Artist Tania Blanchard balances family life on the Gold Coast with creating bold and beautiful pieces— loaded with colour and texture— that are in high demand. “I feel so blessed that my work has been so popular,” she tells The Block Shop. “It’s just been amazing.”
What’s your artistic background?
I always loved to draw as a child. At school I majored in all of the art subjects, went off to do a visual art degree and then I did a graphic design diploma and fell into a graphic design job in Sydney. I didn’t focus on my art for over a decade.
We moved to Burleigh Heads in Queensland and raised kids. When I had spare time, I picked up my sketchbook again and realised, I actually really do love this. When my youngest started school, something within me just thought—I’m just going to go for it. That was about four years ago and I haven’t looked back.
Tell me about when Ronnie and Georgia used your piece on The Block, 2017?
That was just a ridiculously crazy ride and such a great opportunity for an artist. Within a day I got an extra 2000 followers on Instagram. Georgia was so lovely to chat to and told me they styled the whole room based around my art. I was thrilled when it won best room. I had such great positive feedback from so many people but it was also a big lesson, that what works for one doesn’t for everyone. Art is subjective and can be polarising but that's what I love about art and the effect it can have on the viewer. I did get some comments on social media that were a bit rough. It wasn’t too bad, but I had a few people say, “What is it? It’s only dots. I could do that myself.” I just rose above it and taught my kids a lesson—that you can’t please everyone, you have to do what you love and follow your heart.
How do you describe your paintings?
Extremely colourful, highly textured scenes inspired by nature’s erratic beauty. I just love exploring, using my different sized spatulas. I’m inspired by the unpredictability of nature. Sometimes my blobs aren’t perfect and they splat and I just embrace that. I love putting colours together that clash and make your eyes zing. I don’t try to follow colour trends. I paint what I like, experimenting and playing.
How did you get to know Carlene (The Block: Glasshouse)
She and Michael live on the Gold Coast too and they borrowed my painting Jungle Fever for a styling job. Her kids also go to the same school as my kids. When I was releasing my new print range, I saw on Instagram that she was hiring out her house in Tallebudgera for location shoots, and so I approached her to use her place and to work as a stylist for our shoot. It was a great day and I just can’t thank Carlene enough. She’s really supportive of upcoming artists.
What advice do you have for people selecting art for their home?
You just have to have that gut feeling and love it. It’s kind of like a piece of music. Sometimes you can like a fun pop song that makes you want to dance, but other songs are really deep and meaningful. It’s the same with art. Sometimes you can love it for a really simple reason, or it could tell a story that’s beautiful that taps into something in your soul. Each art piece takes such a long time to create so it’s the best feeling in the world to receive messages from people who have purchased my art and have connected with it:
“Your painting arrived earlier this week and we have hung it in our entrance way. We absolutely love it. It really brings our home to life. We love the colours and texture and have had many compliments from our visitors so far.”
How do you spend your spare time?
Life is busy. I paint everyday and where I can I try and paint within school hours. I have a sunny studio, and I love to see the colours in that light. I do all my admin work at night time when the kids are in bed. I’m a night owl. I enjoy music. It’s a bit embarrassing because sometimes my neighbours see me dancing and singing around my studio. I love going to see bands and live music. I'm also quite social and love my Burleigh friends who have become like family to me now.
Where do you see your work headed?
I'm passionate about colour and this style of art. I love that when I do a blob that it’s so raised that it casts a shadow. There’s movement and it looks different in every kind of light. There is still plenty of room for exploration and progression in this dot-style art and I really enjoy bringing them to life. Time can be an obstacle though– it’s a timely and labour intensive process. I’ve got all these new ideas that I write down in a massive sketchbook and lots stored in my head. I just wish that there were more hours in the day to explore.
We love Tania's new print range, the limited edition artwork's are all available for purchase HERE
Photographer: Louise from Villa Styling
Styling: Carlene Duffy From Cedar and Suede
Assistant Stylist: Tara Watson
Location: Casa Duffy (Carlene Duffy own home in Tallebudgera, Queensland)
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