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Question 4: What formal studies or progression of activities did you pursue?
The academic training, I attended École Cormier in Edmundston, then the École des Beaux-Arts for five years to get my teacher’s certificate in drawing, and an additional year for a diploma in sculpture. That was a whole other world, with different opinions from different professors, it was quite a revelation. It turned out that I was pretty successful. But if it hadn’t been for the École des Beaux-Arts… It’s clear that I couldn’t have been accepted in an English university. First of all being the oldest of a family of 13, I’d receive no help from my family. During that time, it didn’t cost very much to enrol into the École des Beaux-Arts in Montreal. At one time we only paid for the materials. So I’m lucky to have had the École des Beaux-Arts in Montreal. It was during the era of… or rather the post-Pellan era, and then Borduas developed around the same time. They had no ties with the École des Beaux-Arts. We would call them the “scribblers”. But in the end, these two forms complement each other, to my way of seeing, and I always appreciated the work of the Automatists. So in other words, everything that is visual creation, in any kind of technique, I’m rarely unable to appreciate it in the end. I can’t say that I could work with all those forms, but still, many mediums have fascinated me throughout my life.