Marie Diane Bessette

“Painting the dance of the birds; mainly the crow, the falcon, the goose, the eagle —these subtle beings with their broad wings and feathers that spread like fingers in the great circle of the living kingdom.”

“Peindre la danse des oiseaux, principalement le corbeau, le faucon, l’oie, l’aigle, ces êtres subtils avec leurs larges ailes et leurs plumes qui s’écartent comme des doigts dans le grand cercle du règne vivant.”

Refrain - Acrylic and watercolour on wood 152 x 76 cm
“C’est pas les papillons Qui dérangent vraiment; C’est les 22 oiseaux Qui décollent en même temps.”

From Canada, Marie Diane Bessette is a semi-figurative painter of nature, and above all of trees and birds. She has chosen Laurentians to live at and create. For Bessette it was always easy to express herself through drawing.

She studied arts at CEGEP du Vieux-Montréal where she worked in several media. Subsequently, she continued her artistic training at the Center des arts visuels and at Concordia University, in drawing, in oil painting, then in emotional painting with Madame Rita Brianski. Her evolution towards the semi-figurative was when she joined the Sfumato workshop in 2012. Her work is important and allows the artist to explore other corners of her creativity. She produces, with various media on both small, medium and large format paintings, several of which are also diptychs and triptychs.

Bessette practices and teaches a method of drawing that cultivates creative potential by silencing logic to better see the world to which we are linked. Out of time, the whole being participates in it.

 


 

Peintre semi-figurative de la nature, et avant tout des arbres et des oiseaux, elle a choisi les Laurentides pour y vivre et créer. Elle a toujours eu de la facilité à s’exprimer par le dessin. Elle étudie les arts au CEGEP du Vieux-Montréal où elle touche à plusieurs médias. Par la suite, elle poursuit sa formation artistique au Centre des arts visuels et à l’Université Concordia, en dessin, en peinture à l’huile, puis en peinture émotionnelle avec Madame Rita Brianski.on évolution vers le semi-figuratif, s’effectue lors de son adhésion à l’atelier Sfumato en 2012. Son œuvre est importante et lui permet d’explorer d’autres recoins de sa créativité. Elle produit avec des médiums variés autant des tableaux de petite dimension, que de format moyen et de grand format. Plusieurs de ses tableaux composent des diptyques et des triptyques.

Elle pratique et enseigne une méthode de dessin qui cultive le potentiel créateur en faisant taire la logique pour mieux voir le monde auquel nous sommes liés. Hors du temps, l’être entier y participe.

Au rythme du printemps (The Rhythm of Spring) - Acrylic on wood R. 101,6 cm
J’entends les cris des oiseaux migrateurs qui se dirigent en formation vers le nord. La bernache vit au rythme des saisons : le printemps suit l’hiver, l’été suit le printemps et l’automne suit l’été. Comme l’oiseau, toute chose a ses cycles. Il fait bon de faire partie de tout cela. (1 /4 série Au Rythme des saisons)
I hear the cries of migrating birds flying north in their V formation. The wild goose lives to the rhythm of the seasons: spring follows winter, summer follows spring, and autumn follows summer. Everything has its cycles. It feels good to be part of it all. (1/4 Series The Rhythm of the Seasons)
Au rythme de l'été (The Rhythm of Summer) - Acrylic on wood R. 61 cm
Pendant la saison de nidification, le mâle défend les abords du nid contre les intrusions. La bernache vit au rythme des saisons : le printemps suit l’hiver, l’été suit le printemps et l’automne suit l’été. Comme l’oiseau, toute chose a ses cycles. Il fait bon de faire partie de tout cela. (2/4 série Au Rythme des saisons)
During nesting season, the male defends the perimeter of the nest against intruders. The wild goose lives to the rhythm of the seasons: spring follows winter, summer follows spring, and autumn follows summer. Everything has its cycles. It feels good to be part of it all. (2/4 Series The Rhythm of the Seasons)
Au rythme de l'automne (The Rhythm of Fall) - Acrylic on wood R. 61 cm
Les oies sauvages s’envolent à l’automne pour des contrées plus chaudes. La bernache vit au rythme des saisons : le printemps suit l’hiver, l’été suit le printemps et l’automne suit l’été. Comme l’oiseau, toute chose a ses cycles. Il fait bon de faire partie de tout cela. (3/4 série Au Rythme des saisons)
The wild geese fly away to warmer climes in fall. The wild goose lives to the rhythm of the seasons: spring follows winter, summer follows spring, and autumn follows summer. Everything has its cycles. It feels good to be part of it all. (3 /4 Series The Rhythm of the Seasons)
Au rythme de l'hiver (The Rhythm of Winter) - Acrylic on wood R. 61 cm
Par ce froid glacial, un nuage a épousé la forme d’une oie sauvage. La bernache vit au rythme des saisons : le printemps suit l’hiver, l’été suit le printemps et l’automne suit l’été. Comme l’oiseau, toute chose a ses cycles. Il fait bon de faire partie de tout cela. (4/4 série Au Rythme des saisons)
In the glacial cold, a cloud takes the shape of a wild goose. The wild goose lives to the rhythm of the seasons: spring follows winter, summer follows spring, and autumn follows summer. Everything has its cycles. It feels good to be part of it all. (4/4 Series The Rhythm of the Seasons)
Between the Branches of Time - Acrylic and watercolor on wood 76 x 76cm
Nocturnal round - Acrylic and watercolor on wood 61 cm
Presage - Ink with acrylic with Japanese paper on wood 61 x 30cm
Mirage - Acrylic with Japanese paper on wood 36 x 51 cm
Morning round - Acrylic and watercolor on wood 61 cm

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


Visit Marie Diane Bessette's website

Inquire About this Artist

Discover More Member Artists

Become A Member Artist

Nyle Major

Born 1983, New Zealand

Lives in: Auckland, New Zealand

Describe your art in 3 words: Traditional. Time. Timeless.

See More Work:  https://major-art.com/

Repulse - Oil on canvas 50 x 100 cm

"Realism is charming when it borrows a gleam of poetry from the imagination." - Sigfried Nettement quoting William Bouguereau, 1906

What themes does your work involve?
Classical realism is a driving force behind this painting. Coupled with a contemporary framework, the work is drawn from traditional inspiration & methods to replicate and expand on the 19th century French art movements, while using a theme familiar to traditional art.
Describe your creative process.
As with any new work, it spawns as an idea or concept, sometimes you can visualize an end product, sometimes you can't. A developmental process follows where composition and colour palette are worked out which goes a long way to illustrate what is expected in the final art work.These are usually conceived and created as a series of works, as I think it is important that they read well together and bounce off each other when being exhibited together. Therefore, there are usually elements present in these paintings which flow with other paintings in the same series. The paintings go through an underpainting process followed by a second pass. This is usually where a painting is complete, though extra work often goes into finishing it off to a high standard.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
Art is always something that has made sense to me. It just helps that a little technical aptitude has been learned to make it a strength. I'm inspired by the greats who came before us and the desire to replicate the harmony their paintings have. Artists such as William Bouguereau, Alma Tadema, and Gotfried Lindeaur. Being able to make art is a huge joy that has come from years of perseverance, and my art practice is now reaching a point where the work I have completed inspires the next one on its own merits.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
Asking what good art is can be a touchy subject, as it is ultimately subjective.. The definition of art has morphed and changed so much in the last one hundred years. I have always believed that art requires time and skill in order be called 'art'. The end result needs to be able to provoke a reaction in the viewer- for better or worse, and whatever the idea is in the artwork that the artist is trying to convey- needs to be seen and understood by as many viewers as possible.
What is the role of the artist today?
The role of the artist hasn't changed in essence. It is to communicate an idea through (in this case), a visual means. How art is seen by others is where contemporary society has changed what an artist creates. As mentioned, I believe art requires a level of talent that sets them apart from everyone else, but the modern definition of art is a lot broader now than in the past. Therefore while art is to still communicate ideas & provoke reactions, contemporary art has diluted the intensity of those ideas, therefore making the art of the past more revered and inspiring.

 


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


Jason Engelbart

Born 1960, Germany

Lives in: Hamburg, Germany

Describe your art in 3 words: Inspiring, touching, visionary

See More Work:  http://jasonengelbart.de | Singulart

FAIRY TALES TOLD BY THE WIND - Digital Neo Painting, Fine Art Print on Alu Dibond 175 x 130 cm

"My abstract-baroque works are based on my personal exploration of the diversity of our being. They are at the same time a reflection of the universal love that unites us all and they are an expression of my deep respect for our being, for the wonders of life and for every creature in this world. Against this background, my works are a homage to life, to our being."

What themes does your work involve?
The more our world is unsteady, the more the intentions for positive charging and balancing become stronger in me. It is not about painting the things in my works looking beautiful, but rather about using the tools at my disposal to trigger reflection and create a positive awareness of our daily togetherness. Here is the source of my sacral-abstract emotional artworks. In the creative process I feel deeply connected with my soul, my spirit… with God. My so-called digital neopaintings of the work cycle THE JOY OF BEING (2016 until today) are created in a purely intuitive creative process and are reflections of my personal feelings and experiences. My art is a testament to a cultivation of wholesome, human qualities, for positive change and development, which I state as my artistic vision.
Describe your creative process.
Using my characteristic digital painting technique, developed over the years, I abstract selected original works of the Baroque art epoch by superimposing picture levels, blurring, overpainting and re-composing them. In the process, my very own flowing structures and pictorial rhythms emerge, while the original colour composition remains largely untouched. In sum, colour and form transform into a single aesthetic-abstract event that is experienced on a purely emotional level and independent of time and space as a holy moment. Through this form of digitally painterly, an abstract re-staging of the original, I build a finely balanced bridge to contemporary art without disenchanting.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
The trigger for my abstract-baroque serie of works was a visit to the Würzburg Residenz in Germany in 2016. Overwhelmed by the opulent ceiling frescoes by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Antonio Giuseppe Bossi and Johannes Zick inside the Baroque castle, a deep desire arose in me to mirror this splendour of spirituality in the form of an abstract translation into the present. I closed my eyes while looking at the exuberant works on the walls and ceilings, except for a narrow slit of vision, until the figurativeness of the paintings dissolved into abstraction. Thus the foundation stone for my work cycle THE JOY OF BEING was laid.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
In my opinion, good art is timeless and at the same time enables reflection on the respective present moment. It touches on an emotional level, inspires the viewer and encourages him to pause and to contemplate.
What is the role of the artist today?
From my personal point of view, all forms of art are expressions of human existence. They are instruments for dealing with the past and at the same time have a dimension directed towards the future through visionary content, that can be guiding for the further development of society. This is why it is particularly important for an artist to use his/her possibilities of artistic expression in a respectful and responsible manner. In our multi-ethnic world, art therefore has a particularly high status. At best, it is an engagement to support integration and to highlight the positive elements of cultural diversity. In this sense, art is an invitation to a dialogue between the most diverse cultures and it offers the opportunity for self- reflection – for the artist and also for each recipient.
OVERTURE TO A FANTASTIC DREAM
- Digital Neo Painting, Fine Art Print on Alu Dibond 190 x 120 cm
GOLDEN GLOW OF CONFIDENCE - Digital Neo Painting, Fine Art Print on Alu Dibond 95 x 170 cm
FESTIVAL OF A MAGNIFICENT TRANSFORMATION - Digital Neo Painting, Fine Art Print on Alu Dibond 104 x 160 cm
EUPHORIA II - Digital Neo Painting, Fine Art Print on Alu Dibond 180 x 145 cm

 


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


Michael Herbert Dorn

Born 1961, St. George's, Bermuda

Lives in: Kraainem, Belgium

Describe your art in 3 words: Post-contemporary art

See More Work:  www.michaelherbertdorn.com | Instagram@michael_herbert_dorn_artist

David's Oath of the Horatii (David's Le Serment des Horaces) - Oil on oil primed linen 140 x 110 cm

"The painting series entitled, SYLLOGY, combines "traditional European painting techniques" and intermedia elements including the use of digital mobile devices to view the exhibited paintings as "color-inverted" digital images. This new painting series appropriates "canonical" European paintings in order to create and vitalize a new context for art historical and contemporary representation."

What themes does your work involve?
One of several thematics involved in my work is a question regarding the fundamental truth value of the received historical records that are used to validate modern concepts of reality. A leading concept within my work is the singular idea that a metaphysical inversion has imprisoned all possible conceptions of reality. I use canonical representations of European history and mythology as a visual jumping-off point to set up conditions for a pictorial argument about the racialization of historical representation. But, the thematic of race is really just a primer.
Describe your creative process.
My process begins with a search for a suitable classical or canonical painting. Whenever possible, I do try to study the painting directly from life, making my own sketches and photographs during that session. However, COVID restrictions have made this nearly impossible. So, now I either purchase or locate free high-resolution images online. The images need to be high resolution. Using Photoshop, I'll make adjustments to the saturation, color temperature, and other image aspects. After this, I create the inverted image of the subject painting. I usually make one or two poster studies with the added figure. From the very begining of the process I am thinking about the placement of the additional figure. I use the "story" of the painting to help guide me.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
Today, the artist's ability to actually engage their sensitivities with the events happening in the world are the primary measure of good, great, and worthless art. True art goes beyond self-expression or any financial interest.
About my current work, and what is the Post-contemporary?
I call myself a “post-contemporary” oil painter. What I mean by post-contemporary will become more apparent as I briefly describe my working processes. My current painting project takes a look back in art history. It appropriates (or expropriates—depending on one’s viewpoint) the view of a particular foundational oil painting of the early renaissance, northern renaissance, mannerism, baroque, or the neoclassical periods of art history, respectively. I use both religious and secular themed paintings. Using digital images of these paintings, I essentially recreate these “classical” works of art as color-inverted images—they appear as what used to be called a (film) “negative” in the commercial heyday of photographic films like Kodak, Fuji, and Ilford. But that’s not all. I have painted an additional figure within the negative field of these images—a so-called “racially-black” figure. I usually place this “interloper” figure within a pictorial space that appears to me to be inactive in the original paintings. This creates a new, two-way visual context.

My process begins with the search for a suitable “classical” painting. Whenever possible, I try to directly study and take high-resolution digital photographs of the actual painting. Museum visits have become nearly impossible with the manifestation of COVID-19. So, now I either purchase or locate free images online. Within Photoshop, I then make color adjustments to the image, including its color inversion. In addition to color inversion, I will sometimes alter the images overall color temperature, and in selected areas, the color saturation. After that, I will usually make one or more small freehand color “poster-studies” in oil paints to explore the color relationships and the composition. I carefully study the color relationships between the reconfigured and color-inverted oil painting and the virtual image captured on the mobile device’s screen. In these sketches, I include all aspects of the inverted “classical” painting and the added “non-color inverted” (color-positive) figure. Once I am satisfied, I will then make an underdrawing on my canvas using blue Staedtler Lumichrome drafting leads. I’ll then apply a very thin layer of semi-transparent titanium white and marble dust paint to the entire canvas. This scumble layer is referred to as a “half-paste.” This half- paste becomes what in the early Italian method is termed the campitura layer. Over the dry half-paste layer, I begin to apply my color upon the now faintly visible blue lines of the underpainting, modeling the forms as I go along. I work each section very close to the final finish, except the central background, which I’ll generally lay in during the final stages. Of course, this is a very fluid process, and it never follows—one-two-three—like I’ve just written.

Both my creative process and the ideological foundation of my project depends upon digital media. Of critical importance in this painting series is the spectator’s use of their digital mobile device to provide an active digitally color-inverted view of each of the paintings displayed within the actual exhibition space. Viewing an analog painting with the aid of a mobile digital-media device is explicitly a new way of encountering and extending a painting’s semantic potential by challenging the conventional notion of how we (traditionally) experience or view a “painting.”

This project came about as I began to explore and question the development of European and Eurocentric racial ideologies (namely, white-supremacy) that were concurrent with the development of many of the aforementioned art historical periods and many confluent Eurocentric philosophical systems. My current project also resonates with my questioning of how contemporary political, social, and cultural ideas interact with the plastic arts from the European past.

Some artists/writers might classify the post-contemporary as an aesthetic or a critical construct. But I am doubtful of the limiting framework of those terms. Other writers have called the post-contemporary a movement akin to the Baroque redux or Neoclassical redux. Not me. By post-contemporary, I do not mean the widely held consensus that post- contemporary artworks merely or mainly exhibit the traits of skillful execution, creativity, and expresses some degree of “empathy.” I would say that there are many works done by some of the most well trained and technically skilled artists in the world that are not post- contemporary. I’m afraid I also have to disagree that what is being called post-contemporary art is some newfangled way of positing traditional, global, or universal values—as opposed to contemporary art, which they claim pertain to transient (or spurious), topical, or local values.

For me, the post-contemporary artist holds a generous view upon all the myriad forms of what we call art history. By generous I mean two things. First, the totality of art history is taken as a barometer of both the global and national social, political, and cultural environment. Second, this generous view is taken as through a holographic lens. It is a view enabling a capacity towards moral imagination, that distinct quality of understanding (a work of art) within the general and specific context of its creation. Above all things, beyond this said specific context, the post-contemporary implementation proceeds as a form of inquiry into how historical (Eurocentric) visual culture has been used and is being used to inculcate, delineate, underscore, and establish the political, social, and cultural artifacts of our age. The post-contemporary artist is not at all interested in the so-called art historical tradition for the sake of hegemonic notions of tradition and the idea that “it was better back then.” The post contemporary artist understands that art history is foremost an ideological political field. For me, post-contemporary artists must make an in-depth inquiry into how the visually received narratives function within our contemporary milieux to create injustice, lies, and outright (psycho-cultural) deceptions. Within this post-contemporary sphere, my primary interest is in exploring and challenging the ideas fomented by the representation (or lack thereof) of non- white peoples in classical European art.

 


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


Joejene C. Santos

Born 1970, Philippines

Lives in: Ottawa, Canada

Describe your art in 3 words: I Am Alive

See More Work:  www.joejeneartstudio.com | Instagram@joejenecsantos

Vivere - Acrylic and mixed media on canvas 60 x 48 in.

"Art is a discovery of who we are within and the greatest that we will be."

What themes does your work involve?
Self-discovery is the heart and soul of my creative practice. To me, knowing the beauty of who we are within is a liberating truth. This truth is the expression of life that I am alive, entitled to live life being true to oneself and enjoy it to the fullest passionately and courageously. Being in constant awe and wonder of the world around us, being one with all its creation, soaking in the beauty of the present moment, and being grateful with the gift of life, are what fuel my creativity.
Describe your creative process.
My creative process is very intuitive, consciously engaging and enjoying the moment of creation. I do a series of works that inspired me for which it provides the main structure for the pictorial composition but when I work, I love the idea that I do not worry about what it is about, where it is going, or how it is going to be put together. I just want to be in my present and feel alive. And yet, when I am in that moment, I know that within me, there is already an image, I just have to bring it out by feeling it.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
Modern abstract masters and great contemporary artists do have some influences on me as an artist. Knowing that their personal experiences play a great deal in the development of their art, helps validate how I see my own art -- to be honest and true. Being consciously alive that I am here to live and enjoy life's beauty and wonder is what mostly inspires what I do. Knowing oneself is knowing the beauty and joy that the reason for what you do is worth sharing so others may be inspired in their own lives.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
For me, good art pleases your senses but great art moves you into another level of joy that makes you feel more alive.
What is the role of the artist today?
To be in the present, to be authentic, honest, and true.
Now I Know - Acrylic and mixed media on canvas 45 x 40 in.
It's You - Acrylic and mixed media on canvas 57 x 45 in.
An Angel Of The Slums - Acrylic and mixed media on canvas 60 x 48 in.
Freshen Up - Acrylic and mixed media on canvas 60 x 48 in.

 


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