Joie de Vivre !

Arabella - - CLAUDE LANGEVIN - writ­ten by De­bra Usher

Born in Que­bec in 1949, Claudette Castonguay years. A self-taught painter, she has reg­u­larly ex­hib­ited her paint­ings across Canada since 1979. In 1984, she re­tired from teach­ing to de­vote her time ex­clu­sively to her pro­fes­sional paint­ing ca­reer. Claudette is known for paint­ings that de­pict the in­di­vid­u­al­ity of the char­ac­ters with spon­tane­ity, sen­si­tiv­ity and hu­mour. An af­ter­noon cock­tail party, mu­sic and flow­ers, mar­ket of Que­be­cois style and el­e­gance on can­vas. The world of Claudette Castonguay con­tin­ues to de­light her col­lec­tors as her paint­ings cap­ture a world of colour and joy. The bright colours of each sea­son are rep­re­sented in her play­ful beach win­ter. It is a world of hap­pi­ness, joy and magic.

The Magic of Cre­ation

When Claudette be­gins a new paint­ing, she loves to give time and space to im­pro­vi­sa­tion. With each new can­vas, Claudette chooses her colours and starts to draw. She then har­mo­nizes light with her cho­sen colours and shapes and

the sub­ject takes form. This ap­proach keeps her paint­ings fresh and light and con­veys the hap­pi­ness she feels while creat­ing. "I am fas­ci­nated by the play ac­tiv­ity of cre­ation and I like to think that the can­vas will bring as much joy to the per­son who will choose it as I am ex­pe­ri­enc­ing when I paint it,” says Claudette. "I am dili­gent in my stu­dio. When I stand be­fore the easel, there is only this present mo­ment that ex­ists. These in­stants are pre­cious and some­times mag­i­cal. What more could I ask for?"

In Life as on Can­vas

There is lit­tle ques­tion that Claudette Castonguay’s work cap­ti­vates us with amaz­ing colour and vi­brancy. Born into a fam­ily of six chil­dren, Castonguay flour­ished as a and then later to paint­ing. Although she feels that this did not dis­tin­guish her from the other chil­dren, she was unique in that she took such a strong lik­ing to this ac­tiv­ity. For many years Claudette and her part­ner Jac­ques have lived to­gether and cre­ated a very cheer­ful, joy­ful and sim­ple life, one that she is ex­tremely grate­ful for. Today the en­joy­ment she takes in pro­duc­ing her art is ap­par­ent and has in fact be­come her vo­ca­tion. “Art must be cre­ated with your heart and then it cre­ates joy in the eyes of oth­ers,” says Claudette.

Art and Har­mony

Paint­ing for Claudette Castonguay is very ther­a­peu­tic. This is the time of the great jour­ney, where she is re­ally in the present mo­ment. “I feel

ex­tremely alive and well. Creat­ing gives me a re­ally in­tense plea­sure and I like to let a large num­ber of ideas wash over my imag­i­na­tion.” Castonguay usu­ally works six hours a day in her stu­dio. “I am very dis­ci­plined,” she says. “I par­tic­u­larly like paint­ing and lis­ten­ing to the mu­sic of Bach, Mozart and sa­cred mu­sic.” She likes Ortho­dox and Slavonic songs, never grow­ing tired of them. They work with her to help ex­press her work on the can­vas – a work of joy, har­mony, sim­plic­ity and peace­ful­ness. “I also be­lieve in naivety, some­thing that is so of­ten over­looked but what we truly need in our life,” she says. Some­times she im­pro­vises and is al­ways sur­prised at what starts to emerge. She strives to keep her work fresh and al­ways with a new perception to push her to cre­ate paint­ings even more full of life. While choos­ing colours and forms that are aligned in an in­stinc­tive way ev­ery­thing starts to emerge in the place it should be for this piece, this mo­ment of time.

En­ergy and Cre­ation

Each time she be­gins a new paint­ing she starts Claudette wants to bring har­mony to the can­vas and she tries to cre­ate with forms and colours some­thing that will bring en­ergy to the ev­ery­day life of the per­son who will choose this work of art in the end. “I al­ways hope that the paint­ing will be­come a source of hap­pi­ness and joy for the client,” says Claudette.

Pre­vi­ous Page, The Won­der­ful New Spring, acrylic on can­vas, 24” x 30” This Page, At the End of a Beau­ti­ful Day, acrylic on can­vas, 12” x 24” right, Florence, acrylic on can­vas, 36” x 24”

Pre­vi­ous Page: top left, Le Vil­lage De Felix, acrylic, 12” x 24” bot­tom left, Mediter­ra­nee, acrylic, 12” x 36” right, Les Poules du Vil­lage, acrylic, 12” x 24” This Page: left, Mar­ket in July, acrylic, 24” x 30”

This Page: left, Tout pour la musique, acrylic, 18” x 24” Pre­vi­ous Page: left top, Sun­day on the Beach, acrylic, 18” x 24” left bot­tom, July on the Beach, acrylic, 12” x 24” right, Ce midi au Marche de Fleurs, acrylic, 30” x 30”

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