Happy - Dynamic - Joyful
This how Claire Desjardins would describe her own work. Growing up she wanted to be a business person like her father - today she is a successful artist whose paintings are being sold worldwide and feature on products from companies such as Anthropologie, Microsoft and Samsung.
The Canadian artist's work focusses on gestures and colour. With energetic brushstrokes that almost seem to leap of the canvas and a palette so bold that her paintings exude a vibrant energy, she aims to 'paint happiness' and to inspire joy in the viewer.
We interviewed the artist to discover where she finds inspiration.
INTERVIEW WITH THE ARTIST
Q. You paint surrounded by nature, would you say your work is a reflection of this?
A. I paint what I see and feel around me, every day. Right now, I’m spending a lot of time at home, in the country, so I’m finding myself drawn to painting the flowers that I see (and some that I imagine!) in my flower beds. But I won’t paint floral paintings all of the time… I gravitate towards the abstract, which is more of an expression of my mood than anything else.
Q. How would you describe your state of mind when you are working?
A. As many artists do, I go into a state of zen when things are good. I become quite manic, and need to get my ideas out. I have a fear of forgetting them, if I don’t. I don’t want to be interrupted when I’m in this mental zone, as it breaks my stride. When I paint, I am relaxed and focussed.
Q. What is your favourite time of day to paint?
A. My best time to paint, most days, is in the early morning. I find that I’m fresher and more alive at that time. By the time lunchtime has passed, I’m often ready for a nap. Sadly, I don’t always get to paint in the morning, as I live in a household with two dogs that need daily walks, among other tasks that I need to tend to. Living in the country, there is always work to do around the property.
Q. What would you like your paintings to evoke in the viewer?
A. I often paint with bold colors. I do so to inspire joy to my viewers and especially, to myself. I find it helps me to remain more balanced, emotionally, to paint happiness. I tried painting darker, more sombre paintings, at one point, but found myself pulled down into an emotional abyss. I’m so connected to what I paint. It’s like an emotional lifeline.
Q. What does it mean to you when your work becomes part of people’s everyday life in the form of objects or wearable pieces?
A. I like the idea of making my artwork accessible to everyone who wants it, and it’s an honour. Not everyone can afford a large painting, but they might be able to buy a cushion, a lampshade, or a phone case with my artwork on it. People who purchase my merchandise (…) tell me that it brings them joy. That makes me happy.
Q. Your work has been part of so many exciting collaborations - is there still a realm you would like to conquer?
A. There are always collaborative projects out there that I would love to participate in! In particular, I am hoping to do more public art. I was recently awarded a project by the Sarasota Modern Hotel, to put a 30-foot mural on the side of their building, in downtown Sarasota, Florida. I’m proud of that, and would love nothing more than to find more opportunities like that. It’s very exciting!
Q. Are there any other creatives that inspire you?
A. There are so MANY creatives who inspire me in so many ways: the Abstract Expressionists (pretty much all of them), as well as living artists: Yayoi Kusama, Edel Rodriguez, Emma Larsson, Susan Maddux, and so many more.