Noémie L. Côté

Born in: 1980, Canada
Lives in: Ottawa, Canada
Describe your art in three words: Happy textured landscapes
Education: Undergraduate in Ceramics at Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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"Looking at my work you are at once hit by the sugar-pop of colour that reimagines the landscapes I bring to life on canvas. It’s hard not to be swept along in the bounce of my thick textured paint strokes and moved by the sheer joy that emanates from the rich oil colours. I specialize in vibrant landscapes that captures the essence of a scene, and leaves the observer uplifted."

What themes does your work involve?
I paint landscapes to capture the essence of being in nature—those moments when the sun shimmers off the water, the warmth of a sunset, or the wind gently rocking the trees
Describe your creative process.
I immerse myself in nature as much as possible, capturing moments through photography. Recalling the emotions, I sketch, ink, and paint using thick, buttery oils. The pre-mixed oil paints remain un-muddled, applied with bold strokes resembling butter icing. I paint without layering, preserving the texture and tiny ridges left by the brush. Strokes are applied side by side, leaving space for the underpaint to shine through, imparting a sense of underlying light to the artwork. The vibrant colours are refreshing and never appear overworked or overly detailed, encouraging viewers to engage their imagination rather than expecting a realistic reproduction. I often work in small series, exploring a location or scene across various canvas sizes and colour variations.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
The biggest influence on my work is nature. Having lived on different continents and traveled extensively, I've come to appreciate the beauty and uniqueness of each region. Nature evokes an immense feeling of peace and inner joy that I aim to capture in my paintings. My artistic style has been influenced by the Canadian Group of Seven and Impressionist founders such as Claude Monet. I create art because of a strong inner need to express myself creatively. Art is my self-expression, and without it, I feel incomplete. It's my way of sharing joy and uplifting others.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
Today's art acts as a catalyst for change, with artists creatively expressing themselves and serving various purposes, such as reflecting societal values, contributing to cultural preservation, providing entertainment, and adding beauty to spaces. Personally, as a young child, creating art served as a form of communication and therapy. Art opens your mind and can elevate your spirit.
What is the role of the artist today?
One of the most important roles of the artist is to tell stories, documenting the events and memories of today in a lasting and meaningful way through art. I see an artist’s greatest purpose as being able to inspire others, passing the torch to the next generations the way my mentors passed it on to me.


This interview was published by Circle Foundation of the Arts. © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist