PHOTO BY DON DENTON
SECRETS & LIVES BY KATE LAUTENS
BLYTHE SCOTT, 44
Who are you, Blythe Scott? Originally from Glasgow, Scotland, I moved to Victoria just over a year ago. I am a creator of mixed media art, drawings and prints. I am also a passionate art teacher.
Where do you find your inspiration? To me, being an artist is a mindset. I live in a constant state of feeling open to new inspiration. One prevalent theme is architecture. Glasgow is architecturally rich — no doubt what ignited my obsession with the built environment. I feel most alive amongst stone, wrought iron and stained glass.
Who was your mentor? My secondary school art teacher. She died prematurely, but lived her life in a passionate way. She encouraged me to go to art school, taught me almost everything I know about teaching, and even set me up on a blind date with my husband 15 years ago, so I owe her a lot!
Where would you love to paint? Lately, I have enjoyed studying the views 62
from Gonzales Hill in Victoria. If I had to choose one place — Venice. I got married there, but I’d love to spend four seasons to fully explore its less-known corners.
Your most coveted art tool?
If you could have a conversation with anyone, living or dead, who would you choose?
What are you most looking forward to this year?
If you could just drop me off in Montmartre in the mid-19th century, I’ll take my chances and see which artists I run into.
The most adventurous thing you’ve ever done? It’s usually only with hindsight that I realize how adventurous I have been. At 23, I took a job in Tokyo, not knowing the language and being completely inexperienced in the field. Taking yourself from your usual context makes you immediately bolder.
What supernatural ability would you like to have? The ability to live multiple lives concurrently. There is so much I’d love to do and I’m always anxious that I’ll not be able to fit it all into one life.
Right now, chopsticks dipped in ink. I love the balance between freedom, control and happy accidents that they offer.
Artistically, my very first solo exhibition in Canada at The Gallery at Mattick’s Farm in May. I am working on a series called “Drawn to the Edge,” about my need to be near the sea and the attraction that Victoria’s colour and light hold for me.
Your all-time favourite book? Absolutely anything by the modern philosopher Alain de Botton. I find him so refreshingly original.
And your philosophy of life? There is always a positive to be found in a seemingly negative situation and sometimes, it is better to be happy than to be right. This interview has been condensed and edited.