While the beauty of Whistler is an endless source of
inspiration for many creative types, one well-known local artist is heading
abroad to produce new artwork.
Daniel Poisson, perhaps known best within the community for his
“Faces” series of paintings, is heading out with his girlfriend and fellow
artist, Corinna Haight, to Panama on a contract that will allow them to surf
They’ve been hired by a group of young American business people
who are setting up a network of hostels and bars. The business owners admire
the artistic styles of Haight and Poisson, and are paying their way to Panama,
covering flights, accommodations and supplies in exchange for a collection of
“They have a very high appreciation of art and they want to
start building collections of art that they like,” Poisson explained.
Haight already completed a similar contract with the business
owners back in February, producing about 30 pieces within a five-week period.
On Monday morning, Poisson was busy packing and tying up some
loose ends before heading down to Vancouver.
Poisson has called Whistler home for almost six years.
Growing up, Poisson moved around the province frequently. His
family encouraged him to pursue his interest in the arts, but after about half
a semester in a fine arts program, Poisson knew that the formal education route
wasn’t going to work for him.
“They were doing colour theory and composition — very basic
stuff that you need to know, but at that point, I’d already been reading a lot
of books on my own and studying a lot of work, and I just didn’t find it was
helping me at the time.”
That’s not to say he doesn’t want to push his artistic
limitations — he’s always looking for new challenges, switching styles
and mediums. Poisson is a multi-medium artist, and works with paint, a variety
of print materials, and resin coating.
In fact, just about a month ago, during a trip to Revelstoke,
Poisson found he was inspired to try his hand at fine ink illustrations on
textured watercolour paper.
“I went out there to relax and get away for a while and enjoy
my time, and while I was out there, I just started doing these new pieces when
I was nice and comfortable at his place. It was more of a shift in my
mentality, it calmed me down,” he said.
These intricate peace vortexes, as Poisson calls them, start at
one central point and spread out symmetrically. Done with a fineliner pen, each
piece is about 12 inches across, and takes about six to eight hours to
“My intention right now is to spend a little bit more time and
become more detail oriented and work on the skill of drawing and illustration,
and really produce some… higher quality, cleaner pieces,” Poisson explained.
Ultimately, Poisson decided to get his education through
“It was fun — I saw some pretty amazing places. I crawled
through caves with human remains and bats and centipedes six inches long. You
can’t really do that around here,” he said with a laugh.
He also worked for a cruise line for years, which allowed him
to travel while working, but he grew tired of chasing the almighty dollar. He
decided to visit his brother in Whistler, and ended up settling in for a while.
Though he calls Whistler home right now, this artistic soul
still has the travel bug, and jumped at the chance for an all-expenses paid
trip to Panama.
While he doesn’t really know what the pieces he creates for the
new collection will be like, he has a few ideas — cityscapes
incorporating abstract and graffiti elements, a broadleaf series, and a spinoff
series from his “Faces” series, featuring Panamian cultural icons and leaders.
This trip won’t be all business — the artists are
definitely going to be balancing work with play.
“You paint until you get tired of painting and you can’t stare
at a canvas anymore, and then you go surf, and when you get burnt out from the
surfing… then you back to the painting.”
Who said artists lead tough lives?