Josiane Gagnon


Born in 1970 in Montreal. I undertake studies in fine arts and graphic design. In 1992, I worked as a graphic artist. For 15 years, I...


Although my paintings mostly represent landscapes, the final result of the subject itself matters little to me. The trees, clouds, rocks, mountains and water are the elements that provide me with a freedom that’s important for my creative expressions. In contrast, by attempting to represent characters or complex industrial objects, trees are not as stereotyped in the mental representation and therefore require less recognition. The Gestalt psychology has proven that man has a tendency to search for similarities with his own mental representation of an object. For example, it will strain one’s eye if an individual is not fairly represented. He or she will say that this individual’s ears are too large, or that he’s deformed and ugly! However, the shapes required to compose a landscape are simple: a cloud is a horizontal oval, a tree is a circle containing foliage, and a tree trunk is represented with a narrow vertical rectangle. Ultimately, the proportions also lose their complexity: a small and a large tree can be in proximity to a same plan because mother nature allows it do so. And so I’m free to explore different kinds of shapes, while allowing each piece to have its own rhythm. This also applies to the colours that obey this rule, dictated by seasonal daylight, a tree may be violet in the morning, grey if it’s lost in the depth of the landscape, or even orange when fall is coming. Then, if I feel like painting a purple tree, I acclimatise the sky so as not to confuse the observer. I use very little shading in order to bring about a playground filled with fun and spontaneity for my plastic work. Harmony is the most important rule I tend to respect in my work – I’m convinced harmony brings about a sense of well-being. When I paint, I always have in mind a sense of grace that I want to convey to people along with a desire to communicate simplicity, gentleness and happiness. My naive style reflects a child’s innocence; it isn’t obstructed by adults who would require it to be more sophisticated and well-learned. If my work manages in wanting you to forget the constraints of realism, bringing you to travel with complete recklessness with its shapes and colours, and without you even having had the time to ask any questions, then my mission will have been accomplished. Landscape painting provides me with this plastic freedom allowing me to playfully explore form and colour and thus convey a message of peace. Among the artists who inspire me, I would say – Gauguin, for the purity of his work, Marc-Aurèle Fortin for his love of trees, Lawren Harris for his skill with form and depth and Frédéric Back, for his sense of play.

  • Age: 46
  • Joined: September 2012
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait