s “Big Raven”. I am always seeking new artists to connect with while still learning tricks from the old masters. 

You’ve done some awesome public art pieces, including street banners for our local hot spot – Deep Cove. How did that come to be and how cool was it to see your art in the streets? 

Thank you! It’s so cool so see my work out in public and the different ways people connect with it. My mantra when it comes to getting my art shown is “good things come to those who ask”. When the Deep Cove Arts Council put out a Call for Submissions, I jumped at the opportunity and submitted a couple designs based on my personal connection to Deep Cove, designs that would also relate to the local community. One design was a summer sunset with a silhouette of a couple canoeing, and the other was a winter scene with my friend’s boat, the “Sea Shadow” coasting through the calm water. Whenever my husband and I paddled around the cove, or were lucky enough to come aboard the “Sea Shadow” it was surreal to look back at Gallant Ave to see my banners lining the street reflecting back our reality. 

Is there a VIMFF show that has inspired you or been particularly memorable? 

This Mountain Life, directed by Grant Baldwin was so impactful…I’ll never forget it. I was excited to see the film after catching Martina and Tania’s presentation last year at VIMFF. Their story was interwoven with other stories of incredibly diverse mountain folk you wouldn’t expect – it’s a must see! 

What show are you most looking forward to seeing this week as part of our November Fall Series?

This week I’m really stoked for the Arc’teryx Ski Show to see the Hoji Movie then Izzy and Zoya’s presentation – I’m going to be itching for ski season after that. Oh! The Dawn Wall was incredible too, just a really cool story, I’d love to see that one again. There are too many to choose! 

Any adventure goals for 2019? Upcoming art projects we can look forward to? ​

Yes! The year starts with three weeks skiing in Japan’s Hakuba valley for a belated honeymoon in January-February. I’m stoked to embrace the Japanese ski culture (and ramen!) and hopefully get some fresh inspiration for next year’s art projects. I also have some plans for more ski-related art projects like last year’s Girls Do Ski illustrations in Revelstoke, and continuing a series of North Shore trail themed paintings. Stay tuned! 

What is the best way to get in touch with you to purchase your artwork or inquire about a custom project? 

​I love partnering with local businesses where my art reflects the community, and right now I’m proud to display my work at Pemberton Brewing Co which is super close to my favorite backcountry ski playground AND they have delicious beer. I also have some art cards and prints on my etsy shop, CoastMountainArt​, and can also be reached though my website www.coastmountainart.com or emailed directly at elisemeakin@outlook.com if anyone has questions or wants to chat about a new commission!

Interested in seeing Elise paint or buying some of her prints – come to the Centennial Theatre shows during the November Fall Series! Shows include Reel Rock 13 on Tues, Nov 13 and Fri, Nov 16, The Radicals on Wed, Nov 14 and the Arc’teryx Ski Show on Thurs, Nov 15.

Photo credits: https://www.coastmountainart.com/

Photos of Elise painting: Ronnie Jones