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Question 10: Are there recurring themes or subjects in your art?
If I have developed a theme in a painting, it’s possible that I’ll use it again, the fans for example. If I’m making a painting and I need an image that would look like a fan, I’ll use it. Or the theme of cities. I’ve used the word of cities such as Paris, Toronto, Miami or Venetia, Venice – I’ve created an entire series on Venice because I visited the city and found it so compelling – as I did Paris, Toronto, Ottawa, Ottawa because of our politics, and Kouchibouguac… All these pieces had words as their starting point. I started a series on cities – all cities that had touched my soul during my travels. Instead of creating an image of the city – the Mirabeau Bridge or the Eiffel Tower – in the word itself is found the whole energy of the city. So I made a painting coloured in instinctively, then in a structured manner, more instinctive at the start and structured afterwards, then I added the word of the city, or the painting itself revealed the name of the city because it worked well together. So yes, some things can recur in later paintings. I also use a lot of writing in my paintings. Often my paintings are prepared by writing poems, by sticking pieces of paper, by throwing some sand on it – any material that’s available – to give the painting a history even before I start it. When I start a painting there is already so much material underneath, it would be like the chapter of a novel, there’s a whole story to it, I’ve written stuff on them, and these ideas resurface as I work on the concept of a series of paintings.