Esther Garneau


Once upon a time, there was a self-taught artist who splashed color and emotion on canvas. She liked people to read the titles of her artworks by looking at her paintings to understand what she wanted to express. The viewer will interpret the artwork according to his or her own feelings, and come to his or her own conclusion. Isn’t that the beauty of art? My vision is to make art accessible by welcoming both the novice and the experienced collector.

My artworks are generally created in a single session. I can work for hours on end and feel like only one hour has passed. I no longer feel pain, hunger or thirst… I’m in complete symbiosis with the artwork. I can convey my most intimate emotions to her without shame, and she’ll keep the secret. Lyrical abstraction is about translating the direct expression of emotion and expressing an inner truth. I give myself the right to change direction according to my emotional need, to explore a collection over a long or short period. I chose acrylics as my preferred medium because I love the richness of its color range and its versatility, which make it the perfect medium for me. I like to create quickly. I work with paint both meticulously and in spontaneous gestures, combining brush and spatula. I regularly incorporate iridescent and metallic colors, to illuminate the artwork, and complement it with touches of alcohol inks and gold leaf.

Exchanging and working with other artists helps me open up to the world around me. Throughout my career, several important figures have helped me assert my style and my status as an artist, such as Jackson Pollock and Riopelle. I found revealing answers to my questions when I read their stories: alcohol problems, self-taught artists, the need for creation that outweighs the means. The Refus Global artists, made up of equal numbers of men and women, who contest the same points that I myself have defended since childhood. I can see that their concerns are also mine, and are still relevant today. As for Yayoi Kusama, she inspires me in my legitimacy as a woman artist. She helped me to understand the link between the emotion I experienced and the general direction of my work.

It was Fernand Leduc’s work that led me, in my most recent collections, to take an interest in color theory, more specifically its changing meanings according to hues, societies and eras. My experience of a thousand and one emotions had previously led me to create often chaotic artworks composed of a multitude of colors and textures. My mind, now calmer, guides me to collections where I explore one emotion at a time to dissect them and free myself from them. By observing Mother Nature and the changing seasons, I realized that, like her, I had to adapt to the many changes and show resilience. Feeling happy allows me to create works of art that will make you dream! Art is therapy for those who create and for those who observe!

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