Kelowna artist explores Indigenous roots through paintbrush – Okanagan
For James Blakis, no two strokes are alike. Through her experimentation with different styles, the artist began to explore her own Indigenous roots. His mother is from the Kapawe’no First Nation in Alberta.
“I like to work gently with the brush,” says Blakis. “I just find it more expressive, that way you can create bolder marks.”
The self-taught artist has been exploring herself and her emotions by experimenting with different styles since 2015. Blakis has been playing with watercolor, abstraction, acrylic pouring, abstraction and more.
“This is West Coast style, it’s really called Formline. It’s been around for thousands of years,” Blakis said.
“When I grew up in Prince George [B.C.] I’ve been exposed to that kind of native artwork and I don’t know what’s different. So when I started expressing myself, I was comfortable with that [style]. “
While Blakis explores his legacy with his brush, he continues to push himself creatively. This time with portraits, a challenge he and his brushes had to face.
Blakis shares his talent by teaching drawing nights on demand and his work can be purchased on demand on Instagram, Facebook or through email.