This is the first in a new series of Interviews.
Every artist was once an amateur. — Ralph Waldo Emerson.
We’ve decided to share the inspiring voices and views of the very talented group of people who attend our Workshops.
Some students are novices, attending a Workshop for the first time, exploring an interest in the creative side of life.
Many more, however, are in various stages of professional development, and take Workshops to expand their range of proficiency, try a brand new medium, or return to a technique once learned but not recently practiced.
Interestingly, our inaugural student interview is with someone who falls into both categories – once a slightly nervous student, Manon Boisvert has now attended a wide range of Workshops, fearlessly experimenting in media and techniques ranging from painting and digital printing, to fiber arts.
The result has been rewarding both personally and professionally – Manon has been showing and selling her artwork in galleries in Quebec, and has developed a unique line of custom-printed silkwork cards.
Manon has recently had her work accepted to the prestigious National Collage Society 30th Annual Juried Show, and is a finalist in the 2015 American Watercolor Society (AWS) juried exhibition of artists from around the world. She has also garnered many awards for her work,
We’re pleased to share some of her story with you.
Books v. e-books
How long have you been taking Art Workshops and what got you started?
My first workshop was in 2002 with Arleta Pech in Vancouver. I realised that I could learn much more when I was with others watching an instructor demonstrate a technique or discussing an art topic.
What is your favorite part of attending a Workshop?
What I enjoy most about Workshops is the opportunity to explore new ideas with artists whose training is unique and different from my own. In their company, I find inspiration and it rejuvenates my artistic vision.
What would you tell prospective students are the three best reasons for taking a Workshop? Taking a workshop is a brainstorming journey; each one is a valuable reference for every painting you begin. Each time, I am encouraged to awaken my sense of adventure and to jump-start my courage.
What are you currently working on in your own art? I am learning about sewing machines (of which I knew very little), dry felting, digital printing, joomchi. I am experimenting with stitch marks and textures to complement my collage and painting creative process.
Where is your art currently being exhibited?
I am a member of local, national and international associations. I exhibit my work in group shows and every two or three years I try to organize a solo. I have a “cave” studio where everyone is welcome. On my website, www.manonboisvert.com, you can find the calendar of events.
Is your work represented in galleries, and if so, what hints would you give to artists looking for gallery representation?
When I have worked with galleries, I always enjoy bringing my husband with me! He does a better job talking up my talent.
Do you sell your work in any online gallery?
Most of the places where I exhibit have an online presence.
What is your favorite art quote?
Cezanne said, “Painting is meditation with a brush.”
Describe your studio.
My studio is in my hide-away. It feels cave-like, but with good lighting. Being organised is very important to me so I keep my space very clean, orderly and attractive. I also have several work stations where I can print, paint or read.
Name five of your “can’t do without” tools/products.
I can’t do without the Internet; it is a lifeline to the universe of information; my Epson printer; a large, deep sink with running water; a library full of art books of all kinds; an ergonomic chair to sit at the computer, so that I don’t get neck or shoulder pain, and colour-balanced lighting.
Read some of our recent Instructor interviews: