Pierrette Joly - Thinking Outside of the Box - From Michel Beauchamp
As a child, when other children dreamed or pretended to be teachers or nurses, Pierrette Joly pretended and played at being an artist. Already, she was convinced of what she would become as she grew older.
Very early on she perfected the ability of listening to her senses, her emotions and her inner voices and instincts. She found all forms of art interesting: theatre, writing, and of course, the visual arts. After having explored various different ways of expressing herself and after having become thoroughly seduced by the magic of colour, she settled on drawing and painting.
She began by teaching herself how to paint and draw until driven by a desire to improve her abilities she enrolled at the Mission Renaissance School of Drawing and Painting where she studied for two years. Then she enrolled at the Cégep de St. Jérôme where she studied drawing for two semesters.
As well as course work Joly started taking workshops with Marcellin Dufour for watercolours and with Jean-Louis Hébert for oils. With Hébert she learned to paint “en plein air”. It was a lesson that took as she can still be found behind her easel in all sorts of weather, no matter the season.
After what Joly describes as conventional beginning, she began to research technique. Charcoal, watercolour, acrylics and oils all interested her and she worked in a variety of styles, landscapes, still life, portraits, live models and abstraction. Mixed media attracted her.
Eventually she settled down and chose oils as her medium of choice and nature, to which she felt an enduring connection with as her subject, working mostly in the field of landscapes and still life.
In the beginning she felt challenged as a woman working in what was a field largely dominated by men. Joly believed she will have to work twice as hard to make her mark and establish herself. Determined and overflowing with ideas she rises to the challenge.
Along the way she meets Pierre Péladeau, the founder of Québécor, who bestfriends her, encourages her and gives her advice. Joly still regrets that Péladeau’s death has prevented him from seeing her progress.
Péladeau had often advised Joly to find her own style and after extensive experimentation she did, by painting outside the box. Joly has extended her canevas to include the frame. Details, such as a cluster of flowers will end up being painted on the frame, which has already had a thorough mixed media going over.
“I’ve been painting on the frame as well as the canevas since 2005 and I find it gives the work a third dimension. ”Joly starts by applying a textured coating to the canevas and frame. Then she traces a sketch on the surface and applies her colour. Taken together the combined result is one of movement and depth.
She is a well organized and disciplined woman. She has to be in order to have the time to not only paint, but manage her career as well. It is a mark of her organizational abilities that she still finds two days a week to teach.
With a full schedule Joly has little time to take part in the artistic life of the community. Still she attends and shows at selected gatherings, the Symposium de Grand-Sault in New Brunswick, the Rêve d’automne in Baie St. Paul and the Danville Arts Symposium. She goes to show her work and because as she works in isolation she needs to gather with her collegues for stimulation and to exchange experiences.
When she goes to Baie St. Paul she likes to meet up with Bruno Côté, a painter she admires for his vigorous brush strokes and for his powerful representations of nature. Côté always encourages her.
Joly also likes Marc-Aurèle Fortin for the way colour and light characterizes his work and for the boldness that shines through his painting.