from musician to artist
“My art has been described as semi-abstract and impressionist with an emphasis on nature. My hope is that people find joy in my paintings and that it brings a sense of peace to their home.”
Lianna Klassen – musician and self-taught painter!
Being creative is not something I do, but an integral part of who I am, whether it is music or visual art. I have always been drawn to color and texture, and the use of different mediums. I love experimenting with light interacting with dark,color against color. The best moments are when something unexpected happens and takes the work from ordinary to extraordinary without forethought or planning.
At what age did you know you wanted to be an artist?
I actually only discovered my painting ability later in life. Most of my life I was a professional musician. I started painting because I wanted to do something creative between touring and studio time, and I realized I had a gift for it.
What is the earliest artwork you did that you can remember?
I painted my first painting…well, actually 4 paintings in 2004. I was inspired to paint the colors of the 4 seasons on four separate large canvases. They were made up of 3” square blocks of color. My work has evolved since then, but many of my paintings still have squares in them.
Which classical or contemporary artists have inspired you?
I love Jean-Paul Riopelle. He was a Canadian painter known for abstract expressionism. Also, as cliched as it may be, I love Van Gogh. This year I saw Starry Night for the first time (at MOMA) and was so inspired. I also love Frank Arnold and Erin Hanson.
How would you describe your artistic style?
Abstract Realism. My work is abstract but there’s still elements of realism that ground the painting and make it possible for the observer to know what I was trying to achieve.
When did you first sell an artwork? How did you feel?
It was an abstract painting of Kananaskis Mountains in Alberta. It was extraordinary to me that someone would be excited about owning a piece of my work.
What's your workstyle?
I tend to work on one piece at a time as I’m not very good at multi-tasking!
How do you get the inspiration for a new piece?
I’m inspired by where I live (Vancouver), books I read, places I’ve traveled and the change of the seasons.
Tell us a bit about your personal life ...
I grew up in Northern Canada on a farm and was raised in a musical and creative family. I was singing before I was walking and started writing songs when I was 8 years old. I’m happily married with 3 grown children and we live in one of the prettiest places on earth right on the ocean. I’m a breast cancer survivor and I love to travel, I love good wine and food and I love being a grandma to my 2 grand babies.
“In my paintings, I experiment regularly with color and texture. Light interacting with dark, and color against color are what inspire me to create”
A few pieces from Lianna’s gallery
My Old Boat
Why they love Lianna’s art
Lynn and John Vancouver
“Good morning Lianna! We hung the painting last night and we absolutely love it! LOVE it! It really brings life to the space and it works beautifully with our other artwork and furnishings. Definitely the focal point of the room which is exactly what I was hoping for. And I had forgotten that we have small pot lights over the fireplace (we rarely turn them on) but when lit they highlight the palette work on the canvas making it almost look like a different painting. It’s fabulous! Thank you again! It was lovely to meet you and see more of your work. You truly have a gift!”
Cindy and Norm Tucson, Arizona
I have enjoyed Lianna’s work since seeing her vibrant “squares” in her Montreal home. Early in 2015 I purchased a piece of her “trees” for our home in Edmonton, and also envied the colorful poppies our son and his wife owned in their home. I continued to enjoy the variety of “scapes” she interpreted via FB and instagram. The desert for us is a healing place – a reflective place . Commissioning her to respond to our desert with her (heart)art – we eagerly shared our home and our little corner of “paradise”. Watching her create … day after day…was not only a great experience, we are now privileged to own 2 spectacular pieces. – signature squares and all! The depth, the color, the variety… we are thrilled. Thanks Lianna.
More about Lianna
“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”- Edgar Degas
“Nature is not only all that is visible to the eye.. it also includes the inner pictures of the soul.”- Edvard Munch
Shows & Exhibitions
East Side Art Crawl Vancouver, 2016
Group Exhibition, West End Art Crawl, Artists in Our Midst, Vancouver 2015
Group Exhibition, The Drift, Renegade Arts Co., Vancouver 2015
Solo Exhibition, Featured Artist, Susan Galick Fine Art Gallery, Fort Langley 2015
Group Exhibition, Art Around Us, Art Institute of Vancouver, Vancouver 2015
Group Exhibition, Roundhouse Exhibit and Open Studios, Artists in Our Midst, Vancouver 2014
Solo Exhibition, Featured Artist, Susan Galick Fine Art Gallery, Fort Langley 2014
Solo Exhibition, Autumn Gallery, Re/MAX Little Oak Realty, Fort Langley 2014
Group Exhibition, AIRS (Annual International Representational Show),
Federation Gallery, Vancouver 2014
Group Exhibition, Pop Up Gallery, Art Institute of Vancouver, Vancouver 2014
Group Exhibition, Pop Up Gallery, We Arts, Denman Street, Vancouver 2014