Let us get straight to the interview…
I am a long-time artist and designer who specializes in large-scale murals, portraiture and landscape painting. I studied at the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design (NSCAD) in Halifax, N.S. from 1976-77 most notably with New York figurative painter Eric Fischl and Dutch color field painter Jan Andriesse.
Shortly after this I was hired to work as a 'liturgical designer' under the tutelage of the late Father Toby McIvern at the Montreal firm Desmarais and Robitaille.
These were formative experiences for me that set a course for my career as an artist. Currently, I am co-owner/operator of a business called 'G-G's Gallery & Gifts. This has 'put us on the map', with visitors from all over.
What type of art do you create?
My paintings are usually representational with a twist. I like to incorporate 'ideas' into every work of art...I feel that a painting has to have ideas brewing along with it just as a story needs a plot. I am an advocate of 'less is more' meaning that, for example, every blade of grass need not be painted as it ends up resulting in subject fatigue. I feel that the viewing experience is much more engaging when the work simply suggests an illusion of reality while allowing the viewer to fill in a lot of the meaning and detail with imagination.
Why do you create art?
I create art because it is like water and oxygen for me. Without movement through the creative process life becomes leaden for my heart and spirit. I create art to liberate the feelings and intuitions so they are free to mix and mingle with the medium...this generates an almost alchemical process with ART being the record of that engagement.
Can you tell us about your art influences?
In the far recesses of my creative process I am still, after all these years influenced by the teaching of Eric Fischl, the bold and fearless mentor of my days at Art College. Beyond his imposing shadow, I draw influence from a lot of sources both past and present. But mostly I make my own way in my creative process.
Do you make living with your art? If so, how?
I have been a full-time professional artist for many years. While I accept commissions to paint portraits and to design and paint monumental murals, in the past few years my own personal paintings have begun to sell, thanks to the fact that I have taken the step to open a seasonal Art Gallery. Social networking sites such as Facebook and Blogger have worked very effectively to generate extra buzz around the gallery. I would emphasize that having a bricks and mortar business has made all the difference in increasing my overall viability. The sustained, high-quality exposure of my artwork through this venue has resulted in mushrooming sales and also some very exciting commissions.
What are the themes and subject matter for your art, and how do you express them through your medium?
For the past few years I have been very impulsive when choosing my subject matter. When I see something or come up with an idea for a painting, I will just DO IT! My artwork falls roughly into four categories, albeit all with a common stylistic thread. They are: landscape, wildlife, portraiture and murals. My approach usually involves emphasizing only the 'central motif' while simplifying the peripheral imagery or environ. This technique tends to lead the eye to a point of interest while allowing the leisure of a relaxed focus on the setting so as not to create undo subject fatigue. Another virtue of this approach is to allow for the sub-conscious artist in me to shine when it is 'off to the side'. What I mean by this is often the parts of a painting that are left painted quite casually without a major focus are sometimes the most accomplished and interesting parts!
How often do you create art?
My productivity has dramatically increased since the establishment of my own gallery. It is such a great feeling to know that after a new work is completed I can instantaneously have it hanging on a wall in the gallery. Between my regular commissioned artwork and my own personal artwork I work on average six days a week.
What useful ways have you found to promote your art online and offline?
I have found the most dynamic and effective online sites to promote my artwork are Facebook fan pages (and personal page) along with the blogging platform. Fine Arts America provides excellent exposure as well.
Please describe yourself in one sentence.
I am a largely self-taught artist who is fearless and uncompromising when it comes to making art.
Do you have any parting advice you can give to aspiring and emerging artists?
If you want it done right, do it yourself! I spent years struggling to break into the gallery scene with very limited success. Everything dramatically changed when I took the big step of opening my own art gallery. Now, I call the shots!
Michael Gaudet – Canadian Artist
We would like to give a sincere thank-you to Michael Gaudet for the privilege of featuring his artworks for this artist spotlite interview.
You may view more of Michael’s portraiture, murals, and landscape paintings at: