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Bonasvista Iceberg NFL, 36"X48", Oil on canvas

 A Rich Life: Gisele Comtois

"The end of a painting is really the beginning of the next one."

Gisele Comtois carries herself with confidence and poise. After 40 years as a practicing artist, she holds a vast repertoire of knowledge and experience. So when it comes to the art world, she has much to say. 

Born in St. Marc-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Comtois is known for her richly painted landscapes of the Gaspe coast, Charlevois County, the Laurentians, and the Eastern Township in Quebec - all regions very close to her heart. She has also travelled to capture the Maritimes, Northern Ontario, France, Italy, India, Egypt and South America.

Comtois has taught at various schools such as Sheridan College, and Ecole St-Phillipe. Her work can be found at various galleries such as Earls Court Gallery, The Art Gallery of Hamilton, The Art Gallery of Burlington, and Gallery 133.

We recently caught up with Ms. Comtois, about to embark on a trip to London England.

What are you working on right now?
I am working toward an exhibition at Earls Court  Gallery for September 2018. The subject is landscape but with a different approach such as  more space, movement.... inspirational.

What  inspires your work?  What are the themes you pursue?
The end of a painting is really the beginning of the next one. My inspiration comes from traveling to different places. After painting Northern Ontario, I went back to Quebec to paint the Laurentians, Eastern Township and finally Charlevoix County. On sketching trips I would spend as much as 3 weeks just to study the land formation and find a rhythm of my own.
Lumiere Printaniere, 30"x36" Oil on canvas
Which artists have influenced your work throughout your career?
The first 10 years I was influenced by mostly the Impressionists and many accomplished Canadian artists. Later on, I pursued developing my own colour palette. I travelled though Europe to visit their Museums discovering the quality of their light and shadow - Caravaggio was sublime..... his modern sensibility and the dramatic use of light in his paintings. Now, my colour is my signature.
Winter Symphony, In the Charlevoix County, Oil on canvas

What advice would you give to a young emerging artist?
WORK WORK AND WORK AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. Experiment with different media. Travel to see the works of the great Masters. Find your own subject. Become a creator of nature. Paint only what you have seen. Good paintings do not just consist of strong composition, colour etc...they tell a story. Then, when you feel positive about your work, try approaching a commercial Gallery. Keep in mind that Galleries have established artists and they usually promote those artists first. They are the ones who support the Arts, so it is important that you respect those pillars.
Gisele Comtois and friend, Burlington, Ontario. 
By Kelly Drennan, 2017

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