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B.C. artist paints 'fierce' Sophie Gregoire Trudeau in warrior yoga pose
Tiffany Crawford, Vancouver Sun (external - login to view)
First posted: Thursday, August 18, 2016 08:39 AM EDT | Updated: Thursday, August 18, 2016 08:54 AM EDT
A Tofino, B.C., artist who painted Sophie Gregoire Trudeau in an exalted warrior yoga pose says meeting Canada's first couple last week was a proud moment in her life.
Deanna Lankin, a resident of Tofino for the past 12 years, says she received a call Monday from jewelry designer Christy Feaver alerting her that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Gregoire Trudeau might visit her boutique shop — the House of Alaia — the following day.
Lankin said she had heard that Gregoire Trudeau is a fan of the store's jewelry designs and was coming in to shop. She said the thought of meeting her "hero" inspired her to stay up all night painting Gregoire Trudeau. The finished piece is called Heart Awakening.
"I’d had an idea to paint one of Chris Pouget's amazing yoga photos that morning ... when I looked at the picture again I realized that it was shot on the beach that the Trudeaus are staying at in Tofino and that Sophie is a yoga instructor," she wrote in a Facebook post (external - login to view).
Lankin has collaborated with Pouget, a local photographer, on several projects. She used one of his photos of a model doing yoga and then painted it instead to look like Gregoire Trudeau.
"So I did it. Like a crazy, manic, geekin’ out artist … I stayed up until 4 a.m. and painted her doing yoga on Chesterman's (Beach)."
In an interview, Lankin said she is inspired by Gregoire Trudeau because she is such a strong woman, and that the warrior pose symbolizes her balance between strength and openness.
"In the exalted warrior pose your heart is open. So you are strong and fierce, while at the same time being open and vulnerable," said Lankin. "I hope it reminds her who she is, and how much she helps and inspires people."
When Gregoire Trudeau came into the shop the following day, she saw the painting briefly before her driver whisked her off to an engagement.
Then her security guard came in later and asked if the prime minister had seen it and she replied "no" but gave him a card.
Lankin said she went to bed and visualized them both coming in for "a very long time." The next day they came in to the shop and purchased the painting.
But before they left, they posed for the camera. In the photo, snapped by Pouget, Justin Trudeau is holding the painting while his wife strikes the same warrior yoga pose as in the painting.
Lankin said the photo represents one of the proudest moments of her life.
As for the Trudeau couple, Lankin said they were calm, compassionate and kind.
ticrawford@postmedia.com (external - login to view)
The Trudeaus pose with a painting they purchased while visiting Tofino, B.C. (CHRISTOPHER POUGET Photo)
So, I got a call Monday night from my amazing business partner Christy Feaver (external - login to view) that she had met Justin & Sophie Trudeau & that they may be coming into the House of Alaia the next day…while I was working. I believe that these two are among the most inspiring, uplifting & influential people living & was stoked at the opportunity to meet them. I went for dinner that night with my family and upon returning home became suddenly inspired to paint something new & exciting to have in the space in case they came in. I’d had an idea to paint one of Chris Pouget (external - login to view)’s amazing yoga photos that morning…when I looked at the picture again I realized that it was shot on the beach that the Trudeau’s are staying at in Tofino & that Sophie is a yoga instructor!…So I did it. Like a crazy, manic, geekin’ out artist…I stayed up until 4AM and painted her doing yoga on Chesterman's…slept for 3 hours & finished it just in time to bring into the shop. At 12:00 Sophie Trudeau walked in. She is AMAZING. She is a personal hero of mine and her dedication to raising awareness towards feminism, mindfulness and self-worth inspires me to no end. It was an honour to hold space with her. After 30 minutes of jewellery shopping I finally mustered the nerve to show her my painting when her driver came in to whisk her off to an engagement. I was stoked that at least she’d got to see it…if only for a moment and that I’d been able to tell her what an inspiration she is to me. But I didn’t give up hope.
Yesterday, Justin Trudeau’s security guard came into the shop on his break and had a look at my art. He saw the one of Sophie and said, “Does her husband know this is here?”. I said, “No, I don’t think so.” I gave him one of my cards and he left. I went to bed last night and visualized them both coming in for a VERY long time.
At 11:30 today one of the Prime Minister’s other security guards came into the House of Alaia and said, “The Prime Minister & his wife are on their way in. They are 5 minutes out.”
This photo represents one of the proudest moments of my life. I was so excited to pick Lily up from daycare today to show her. She knows them as our King & Queen…which they are to me as well. It represents my dedication to Trusting the Universe and the forces that conspire in our favour all the time…if only we ask & show up. If there is something that you want in this life PUT IT OUT THERE! GO FOR IT! Anything is possible. <3
*and yes...They bought the painting!!


B.C. artist paints 'fierce' Sophie Gregoire Trudeau in warrior yoga pose | Canad