Claire Desjardins has always made art, but it was only recently that she has begun to call herself an artist. "I grew up in an artistic family and, as kids, we were expected to entertain ourselves. Usually that meant drawing or painting," she says. Formerly a graphic designer by trade, she recently left the business to pursue painting full time--and the art world has taken notice. In her current solo exhibition at Toronto's Muse Gallery, she shows her latest collection of bright acrylic abstracts, created using a rubber spatula. "I was playing with a spatula, just because I wanted to try different tools," she explains of her unusual choice, adding, "I'm always trying to find different ways to make the paint react to the surface."
We asked Desjardins to tell us about her artistic journey, and share an exclusive look at her latest collection below.
The Calling Card:
With painting I really feel a calling. I think about my art night and day. I'm a little obsessive, but that's what happens. For me, painting is a way of expressing my feelings about what I'm experiencing, whether it's good or bad. If you can find that passion about something, you've got to pursue it.
I never wanted to be a starving artist, so I tried the business route, doing graphic design and web development. I was quite happy and played around with painting on the side. It picked up momentum and soon I was painting all the time. I sold to friends here and there. Strangers began contacting me inquiring about my work and that was a real rush. It picked up momentum from there.
When Genius Strikes:
Usually I'll get inspired by some feeling, or something that's going on in my life. Color is very emotional, so that's the first thing that comes to mind. I'll figure out the color palette and then move from there.
I love the abstract expressionists. Abstract paint is all about contrast. You may have opaque and translucent, thick and watery paint, bright colors and pastels all in the same painting. The play between two extremes is what makes painting interesting.