The Essence of Hope and Love with Marti Leroux

The Essence of Hope and Love with Marti Leroux

January 07, 2022

I started drawing at a very young age. As a child I could colour and look at art books for hours. Our home was filled with art books such as Rembrandt, Picasso, Renoir, Van Gogh, Toulouse Lautrec and many more. My father and sister are also artists and art was a favourite subject around the house. Growing up I had two passions, music and the visual arts.

I studied classical music at Vanier College. I sang opera during the week and I was a lead singer in a rock band on the weekends. I played a few instruments such as the violin, the flute and a little bit of piano.

 

Luckily the visual arts was always a big part of my life. I met my husband at a very young age and I felt an art career was better suited to married and family life. So I left music and worked very hard on developing my painting style.

I paint in oil and in mixed media. My artwork is either a fusion of abstract and animal realism or just abstract. Each art piece holds a soulful energy and messages for your heart. My serenity paintings are a doorway into a serene world. A reminder to be in the present moment. A beautiful pause in time.

When I create it’s like a meditation. I loose track of time. I go to the most beautiful place of love and I bring back a little piece of heaven for you.

 

What initially drew your towards becoming an artist?

I started creating art at very young age and I never stopped. Art has always been a passion of mine and a way to express myself.

How would you describe your own personal style?

My style is a fusion of abstract and animal realism.

What pushed you in that direction and how can you see you work evolving in the future?

When I started out as a full time artist I painted commissioned pet portraits only. I loved painting pets and making my clients happy. After a couple of years I felt drawn to explore bigger formats, mixed media and abstracts. This exploration led me to my style that I call a fusion of abstract and animal realism.

 

What inspires you in your work, is there a driving factor that draws you to the easel?

The surprise. I paint intuitively. Nothing is planned out. I start with the abstract first and then I add the animal, very often birds painted realistically and that part of the painting is somewhat planned.

Are there particular individuals who have encouraged / inspired you along the way, friends, family, teachers, maybe even other artists?

My father was also an artist. He encouraged me to paint. He critiqued my work and helped me stretch as an artist. He told me to paint what I wanted to paint and not what others wanted me to paint or what was in trend. He taught me to be authentic not only as a being but also as a painter.

 

When it comes to creating your work, do you have a preferred medium, certain types of brushes or tools you love to use?

I love oil when painting animals, realism. I love mixed media when painting abstract. Acrylic paint, China marker, ink, white charcoal, pastels.

When it comes to the subject matter of your work, what draws you to those themes?

I love adding songbirds on an abstract background. I am drawn to songbirds for their chirpiness and beautiful songs. In my paintings the songbirds represent messengers of love. They bring messages of hope and love. A bridge between the visible (songbirds) and the invisible (abstract).

Could you describe the process behind your art? How do you get from concept to execution?

I have no plan of composition or colour when starting a painting. I start most of the time in silence. I quiet my mind and I simply begin. I let myself be guided to choose the colour that speaks to me the most in that moment and I start to create shapes and lines. Many layers are applied. I often see an animal emerge in the abstract composition and I help it along and part of my painting becomes realistic. It’s a merging of my inner and outer worlds on canvas or paper. It feels like a meditation. It’s very peaceful. I connect to my inner wisdom and inspiration flows through me. I let go and I trust the process. They are my creations, my compositions, my songs on canvas.

 

Could you describe your normal day as an artist? Have you set routines and rituals or is a more a case of when the moment is right you work?

I work Monday to Friday, 10:00 to 5:00.

When you work, do you focus on one piece at a time until completion or are you working on multiple pieces at the same time?

I normally work on one piece at a time. Once in a while I work on two pieces at a time because I want to offer a duo to cover a bigger wall.

How has your art evolved to be where it is today?

My artwork has evolved for sure. My skills in painting realism has improved a lot over time. I progressed fast when I started painting every day as a full time artist.

 

Which of your artworks are you most proud?

Flowers of Love, Missing You, Garden of Wisdom, The Song Remembered, my horse paintings.

Is there a fellow artist alive today that you admire? If so, why?

I really like Dominic Besner. I would love to own one of his paintings one day. I love his creativity, his colour palette, his subjects, his work is very original.

If you could travel back in time, is there a particular artistic period / era that you would like to have been involved in?

I would prefer to travel to the future to a time period where it is easier for artists to make a living out of selling their paintings. A time period where the arts (all forms of art) are invaluable and recognized.

What challenges do you feel the 21st century artist has to overcome?

I believe it is better for artists now because of the internet but there’s still a way to go for most artists to be able to live off their art.

What advice would you give to a young aspiring artist currently studying art?

Take a business or marketing course. It’s not sufficient to have an artistic talent.

 

Despite having developed your own distinctive style, is their another style of art that you are immediately drawn towards and admire? Why?

I love abstract art such as Cy Twombly’s paintings. I love his large paintings and his works on paper.

We have all heard of the unfinished masterpiece, even Da Vinci laboured away at the Mona Lisa for years and years, have you works that are in a continual process of evolution? When working on an artwork do you find it hard to let go? Knowing when enough is enough?

When painting realism it feels like I can paint for years on the same painting but there comes a point when I tell myself, this is it, it’s done. When I make the decision it’s easy to let go.

 

Many people see artists as storytellers or advocates for a cause, do you believe that it is an artist’s responsibility to shine a light on a particular subject / theme, or do you create purely for the sake of expression your creative nature?

I believe an artist has a platform to share a special message, a point of view if they choose too.

My artworks are much more than just a creative expression. Each art piece comes with a unique and soulful energy that is meant to touch the viewer’s heart and soul. My paintings hold the essence of Hope and love. I create with the intent that my artwork will help the viewer connect to their inner wisdom and remind them of their strength, their courage, their joy, and their inner beauty. “When you connect to the core of your soul, there, you will find hope, joy, and so much love.”

What are you working on at the moment?

I am working on paper pieces in mixed media. I love working on paper. These paintings look great behind a glass frame, it gives them a modern look to a living space.

 

Have you ever been part of an artistic group / movement? How did your work benefit from that experience?

When I first started out as an artist I joined a few groups. The exchange between artists were great. Tips on new products and new brands. Group exhibitions. I am not part of a group at the moment.

When is your next exhibition? Is it a solo or group exhibition? Could you tell us a little about the exhibition, when and where it is?

I don’t have any exhibitions scheduled at the moment.




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