The extremely talented Paul Paquette is recognizable for his distinct painterly style, his mastery of colour theory, and for a list of artistic influences as far-reaching as his travel itinerary (we see the touch of Van Gogh, Tom Thompson and Cubism in his European and Canadian scenes).
This past year, the artist moved from Vancouver to Squamish and bought his first house. Ahead of his solo exhibition at the Adele Campbell Gallery, we interviewed Paul to see what effects this life-change might have had on his latest body of works.
“Many of the paintings are inspired by the scenery around my new home in Squamish... the Chief, Howe Sound the Squamish estuary,” Paul explains. “These are all places I have walked and hiked, sketched and photographed. It's wonderful having so many inspiring subjects so close at hand.”
He continues, “The year has been busy with demolitions, renovations, landscaping, as well as exploring Squamish's rock crags and biking and hiking trails. At times I suppose my art painting was a bit neglected. But now that I am more or less settled in to the new digs and the weather keeps me indoors more, my half-renovated painting studio is in full swing.”
If anything, prioritizing time to explore over time to paint has had a positive effect for the established artist. Paul is thriving in his new community, and his passion for the local landscape is reflected in his stunning new scenes, which include views of Whistler Mountain, Howe Sound and even a vintage fire engine. “I recently was accepted to train with the volunteer fire department in Squamish,” Paul informs us, “so I would have to say that the old fire engine would be my personal favourite (of this collection).”
Some say that creativity is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine parts perspiration. For Paul, it’s more like 30:70. “I find that an inspiring subject makes the actual painting part so much easier. Other times the inspiration only really comes after the painting is in progress and good things begin to emerge. When the painting 'feels right' you don't have to fight it.” Certainly there are no signs of a struggle to create this latest series, within which Paul undertakes bold explorations of colour, dramatic brushwork and voyages into abstraction almost effortlessly.
In Squamish, Paul has also found a new home for his creativity, and the inspiration doesn’t stop at this solo show: “Being that nature is so much more close at hand now I am hoping that the coming year will see opportunities for plein air painting along the Sea to Sky corridor.”
We know that’s something we would love to see!
Welcome Paul to the sea-to-sky area, and enjoy his interpretations of our local landscapes at the opening of his solo show on Saturday, March 11th from 5-7pm!