Deborah Tilby is a Canadian painter currently living in Victoria BC. She is recognized as one of the top oil and watercolour painters in the country and is a signature member of the Federation of Canadian Artists and of the Oil Painters of America.
Her work has won numerous international awards, has appeared in International Artist, Southwest Art, Arabella, Fine Art Connoisseur and Artist magazines and has been accepted into the prestigious American Masters Show at the Salmagundi Club in New York.
Light and shadow is what initially draws me to a subject; the challenge of capturing the mood, time of day, and season in a representational yet loose way is what keeps me coming back to the easel. My aim, whether it be in the studio or in the field, is to use colour as I see it, with a particular fondness for neutrals and earth colours, soft violets, rusts, and greens. The way the paint goes on is equally as important as what I mix on the palette; my intention is to indicate and represent, without becoming bogged down in the minutiae. Weathered boats, vintage bicycles, rusty mailboxes, old brick and textured stone, all afford me the opportunity to explore my interpretation of textures with both brush and knife work. Accomplishing what I intend never ceases to be difficult, fascinating, and deeply fulfilling. It keeps me painting almost daily!
Painting began for me with my first watercolour at age eighteen. I love watercolour and it held my interest for many years, before I began working with oils. I am Canadian but for fourteen years, England was home and European street scenes and landscapes were my subject. A move to the west coast of British Columbia reoriented my lens toward the beaches, boats, waves, and marinas of coastal living. Not entirely committed to trading Europe for Canada, I have travelled between the two, keeping my perspective fresh and allowing my work to straddle both continents. While my subjects oscillate across geographical borders, I now stick to oils most of the time, only occasionally reaching for my watercolours. I still love watercolour but am drawn to the flexibility, freedom, and richness that oils offer.
I became a painter by way of being an observer; I have always noticed light and shadow, shapes, texture, composition and colour, and endeavouring to interpret my observations through painting has been a lifelong passion. That people choose my work to hang in witness of their lives is a bonus, both wonderful and humbling.