Sumter, South Carolina
A native South Carolinian, Blaise Lareau is a self-taught artist. Carving seriously since 1990, his pieces are recognized for their simple, stylized lines. He does not try to replicate the subject, but to represent it, and to let the wood itself guide his designs. The use of subtle colors and patinas allow the wood to speak for itself. Although Blaise also carves fish and mammals, his main focus is on birds because of their simple, clean lines. Blaise employs hyperbole, emphasizing one primary feature of his subject to identify the species for the viewer. An example of this is seen in his swan carvings, a personal favorite.
Considered to be among the best on the market, his swans display necks that are elongated and accentuated without being overpowering.
For SEWE 2020, Blaise has used cypress beams dating from 1790 for his most recent work. These 230-year old beams were cut from trees that would have been growing when Columbus entered the & New World and have now been carved into quail, doves, and shorebirds which are arranged on naturally intricate Eastern Red Cedar bases. These carvings will be a special addition to any collection.
Blaise and his wife, Ashley, live in Sumter, South Carolina where they raised their two sons.
As an experienced artist herself, and head of the Wilson Hall Fine Arts Department, Ashley serves as Blaise's most valuable support and critic. She has been instrumental in Blaise's artistic journey and nothing leaves his shop without her final consultation.