Artistic Excellence 2015 | Honorable Mention: Deborah Tilby


Deborah Tilby, Twelve Small Boats, oil, 26 x 36.

Deborah Tilby, Twelve Small Boats, oil, 26 x 36.

What inspired your winning entry? I live in Canada now, but when I lived in England, this village was one of my favorite places. It is built on the side of a steep hill overlooking the sea, and the only access is on foot or riding a donkey. Around every bend is a great view looking down on other buildings and over the harbor. So the initial attraction was definitely the unusual perspective. But the way these boats were perfectly arranged in an S curve was the thing that really grabbed my attention and inspired me to paint it.

How would you describe your style? Others tell me my style is painterly, which I take as a great compliment. I don’t feel I achieve that in all my work, but it is something I constantly strive toward—to allow the viewer to get a sense of the detail in my subject yet retain looseness in the paint application.

What artists, living or deceased, have influenced your work? In my early years it was the work of Andrew Wyeth, Rowland Hilder, David Curtis, and Trevor Chamberlain. When I started working in oil, it was John Singer Sargent. Then it was Richard Schmid and now Fongwei Liu, Quang Ho, Douglas Fryer, and Jeremy Mann.

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be? Working in the film industry.

What’s the most meaningful recognition you’ve received for your artwork? I could name a number of prizes, but I still feel, even after all these years, that having someone choose to hang one of my paintings in his or her home and look at it every day means the most to me.

What galleries represent your work? West End Gallery, Victoria, BC, Canada; Gallery 8, Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada; Peter Barker Fine Art, Uppingham, Rutland, England; Michelangelo Gallery, Calgary, AB, Canada.


Featured in the December 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
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