Posts Tagged ‘daniel st amant’

Daniel St-Amant: Convergence

Monday, August 15th, 2016

We’re very excited to be hosting our artist, former residency-holder, and good friend Daniel St-Amant for his solo-show, Convergence!

You might remember that last October, Daniel spent a week at Algonquin Provincial Park’s Clarke Lake Cabin. He used that time to gather specimen and natural materials like mud and leaf-litter, to take in the inspiration of the park, and to plan large-scale artworks. His days were spent working on his craft, and at night he got to hear the howling Algonquin wolves.

In the past, Daniel used his signature technique—laying canvasses on the road to pick up the impression of passing cars’ tire-tread, the painting wildlife—to signify the way nature is often closed in and crowded out by human intervention. He would place animals within the confines of human encroachment. But since his time in the wild, his style has moved in a different direction…

Works in progress for the show!

Lately, rather than using human elements as structures of confinement, Daniel allows his wildlife to grow out of the mixed environment of urban and natural materials. It’s a hopeful message about the convergence between the human and animal worlds, and the ways that their interaction can be healthy. It’s an evolution and a progression, conjured up from the melding of very tangible materials from the real world, incorporated into artistic creativity. Daniel has perfectly expressed the spirit of this season’s overarching theme, Metamorphosis.

Join us from now untilSeptember 15th to see these completed pieces and reflect on Convergence in person!

Golden Encore Residency: The Follow-up

Sunday, December 6th, 2015

You’ll remember that in October, we partnered with Algonquin Provincial Park in hosting Daniel St-Amant for the Golden Encore Artist’s Residency. Since then he’s been working hard on the projects he began there.
We asked Daniel to talk about the experience and update us on his progress. Here’s a look at the amazing work he came up with and his thoughts on his time in the park…

When I was growing up I was raised in the country. I spent as much time as I could in the woods, wandering, exploring, playing, and imagining what it would be like to live in another time, one where survival depended on the way of the land. So naturally when I was approached by Algonquin and the Art Centre with the idea of doing an artistic residency in the park, I jumped at the opportunity.

My plan was to bring as much paint and canvas as possible so that I could maximize my week, to use this precious time allotted to me to catch up on commissions and projects I haven’t been able to work on… basically just become a painting factory. I thought this because my day to day reality is pretty hectic. I live in the city and have a career as a VFX and digital painter. Usually, I can only spend weekends and evenings in my painting studio. On top of all that, I am also a husband and father of 2 beautiful children. As you can imagine, my life is busy, but busy in a fantastic way. So getting a week alone in the woods with no work or any distractions meant I could paint like a hurricane until I unpacked and sat at the little picnic table that was outside my cabin overlooking the lake.

I had this whole thing planned out. It was going to be extremely productive, except the moment I arrived I forgot about all my plans, I forgot about my schedule, I forgot about my timelines and deadlines. I honestly was so at peace with my surroundings. And that’s when my sense of exploration took over, something I hadn’t felt since my childhood. I began by walking in the woods every day, first thing after my cup of coffee. I would walk and collect specimens like a mad scientist, anything that peaked my interest in terms of colour or texture. At that time of year, you can just imagine how alive the woods are with colours, as if you’re walking through a Tom Thomson painting. This, to me, was heaven. I probably collected ten buckets full of leaves and branches and moss, basically anything that I felt I had to have. I gathered my thoughts and came up with a plan of making collage paintings using dirt and objects that I picked up on the way. I sectioned off the cabin. One room was designated for drying out my samples, which I spread out on the floor and flattened under books, and another room was for painting and drawing. I even had a room that I used for my wood shop to make stretchers. It was fantastic. I began experimenting with different media that I could use in addition to my current practice.

a canvas prepared with local materials

My typical work uses dirt and grime collected from the busy city streets. As my canvass are spread over the roadways cars run over them leaving their markings. This is a metaphor that represents humanity’s technologies that are causing harm to the environment.  Typically I create backdrops made out of these markings, which I use to house the animal portraits I paint.  This work is a direct response to city living. I see squirrels and raccoons running around, trying to avoid humans, all the while trying to survive in an urban setting. Being in the woods, I was away from it. Nature seemed more comfortable. Birds chirped with enthusiasm. Little woodland creatures scampered around happy. I felt that my work would change dramatically if I spent a prolonged time at the lake. My vision of my animal portraits changed into more of an evolutionary standpoint, I pictured animals growing out of my samples of sticks, leaves and bark. Instead of creating a portrait of an animal living within the confines of my tire tracks or “a human presence,” I wanted them to bloom out of the bottom of the canvas like a flower or a tree. It was a real eye opener, how one environment could change my visual reactions and my concision.

The 6 days flew by in retrospect, but while I was there, time was much slower. I spent a few days at the Visitor Centre doing a demonstration and one day at the beautiful gallery at Km 20. Some of my most memorable experiences were the people that I encountered and who helped organize the experience. I would like to especially thank Andrea Coulter and the owners of the Art Gallery, Joel Irwin and Matt Coles. Everyone was so accommodating and friendly I will never forget that short week I spent in my little cabin by the lake.

So now that I sit in my studio a few months after my time in Algonquin, my work has taken a bit of a right turn. No longer am I concerned with a negative outlook on the environment, hoping to spark a reaction out of the viewer. Now I am more interested in creating work that is a celebratory vision of nature. I now want the viewer to experience a positive reaction to my work. I want the viewer to look at my compositions and think about how beautiful nature is, how resilient it is. As an artist, you are always growing and moving in new directions.
I am extremely excited to see what’s to come.

another of Daniel’s residency-pieces in progress

We’re so grateful that we can be part of giving artists the opportunity to pursue their craft and communicate their love of creation with Algonquin visitors. We’re committed to continuing these residencies. In fact, our spring residency, Perennial Threshold, has an application open to everyone, so if you want the chance to create… apply!
For now, we want to express our thanks to Algonquin Provincial Park and to Daniel himself for making this an amazing experience for everyone involved.

Off-Season Artists: Daniel St-Amant

Sunday, October 11th, 2015

It’s been a great season, and we’re starting to wind down for the end of fall. We can’t thank you enough for how amazing 2015′s been!
Just because our doors are closing for winter, that doesn’t mean our passion for showcasing Canadian art is any less. So over the next several months we’ll be posting quick interviews with our artists. It’s a chance for you to explore their personalities and their creative identities a little deeper. Who knows? If you get to know the artist in the wild, you might fall even harder for the work on the wall.

To start us off, you might remember that we announced our Golden Encore Artist’s Residency in partnership with Algonquin Park a few weeks ago. Daniel St-Amant, a  modern surface wildlife painter, will be housed at one of the Park’s lodges form October 14th-21st, giving him some time in the wilderness to work on his craft. He’ll also be conducting artist-demonstrations at both the Algonquin Art Centre and Algonquin Park’s Visitor Centre over the weekend. It’s going to be a great time, and you can find all the information here.
Daniel hails originally from Quebec, went to school in Halifax, and now lives and works in Toronto. Aside from his artistic practice he works in visual effects for film. He’s also just a lovely guy! So without further ado, here’s a bit of our chat with Daniel…

Daniel St-Amant

As someone from French Canada who lived a while in the Maritimes and now operates out of Toronto, you’ve got a lot of Canada in your personal history. What have you taken away from those experiences?
The biggest thing apart from the friendships and life experiences would be the landscapes . It is quite remarkable to think about the diversity you see in the landscapes from the Canadian shield through to the Laurentians and southern Quebec all the way up the east coast.

Your artistic practice is very unique, and also very specific. How’d you arrive at it? Any particular influences?
Throughout my life, and artistic career,  I’ve been privileged to have been surrounded by many talented individuals that both inspired and influenced me.  Teachers like Gerald Ferguson at NSCAD and lengthy conversations with fellow artists helped sculpt my art practice. But I feel my upbringing in rural Quebec particularly influenced me and my body of art as my love and respect of nature ultimately led me to my subject matter.

“Timber Land” Daniel St-Amant

You also work in visual effects for film (which is SUPER-COOL, by the way). How does that line of work influence your painting?
My work in the VFX industry has influenced my art practice quite a bit in terms of my initial sketching techniques and tools that I adopt. I use a lot of digital reference and photography to compose my images in addition to some of the techniques we use in film such as integration, colour adjustments and composition prior to the actual production of my art.

“Red Shoulder 2″ by Daniel St-Amant

It’s great to hear a little bit about the Canadiana that makes Daniel tick, and we can’t wait to get to know him better when he arrives this week. Stay posted for updates and media from the residency, and more interviews as we progress!

Inspiration in Algonquin: The Moose

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

This is the first in a series of posts talking about Algonquin’s wetland wildlife. We’ll be investigating the creatures we come across in the park, and showcasing some of the work they’ve inspired among our artists. First up: an Algonquin favourite, the moose!

Algonquin’s wetlands wouldn’t be the same without the Park’s largest and most sought-after animal, the moose. After a long winter feeding mainly on twigs, moose are starving for salt and seek out sodium-rich plants like yellow pond-lily and water-shield in the park’s wetlands. This essential food source is why moose are often seen splashing around in the wetlands, dipping their heads into the mud searching for tubers and roots. Full grown, the moose is on average two meters high at the shoulders, and is by far the biggest and most awe-inspiring animal in Algonquin.

Featured piece: Daniel St. Amant’s “Tacehubana.” Stop by and see it in person! You could very well spot a moose along Hwy 60…


Algonquin Art Centre - Gallery in the Heart of Algonquin Park

open June 1 - October 19

10 am to 5:30 pm daily

 

located at km 20 on Hwy #60

in the Heart of Algonquin Park

 

(705) 633-5555 / 1-800-863-0066

Algonquin Art Gallery
GET REGULAR GALLERY UPDATES
 
GALLERY ADMISSION
by donation - thank you for your support
 
 
Ontario ParksThe Friends of Algonquin ParkWildlife Habitat Canada